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Kat Zhang

Kat Zhang (born 1991)[1] is an award-winning[2][3] author of young adult and middle grade literature. She also has an upcoming picture book, Amy Wu & the Perfect Bao, set to release in 2019[4]. Her first trilogy, The Hybrid Chronicles, was published by HarperCollins in the United States. According to WorldCat, the series is held in 2,545 libraries,[5] and has been translated into Chinese, German, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Polish and Italian. The first volume, What's Left of Me, was published in 2012; the second volume, Once We Were, was published in 2013; and the third and final volume, Echoes of Us, was published in 2014.

Kat Zhang
Alma materVanderbilt University
GenreYoung Adult, Middle Grade
Notable worksHybrid Chronicles, The Emperor's Riddle
Notable awardsFreeman Award Honorable Mention



Zhang was born in Texas to immigrants from China. Her father was from Wuhan, and her mother from Fuzhou.[6]

Zhang graduated from Vanderbilt University.[7]


Young Adult novelsEdit

Hybrid Chronicles trilogyEdit

Middle Grade novelsEdit

  • The Emperor's Riddle (2017)[8][9]
  • The Memory of Forgotten Things (2018)[10]

Picture BooksEdit

  • Amy Wu and the Perfect Bao (2019)[11]

The Hybrid ChroniclesEdit

The Hybrid Chronicles series is set in an alternate universe society in which every body possesses two 'souls' or human identities at birth. One of these identities, termed the "recessive soul," is supposed to fade away with age. Those who retain both souls are labelled 'hybrids' and are ostracized from normal society. The series' protagonists are Addie and Eva, the dominant and recessive souls respectively, who inhabit the same body. The girls hide the presence of Eva, who has lost control of their shared body but never completely faded, for fear of what might happen if they were ever discovered. Over the course of the trilogy, the girls are at first institutionalized for their hybrid nature, then join a resistance force for hybrid rights.

The Hybrid Chronicles Trilogy includes What's Left of Me (2012), Once We Were (2013), and Echoes of Us (2014).

Middle grade novelsEdit

The Emperor's Riddle, Zhang's first Middle Grade novel, is set in Fuzhou, China. It describes the adventures of a Chinese-American girl as she searches for an ancient, Ming dynasty treasure. The book details the legends involving the assassination of Chinese emperor Zhu Yunwen, the second emperor of the Ming dynasty, and touches on the events of the Chinese Cultural Revolution.[12][13]

Zhang's second middle grade novel, The Memory of Forgotten Things, is a return to science fiction. The twelve-year-old protagonist, Sophia Wallace, has memories of her deceased mother that don't make sense, memories that take place after her mother's death. She believes that an upcoming solar eclipse will allow her to cross over into a parallel world where her mother never died.[10]


The Hybrid Chronicles has received generally positive reception from several websites.[14][15]

The first in the trilogy, What's Left of Me, was chosen as a 2012 BEA Buzz book[16] and given a starred review on Publisher's Weekly.[17]

In 2017, The Emperor's Riddle won an honorable mention for the NCTA's Freeman Award[3]. It also won a Parent's Choice Award[2].


  1. ^ "Library of Congress Authority File".
  2. ^ a b "The Emperor's Riddle". Parents' Choice Foundation. Retrieved 2018-03-06.
  3. ^ a b "The Emperor's Riddle - NCTA". NCTA. Retrieved 2018-03-06.
  4. ^ "Books". Kat Zhang. 2015-09-01. Retrieved 2018-09-04.
  5. ^ "Zhang, Kat 1991- []".
  6. ^ Kang Kai (康慨) (2012-09-24). "华裔美国女生张亦雪昨日出版反乌托邦小说处女作". (in Chinese).
  7. ^ "Vanderbilt Sci-Fi Author Kat Zhang". Vanderbilt University. April 16, 2013.
  8. ^ "The Emperor's Riddle". GoodReads. Retrieved 12 August 2016.
  9. ^ "Rights report week of November 2 2015". Publisher's Weekly. Retrieved 3 July 2016.
  10. ^ a b "The Memory of Forgotten Things by Kat Zhang".
  11. ^ "Amy Wu and the Perfect Bao". Retrieved 2018-03-06.
  12. ^ Zhang, Kat (8 September 2018). "The emperor's riddle" – via Open WorldCat.
  13. ^ "The Emperor's Riddle".
  14. ^ James, Thea (13 September 2013). "Book Review: Once We Were by Kat Zhang". The Book Smugglers. Retrieved 8 June 2016.
  15. ^ Barisich, Justin (17 September 2013). "Kat Zhang - Once We Were - Book Review". BookPage. Retrieved 8 June 2016.
  16. ^ "BEA 2012: The YA and Middle-Grade Fiction Buzz". Publisher's Weekly. Retrieved 3 July 2016.
  17. ^ "What's Left of Me". Publisher's Weekly. Retrieved 3 July 2016.