Patti Kim is a Korean-American fiction writer. Her published works include multi-cultural fiction for tweens, young adults, and beginning readers.

Patti Kim’s Unstoppable Desire to Write

Patti wanted to write even before she could read. At around age four, she wanted to write so badly that she scribbled gibberish all over the pages of her mom’s Korean-English dictionary. She got in big trouble for it. But nothing could stop her. She went on being that girl, sitting in the back of the classroom, recording observations in her notebook: So-and-so got a new haircut. So-and-so is wearing two different shoes today. So-and-so twirls her pen like a baton.


Patti was born in Busan, South Korea. She immigrated to the United States with her family in 1974 when she was four years old. Her overall experiences as a young Korean-American immigrant have influenced her work. Patti’s novels envoke themes of poverty, losing a parent, adjusting to a stepparent, empathy, and the search for identity. She uses honesty and humor to tell these complex stories.


Patti’s love for writing and gift for observation led her to study creative writing. She graduated from the University of Maryland with a BA in English in 1992 and an MFA in 1995. As an undergraduate, Patti received High Honors, as well as the “Outstanding Young Alumnus Award.” It was during her MFA that she began work on what would end up being her first novel.

Published Work

Patti writes fiction about the immigrant experience. She is the author of the award-winning novel A Cab Called Reliable (St. Martin’s Press), acclaimed children’s picture book Here I Am (Capstone), and the upcoming middle-grade novel I’m Ok (to be published in 2018 by Atheneum Books at Simon & Schuster). I’m Ok was named a BookExpo 2018 “Editors’ Buzz Pick.” She’s currently writing another book. For more, see Books by Patti Kim. 

Patti Kim Korean American fiction writer

Author Patti Kim

Author Patti Kim and her dog Riley

Patti with Riley the Wonderdog

Collage work featuring Patti's childhood passport photo

Collage work featuring Patti’s childhood passport photo


 Bio of Patti Kim Korean American fiction writer

Awards and Recognitions