Minfong Ho was born on January 7, 1951, in Rangoon, Burma. Her father was an economist,
and her mother was a chemist and writer. Ho was raised in Thailand and attended school
in Bangkok and then in Taiwan. She came to the United States to study economics at Cornell
University in New York, where she earned a bachelor's and a master's degree, and where she
began her writing career as a way to combat homesickness.
Ho's first book, Sing to the Dawn (1975), received first prize from the Council of Interracial
Books for Children. Her second book, Rice Without Rain (1990), received the Parents' Choice Award
and was named an American Library Association (ALA) Best Book for Young Adults and an ALA Booklist