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Astronomy Horrors

Astronomy Horrors

By Cathy Wang (age 10, SIS, KYP Intermediate Creative Writing Class)

“Get in!” a gruff voice answered my knock. I stepped in. I was now in the observatory!

“Wow,” I breathed. It was amazing! Stars dotted the sky like streaks of white paint.

“Can yer shut up!” the annoying voice interrupted my thoughts.

Opps, I thought, “Um, ok”

Before I even finished my sentence, I was interrupted again by a shill, plain evil, “Mwa Haa Ha Ha Ha! Mwa Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha!”

I recoiled in shock, thinking that my teacher had finally gone insane. He waved his hands around as if signaling someone.

I started to feel uneasy, and my heart was skipping a beat. What on Earth…I turned around and ran for the door.


I tried for the windows.


I tried to jump off from the balcony.

It had turned into solid glass.

I looked at Mr Whata. His eyeballs were bulging out. His face was turning whiter and more…decomposed. His hand was reduced into a skeletal structure. He stood there, as if nothing happened, staring out of the window, waiting for something.

I couldn’t suppress my scream. It scared the birds out of the trees, but no one came running.

“I was waiting for that.” My insane Astronomy teacher flashed me a crooked smile, giving me an unpleasant look of his empty, disgusting eye sockets.

My legs wanted to collapse as he waved his hands. This time, the ground shook, and everything changed.

Trees grew around us.

Rocks grew out of the Earth.

The rocks became…headstones.

A mist appeared around us.

I could see the rotting flesh.

“She’s here! Zombies!” Mr. Whata cried.

“Um…Mr. Whata?” I wanted to puke, my greatest fear was in front of my eyes! No, I couldn’t scream, can’t scream, I warned myself.

“It’s not Whata, it’s Thawa!”

Thawa! It struck a match in my brain. The leader of the DPRES! The Dead People Revenge-Easy Society! He tried to kill me a year ago, when, I, accidently killed him! Now, he was impossible to kill.

“Mmmm…Bell,” he cackled. “I can finally kill you now.”

I screamed. Dead people, decomposed body parts, and rotting flesh climbed out of their graves.

“Uh huh, so you see, this is my army! They all want you to die, just like them,” he explained.

I froze. My phobia! I began to tremble.

Blood began to trickle slowly down the graves. It took me a moment to realise that it was my blood!

Something overhead caught my attention. The stars.

“Ah, I see you’ve noticed. Well, that’s your Astronomy lesson!” Whata grinned.

I stared up in horror as the stars moved to make a picture. It was a skull!

I couldn’t take it anymore. At that second, I turned into a tornado. I mean literally.

The zombie screamed like babies and girls and ran out of the way.

I was shocked. This never happened before!

Using my will power, I steered myself towards my dorm.

But, they don’t let me go easily. The mist around me turned into fresh blood. They pierced me like acid rain. Leaves from trees dropped off, as if they were knives!

I ran into my room. And slammed the door. I would never have Astronomy class ever again.

KYP Christmas 2016 Reading List!!

Dear parents,

There is no greater gift than the joy of reading. I’m not just saying that as an author, I’m saying that as a parent and educator. This Christmas, I am so pleased to present to you my list of recommended reading for children. Some of the books on this list moved me to tears. Others made me laugh out loud. All are literary books, the kind that makes our hearts swell and our minds grow. Please find my recommended reading list here:

<3, Kelly

KYP Reading List Christmas 2016

Ages 6-7

 Mister Magnolia by Quentin Blake

My Naughty Little Sister by Dorothy Edwards

Clarice Bean, that’s Me by Lauren Child

The Enchanted Wood by Enid Blyton

The Bear and the Piano by David Litchfield

A Dark, Dark Cave by Eric Hoffman

Ages 8-10

 Wonder by R.J. Palacio

When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

Tales of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo

Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech

Pax by Sara Pennypacker

Hour of the Bees by Lindsay Eagar

 Ages 10-12

 The Thing about Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin

The Last Boy at St. Edith’s by Lee Gjertson Malone

Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead

Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan

Summerlost by Ally Condie

Murder in Midwinter by Fleur Hitchcock

The Road to Ever After by Moira Young

Ages 13+

 The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

Saving Hamlet by Molly Booth

Every Exquisite Thing by Matthew Quick

Shadowshaper by Daniel Jose Older

Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee

This is Where the World Ends by Amy Zhang

I Have A Book Deal!

I Have A Book Deal!

You guys, I have some thrilling news. Last summer, I wrote a middle grade children’s novel for my son Eliot. It was a story that was kind of out there, based on my own bizarre childhood. To my surprise, he loved it and encouraged me to do something with it. So I did and, well, long story short, I HAVE A BOOK DEAL!!!

I’m delighted to announce that my new book will be published by Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic, the publishers of Harry Potter!! Here’s the announcement in Publisher’s Weekly this morning. It feels amazing and surreal to be able to work with the same world class editors who brought Harry Potter to America! I still remember being 8 years old, a Chinese kid growing up in America, scribbling away, wondering, gee, do I have what it takes? Well, I guess I finally got my answer  :-)  and it just goes to show what I’ve been telling my students for years — writing can take you places!

I so look forward to sharing this book with all of you and with the world!

Much <3,


First Post!

Hi guys! This is my very first blog entry! It’s been an incredible summer so far. I’ve been teaching every single day. My students never fail to amaze me! It’s endless fun inspiring them to write, teaching them global thinking, and watching them fall in love with debate and Model United Nations. I love how they’ve all grown leaps and bounds, becoming more confident speakers and insightful writers. This summer, we’ve had students from all over the world come through the doors of KYP, from as far away as Switzerland and England and Australia, and I feel so privileged and honored to teach every single one of them.

On a personal front, my middle son just left for New York with my husband for the summer. My oldest is off at camp in the States (by himself! And loving it! He doesn’t even call me! I don’t know how I’m supposed to feel about that!). My daughter is with my mom in California. It’s weird not having my kids around. I miss the endless chatter and giggling. I miss the hyper and the crazy. I even miss the whining. (OK, just a little.)

The house is eerily quiet. The only nice thing about having the house all to myself is I no longer have to hide in the bathroom to read. I’ve been reading some great books recently, like Shadowshaper by Daniel Jose Older, Every Exquisite Thing by Matthew Quick and Lust & Wonder by my favorite author, the almighty Augusten Burroughs who is THE. BEST.

I’d love to hear what your summer reads are!




Officer Dog and Officer Moose

Officer Dog and Officer Moose

By Charlotte Fung, 9 years old, Singapore International School, KYP Beginners Critical Reasoning

“Ready, set, go!” Commander Lion yelled.

It was raining cats and dogs the day before, making the ground mushy and some tress fall down; the perfect setting for a morning training exercise. This was a training that all new officers had to do, in order for them to prove they are worthy of protecting the forest.

Officer Dog was partners with Officer Moose. They met when they were in Wood Academy where they studied planning and combat for ten years. They both wanted to become generals, so they signed up for officer training.

The first obstacle was fearsome Scorpion Lake. The officers had to avoid the poisonous scorpions that live near the lake and get across. Officer Dog ran as fast as he could and Officer Moose followed along.

“Poison them! Poison them!” Officer Dog heard the scorpions chant.

Since they knew each other so well, Officer Dog and Officer Moose could communicate just by looking at each other. Suddenly, Officer Moose got stung by a scorpion! Still, he did not give up. With sheer grit and determination he carried Officer Dog across the lake. Together they avoided dangerous predators and fatal attacks.

At last they reached the end of the training exercise. Officer Moose got carried to Herbal Goodness Hospital and Officer Dog helped take care of him just as his father, who was Queen Mother Nature’s private doctor, had taught him.

Ten years later, Officer Dog became a general. He never forgot what his friend Officer Moose did for him that day.

Kelly on the cover of Smart Parents

Kelly on the cover of Smart Parents

Feb 25, 2016–Kelly Yang is on the cover of Smart Parents magazine. In the cover spread, Kelly talks about education, how to motivate kids, and her new video series for kids. Check it out here! Also, check out the video here:

「哈佛媽媽」Kelly 鬼馬拍片教多角度思考




The Gift of Education

The Gift of Education

By Kelly Yang, Published in the South China Morning Post in Dec 2015.

For the past 10 weeks or so, I’ve been eating a bowl of noodles every Saturday lunch at a cheap noodle place near my office. Every time I go, I see a little girl behind the counter washing glasses and making drinks. She’s about 10. It’s hard work – the place is packed. Yet, every time I see her, she is bouncing around the kitchen with a smile on her face. She seems proud of the work she’s doing.

Recently, I worked up the courage to talk to her. I said “hello” and we started chatting in Putonghua. She told me she was the daughter of one of the waitresses. I asked her if working in a restaurant all day was hard. She said it was; Saturdays are busy, and sometimes it’s a lot of work, but she doesn’t mind.

She asked me why I always ate my noodles so quickly. That’s when I gave her my business card. I told her my office was close by, that we’re a leading learning centre in Hong Kong. “I know you have a job and everything,” I said, “But if you ever want to take a break from your job and pop over to take a Chinese class or something on a Saturday, come on over.”

“You wouldn’t have to pay,” I added. “It would be on the house.”

Her eyes widened as she took my card and my words registered and she dashed off to tell her mum. Walking out of the restaurant, I was never more grateful or happy. You see, it wasn’t totally random that I went up to the little girl; she reminds me of myself. When I was a little girl, about seven or eight, I, too, worked in a restaurant with my mum.

We had just got to the US and life was very hard. One day, my mum got a job as a waitress at a restaurant. But there was just one problem: there was nobody to look after me. As a last resort, my mum asked the restaurant boss whether she could take me with her. He said the idea of having a seven-year-old in the kitchen was preposterous. But my mum pleaded with him and he reluctantly agreed, on one condition: I make myself useful. That’s how I got my first job, working as a tiny waitress.

So much has changed since then. I was blessed to have good teachers even in terribly underfunded American public schools. No matter how bad the school, though, I always managed to find one good teacher. And, sometimes, that’s all you need to change your life – one good teacher. Which is why I jumped at the chance to teach the little girl in the restaurant. To be able to come full circle, from a little girl working in a restaurant, wondering if she will ever get a better life, to being able to give another little girl working in a restaurant a chance to realise her dreams, that’s a beautiful thing.


We are so proud to offer full-tuition need-based financial aid and scholarships here at KYP. For more information on KYP’s Scholarship and Financial Aid program, please click here.

KYP students in BBC 100 Women Global Debate

KYP students in BBC 100 Women Global Debate

In December 2015, KYP teachers Rachael and Kelly led a group of KYP female students to debate against 99 other women from all around the world in the BBC 100 Women Global Debate. Read Kelly’s account of the experience:

Earlier this week, I led a group of spirited female students to debate against women from all around the world in the BBC 100 Women global debate. I watched as these girls ripped through questions like “Does a woman need to act like a man in order to lead?” They said things like, “You don’t have to wear pants in order to be a leader. All you need is your strength of will and, when it comes to that, women can easily match up to men.”

Hearing these young girls speak their minds with gusto and passion, I was never more optimistic about the future of women. At the same time, I couldn’t help but wonder: if this is the way girls start off – full of energy and the determination to go out and conquer the world – then why don’t more of them do just that? What happens along the way that stops them in their tracks?

Homework duty, that’s what. It’s the automatic expectation that women would and should take on the bulk of the child rearing, no matter how many hours they are working. Whether it’s making the cupcakes for the class birthday party or checking over spelling on a rainy Sunday afternoon, people still think of these activities as mum activities. Well, they’re not. They’re everyone activities.

Read Kelly’s full article in SCMP here: http://www.scmp.com/comment/insight-opinion/article/1886725/helping-homework-isnt-just-mums-job-especially-when-shes

The BBC 100 Women Global Debate, live as it happened: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/world-34966666

Kelly Yang Interviews Lang Lang

Kelly Yang Interviews Lang Lang

By Kelly Yang, Published in the South China Morning Post, December 2014:

His hands glide across the pearly keys. His hair moves to the sound, like a tree swaying in the wind. His face is a highway of emotions – sorrow dancing with euphoria, pain melting into passion. Watching him is as moving as hearing him.

As I watched the piano superstar Lang Lang work his magic at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre last week, I thought of the long journey it took him to get to this stage. The six hours of daily practice starting at age three, the long separation from his mother in the middle of his childhood, his first teacher in Beijing who didn’t believe in him and told him to quit, the fight with his father afterwards which almost drove him to suicide … How was he able to succeed, despite these heartbreaking challenges?

After the concert, I sat down backstage with Lang Lang and his mother Zhou Xiulan to find out. His mother was a glowing picture of maternal pride. Watching her tell the story of their success, as she calls it, I got the sense that Lang Lang’s triumph was inevitable. He simply had to succeed. His parents pinned all their own dreams and hopes, crushed by the Cultural Revolution, onto their little boy.

Hearing her recall the hard times – Lang Lang practising for hours without air conditioning in the summer, in just his underwear, and in the winter without any heat – I couldn’t help but wonder, what about the kids today who don’t grow up like that? What about the kids who come from privilege and have a wealth of other options – do they have a chance to become the next Lang Lang?

Read the full version here: http://www.scmp.com/comment/insight-opinion/article/1668165/lang-lang-talent-met-hard-work

KYP Student Serena Chen Published in China Daily!

KYP Student Serena Chen Published in China Daily!

By KYP Student Serena Chen, published in China Daily, May 2014:

This year, I finished the 10th grade in five months without stepping foot into a classroom. I wasn’t alone. In 2012, there were over 6.7 million students taking at least one online course. Here in Hong Kong, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology has recently become the first Hong Kong school to offer students the opportunity to earn credits through a massive open online course called MOOC. Already, the course has had 100,000 enrollments.

It’s easy to see why alternative education may be attractive here. Currently, in our local education system, there is too much emphasis on exams, not enough emphasis on critical thinking and problem-solving skills, and not enough time for emotional development. When I was in school, I sometimes had teachers who would only start teaching right before the test, giving us all the answers we would need but not educating us. We were taught solely how to do the test, so this way, when the Day of Judgment came, we would all get good scores. It certainly smacks of cram school, and was equally limited in its long-term educational value. So it’s not surprising that currently there are 5,732 Hong Kong students attending United Kingdom boarding schools and in 2012, there were 11,335 Hong Kong students attending UK universities. People are looking abroad for better ways of learning, and I thought online schooling is worth exploring.

I was captivated by some obvious advantages online schooling offers. With an online school, my living room was my classroom. Some days when I wasn’t feeling well, I got up later and did less work. Other days I hit the ground running, finishing a week’s workload in a few hours. Gone were the days where I would struggle to keep up with an instructor going too fast, or fall asleep in class because I understood the lesson half an hour ago. If I didn’t do well the first time, I could always redo a lesson without worrying about holding others back.

Read full version in China Daily: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/hkedition/2014-05/19/content_17516210.htm