If you're looking for more stories by Asian American and Pacific Islander creators check out these incredible audiobooks. Not only are they written by members of the AAPI community, they're also read by memebers of the AAPI community as well. Give them a listen today!
Just Be Cool, Jenna Sakai by Debbi Michiko Florence
Narrated by: Sophie Oda
When Jenna gets dumped over winter break, it confirms what she learned from her parents' messy divorce: Relationships are risky and only lead to disappointment. So even though she still has to see her ex-boyfriend Elliott at newspaper club, Jenna is going to be totally heartless this semester -- no boys, just books. But keeping her cool isn't always easy. Jenna's chief competition for a big journalism scholarship is none other than Elliott. Her best friend Keiko always seems busy with her own boyfriend. And cute-but-incredibly-annoying Rin Watanabe keeps stealing her booth at the diner she's been hiding at every day after school. Rin is every bit as stubborn and detached as Jenna. And the more Jenna gets to know him, the more intriguing a mystery he seems. Soon Jenna is starting to realize that being a loner is kind of, well, lonely. And letting people in might just be a risk worth taking.
Keep It Together, Keiko Carter by Debbi Michiko Florence
Seventh grade is supposed to be a game changer. And Keiko thinks she's got it covered, especially with Audrey and Jenna by her side to shop for a new look, pick out a prime lunch spot, and even hit up that cute new bubble tea place after school. Her trio is ready to tackle life as they always have...together.
But when Audrey decides they need boyfriends before Fall Ball, it looks like things may be changing in all the wrong ways. Jenna is sick of caving in to Audrey's demands, and soon Keiko's besties are barely talking, leaving her caught in the middle. While she's been dreaming about triple-dates, first kisses, and a boy she really shouldn't have a crush on, the friendship she's always thought was rock-solid is beginning to crumble.
Keiko feels pulled in two directions. Should she try to help her friends-even if it means losing one of them-or follow her heart? When it comes to flirting, friendships, and fallouts, how is Keiko supposed to keep it all together?
Barakah Beats by Maleeha Siddiqui
Narrated by: Salena Quereshi
Twelve-year-old Nimra Sharif has spent her whole life in Islamic school, but now it's time to go to "real school." Nimra's nervous, but as long as she has Jenna, her best friend who already goes to the public school, she figures she can take on just about anything. Unfortunately, middle school is hard. The teachers are mean, the schedule is confusing, and Jenna starts giving hijab-wearing Nimra the cold shoulder around the other kids. Desperate to fit in and get back in Jenna's good graces, Nimra accepts an unlikely invitation to join the school's popular 8th grade boy band, Barakah Beats. The only problem is, Nimra was taught that music isn't allowed in Islam, and she knows her parents would be disappointed if they found out. So she devises a simple plan: join the band, win Jenna back, then quietly drop out before her parents find out. But dropping out of the band proves harder than expected. Not only is her plan to get Jenna back working, but Nimra really likes hanging out with the band -- they value her contributions and respect how important her faith is to her. Then Barakah Beats signs up for a talent show to benefit refugees, and Nimra's lies start to unravel. With the show only a few weeks away and Jenna's friendship hanging in the balance, Nimra has to decide whether to betray her bandmates -- or herself.
Front Desk #2: Three Keys by Kelly Yang
Mia Tang thinks she's going to have the best year ever.
She and her parents are the proud owners of the Calivista Motel, Mia gets to run the front desk with her best friend, Lupe, and she's finally getting somewhere with her writing!
But as it turns out, sixth grade is no picnic...
1. Mia's new teacher doesn't think her writing is all that great. And her entire class finds out she lives and works in a motel!
2. The motel is struggling, and Mia has to answer to the Calivista's many, many worried investors.
3. A new immigration law is looming and if it passes, it will threaten everything -- and everyone -- in Mia's life.
It's a roller coaster of challenges, and Mia needs all of her determination to hang on tight. But if anyone can find the key to getting through turbulent times, it's Mia Tang!
Front Desk #3: Room to Dream by Kelly Yang
Narrated by: Sunny Lu
Mia Tang is going for her dreams! After years of hard work, Mia Tang finally gets to go on vacation with her family -- to China! A total dream come true! Mia can't wait to see all her cousins and grandparents again, especially her cousin Shen. As she roams around Beijing, witnessing some of the big changes China's going through, Mia thinks about the changes in her own life, like:
1. Lupe's taking classes at the high school! And Mia's own plans to be a big writer are . . . stuck.
2. Something happened with Jason and Mia has no idea what to do about it.
3. New buildings are popping up all around the motel, and small businesses are disappearing.
Can the Calivista survive? Buckle up! Mia is more determined than ever to get through the turbulence, now that she finally has . . . room to dream!
Last Gamer Standing by Katie Zhao
Narrated by: Sunny Lu
In a near-future society, gaming is everything! Professional esports teams are mainstream celebrities and kids begin training as young hopefuls aspiring for the big leagues.
Twelve-year-old Reyna Cheng is the up-and-coming junior amateur Dayhold gamer, competing in a VR battle royale against AI monsters and human players alike. But despite Reyna's rising popularity and skills, no one know who she is. Gaming is still a boy's club and to protect herself against trolls, she games as the mysterious TheRuiNar.
When Reyna qualifies for the Dayhold Junior Tournament sponsored by her favorite team, she knows she's got what it takes to win the championship title and the $10,000 prize.
But when she's blackmailed and threatened to be doxed, having her personal identity revealed, by an anonymous troll, Reyna will have to deal with a toxic gaming community, family complications, and the increasing pressure to win as the tournament gets underway.
Flying Over Water by N.H. Senzai & Shannon Hitchcock
Twelve-year-old Noura Alwan's family is granted asylum in the United States, after spending two years in a Turkish refugee camp, having fled war-torn Aleppo. They land in Tampa, Florida, on January 30, 2017, just days after the president restricted entry into the US from nations with a Muslim majority population.
Twelve-year-old Jordyn Johnson is a record-breaking swimmer, but hasn't swum well since her mom had a miscarriage during one of her meets. Her family has volunteered to help the Alwan family through their church. She knows very few people of Arab descent or who practice Islam.
The girls' lives intersect at Bayshore Middle School where Jordyn serves as the Alwan children's school ambassador. Noura knows that her family is safe from the civil unrest in her home country, but is not prepared for the adversity she now faces on American soil. Jordyn is sympathetic to Noura's situation, but there are other members of their Florida community who see the refugees' presence to be a threat to their way of life.While the president's Muslim ban tests the resolve and faith of many, it is friendship that stands strong against fear and hatred.
The Secret Battle of Evan Pao by Wendy Wan-Long Shang
Narrated by: Dylan J. Locke
Evan Pao is ready for a fresh start. He and his mom and sister have moved from California to Haddington, Virginia, for just that: to begin a new life outside the shadow of his dad's criminal activities. Here in Virginia, maybe they could escape the hostility and the sideways looks. Maybe he could just be Evan, again.
Only, it turns out that Evan is the only Chinese American kid in his class here, and nobody is going to let him forget it — especially not his new classmate Brady. In school, Evan finds himself facing a barrage of casual ignorance as well as Brady's bullying. But everything comes to a head when a violent incident forces Evan to confront what it means to stand out, what it means to stand up, and what it means to forgive.
Not Your All American Girl by Wendy Wan-Long & Madelyn Rosenberg
Lauren and her best friend, Tara, have always done absolutely everything together. So when they don't have any classes together in sixth grade, it's disastrous. The solution? Trying out for the school play. Lauren, who loves to sing, wonders if maybe, just maybe, she will be the star instead of Tara this time.
But when the show is cast, Lauren lands in the ensemble, while Tara scores the lead role. Their teacher explains: Lauren just doesn't look the part of the all-American girl. What audience would believe that she, half-Jewish, half-Chinese Lauren, was the everygirl star from Pleasant Valley, USA?
From amidst the ensemble, Lauren tries to support her best friend. But when she can't bring herself to sing anymore, her spot in the play and her friendship are in jeopardy. With the help of a button-making business, the music of Patsy Cline, and her two bickering grandmothers, can Lauren find her voice again?
The Crystal Ribbon by Celeste Lim
In the village of Huanan, in medieval China, the deity that rules is the Great Huli Jing. Though twelve-year-old Li Jing's name is a different character entirely from the Huli Jing, the sound is close enough to provide constant teasing-but maybe is also a source of greater destiny and power. Jing's life isn't easy. Her father is a poor tea farmer, and her family has come to the conclusion that in order for everyone to survive, Jing must be sacrificed for the common good. She is sold as a bride to the Koh family, where she will be the wife and nursemaid to their three-year-old son, Ju'nan. It's not fair, and Jing feels this bitterly, especially when she is treated poorly by the Koh's, and sold yet again into a worse situation that leads Jing to believe her only option is to run away, and find home again. With the help of a spider who weaves Jing a means to escape, and a nightingale who helps her find her way, Jing embarks on a quest back to Huanan--and to herself.
Kiranmala and the Kingdom Beyond #1: The Serpent's Secret by Sayantani DasGupta
On the morning of her twelfth birthday, Kiranmala is just a regular sixth grader living in Parsippany, New Jersey . . . until her parents mysteriously vanish and a drooling rakkhosh demon slams through her kitchen, determined to eat her alive. Turns out there might be some truth to her parents' fantastical stories-like how Kiranmala is a real Indian princess and how she comes from a secret place not of this world.
To complicate matters, two crush-worthy princes ring her doorbell, insisting they've come to rescue her. Suddenly, Kiran is swept into another dimension full of magic, winged horses, moving maps, and annoying, talking birds. There she must solve riddles and battle demons all while avoiding the Serpent King of the underworld and the Rakkhoshi Queen in order to find her parents and basically save New Jersey, her entire world, and everything beyond it . . .
Kiranmala and the Kingdom Beyond #2: Game of Stars by Sayantani DasGupta
When the Demon Queen shows up in her bedroom, smelling of acid and surrounded by evil-looking bees, twelve-year-old Kiranmala is uninterested. After all, it's been weeks since she last heard from her friends in the Kingdom Beyond, the alternate dimension where she was born as an Indian princess. But after a call to action over an interdimensional television station and a visit with some all-seeing birds, Kiran decides that she has to once again return to her homeland, where society is fraying, a terrible game show reigns supreme, and friends and foes alike are in danger. Everyone is running scared or imprisoned following the enactment of sudden and unfair rules of law.
However, things are a lot less clear than the last time she was in the Kingdom Beyond. Kiran must once again solve riddles and battle her evil Serpent King father -- all while figuring out who her true friends are, and what it really means to be a hero.
Kiranmala and the Kingdom Beyond #3: The Chaos Curse by Sayantani DasGupta
Kiranmala must leave the Kingdom Beyond and travel to her hometown of Parsippany to save Prince Lal, who has been spirited to the unlikeliest of places -- a tree in the yard of her best-enemy-for-life. She also faces evil serpents (of course!), plus a frightening prophecy about her role in the coming conflict between good and evil. Most troubling of all, though, is the way reality all around her seems to waver and flicker at odd moments. Could it be that the Anti-Chaos Committee's efforts are causing a dangerous disruption in the multiverse?
Kiran must grapple with the increasingly tangled threads that threaten to ensnare her...and everyone in the world and the Kingdom Beyond.
Force of Fire by Sayantani DasGupta
Narrated by: Ulka Simone Mohanty
From New York Times bestselling author Sayantani DasGupta comes the story of a demon who must embrace her bad to serve the greater good. Pinki hails from a long line of rakkhosh resisters, demons who have spent years building interspecies relationships, working together to achieve their goal of overthrowing the snakey oppressors and taking back their rights. But she has more important things to worry about, like maintaining her status as fiercest rakkhosh in her class and looking after her little cousins. There is also the teeny tiny detail of not yet being able to control her fire breathing and accidentally burning up school property.
Debating Darcy by Sayantani DasGupta
Narrated by: Deepa Samuel
It is a truth universally acknowledged that there are two types of people in the hypercompetitive world of high school forensics competitions: speakers and debaters. Nobody knows this better than Leela Bose, a life-long speech competitor. When she meets Firoze Darcy, an incorrigible debater, Leela has no choice but to try and tolerate him. His elitist private school is included in the state league she’s competing in and their paths will inevitably cross. But why simply tolerate Firoze when Leela can one-up him? She decides to switch into the debate category of the competition to prove that women are just as capable as men. But the situation is more complicated than Leela anticipated, and her participation in the tournament reveals that she might have tragically misjudged the debaters in the forensics league — including Firoze Darcy. Leela will have to confront her assumptions, not only about other people, but about herself, if she’s to have any hope of deciphering her complicated feelings for Darcy or succeeding in the forensics competition.
The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali by Sabina Khan
Seventeen-year-old Rukhsana Ali tries her hardest to live up to her conservative Muslim parents' expectations, but lately she's finding that impossible to do. She rolls her eyes when they blatantly favor her brother and saves her crop tops and makeup for parties her parents don't know about. Luckily, only a few more months stand between her carefully monitored life in Seattle and her new life at Caltech. But when her parents catch her kissing her girlfriend Ariana, all of Rukhsana's plans fall apart.
Her parents are devastated and decide to whisk Rukhsana off to Bangladesh, where she is thrown headfirst into a world of arranged marriages and tradition. Through reading her grandmother's old diary, Rukhsana gains some much-needed perspective and realizes she must find the courage to fight for her love without losing the connection to her family as a consequence.
Zara Hossain is Here by Sabina Khan
Seventeen-year-old Pakistani immigrant, Zara Hossain, has been leading a fairly typical life in Corpus Christi, Texas, since her family moved there for her father to work as a pediatrician. While dealing with the Islamophobia that she faces at school, Zara has to lay low, trying not to stir up any trouble and jeopardize their family's dependent visa status while they await their green card approval, which has been in process for almost nine years.
But one day her tormentor, star football player Tyler Benson, takes things too far, leaving a threatening note in her locker, and gets suspended. As an act of revenge against her for speaking out, Tyler and his friends vandalize Zara's house with racist graffiti, leading to a violent crime that puts Zara's entire future at risk. Now she must pay the ultimate price and choose between fighting to stay in the only place she's ever called home or losing the life she loves and everyone in it.
K-Pop Revolution by Stephan Lee
Narrated by: Joy Osmanski
She thought that debuting in a K-Pop band was the finish line, but it was only the beginning. Because now it’s not only her company judging her—it’s the entire world. If K-Pop Confidential was about finding your voice, K-Pop Revolution is about finding the courage to stand by your beliefs, even when powerful forces are trying to shame and silence you.
The Surprising Power of a Good Dumpling by Wai Chim
Anna Chiu has her hands full. When she's not looking after her brother and sister or helping out at her father's restaurant, she's taking care of her mother, whose debilitating mental illness keeps her in bed most days. Her father's new delivery boy, Rory, is a welcome distraction and even though she knows that things aren't right at home, she's starting to feel like she could be a normal teen.
But when her mother finally gets out of bed, things go from bad to worse. And as her mother's condition worsens, Anna and her family question everything they understand about themselves and each other.
The Surprising Power of a Good Dumpling is a heart-wrenching, true-to-life exploration through the often neglected crevices of culture, mental illness, and family. Its strong themes are balanced by a beautiful romance making it a feel-good, yet important listen.
The Candle and the Flame by Nafiza Azad
Fatima lives in the city of Noor, a thriving stop along the Silk Road. There the music of myriad languages fills the air, and people of all faiths weave their lives together. However, the city bears scars of its recent past, when the chaotic tribe of Shayateen djinn slaughtered its entire population -- except for Fatima and two other humans. Now ruled by a new maharajah, Noor is protected from the Shayateen by the Ifrit, djinn of order and reason, and by their commander, Zulfikar.
But when one of the most potent of the Ifrit dies, Fatima is changed in ways she cannot fathom, ways that scare even those who love her. Oud in hand, Fatima is drawn into the intrigues of the maharajah and his sister, the affairs of Zulfikar and the djinn, and the dangers of a magical battlefield.
Freedom Swimmer by Wai Chim
Narrated by: Telly Leung
This incredible story about two boys' swim from mainland China to Hong Kong in search of freedom from poverty and oppression is inspired by a true story.
Ming survived the famine that killed his parents during China's 'Great Leap Forward', and lives a hard but adequate life, working in the fields. When a group of city boys comes to the village as part of a Communist Party re-education program, Ming and his friends aren't sure what to make of the new arrivals. They're not used to hard labor and village life. But despite his reservations, Ming befriends a charming city boy called Li. The two couldn't be more different, but slowly they form a bond over evening swims and shared dreams.
But as the bitterness of life under the Party begins to take its toll on both boys, they begin to imagine the impossible: freedom.
Girl Under a Red Moon by Da Chen
In a small village called Yellow Stone, in southeastern China, Sisi is a model sister, daughter, and student. She brews tea for her grandfather in the morning, leads recitations at school as class monitor, and helps care for her youngest brother, Da.
But when students are selected during a school ceremony to join the prestigious Red Guard, Sisi is passed over. Worse, she is shamed for her family's past -- they are former landowners who have no place in the new Communist order. Her only escape is to find work at another school, bringing Da along with her. But the siblings find new threats in Bridge Town, too, and Sisi will face choices between family and nation, between safety and justice. With the tide of the Cultural Revolution rising, Sisi must decide if she will swim against the current, or get swept up in the wave.
Damselfly by Chandra Prasad
In the wake of crash-landing on a deserted tropical island, a group of private-school teens must rely on their wits and one another to survive.
Having just survived a plane crash, Samantha Mishra finds herself isolated and injured in the thick of the jungle. She has no idea where she is or where anybody else is -- she doesn't even know if anybody else is alive. Once Sam connects with her best friend, Mel, and they locate the others, they set up camp and hope for rescue. But as the days pass, the survivors, all teammates on the Drake Rosemont fencing team, realize that they're on their own -- with the exception of a mysterious presence who taunts and threatens them. When their initial attempts to escape the island fail, the teens find they need to survive more than the jungle . . . they need to survive each other.
Caster by Elsie Chapman
Aza Wu knows that real magic is dangerous and illegal. After all, casting killed her sister, Shire. As with all magic, everything comes at a price. For Aza, it feels like everything in her life has some kind of cost attached to it. Her sister had been casting for money to pay off Saint Willow, the gang leader that oversees her sector of Lotusland. If you want to operate a business there, you have to pay your tribute. And now with Shire dead, Aza must step in to save the legacy of Wu Teas, the teahouse that has been in her family for centuries.
When Aza comes across a secret invitation, she decides she doesn't have much else to lose. She quickly realizes that she's entered herself into an underground casting tournament, and the stakes couldn't be higher. Real magic, real consequences. As she competes, Aza fights for her life against some very strong and devious competitors.
When the facts about Shire's death don't add up, the police start to investigate. When the tributes to Saint Willow aren't paid, the gang comes to collect. When Aza is caught sneaking around with fresh casting wounds, her parents are alarmed. As Aza's dangerous web of lies continues to grow, she is caught between trying to find a way out and trapping herself permanently.
Spell Starter by Elsie Chapman
Yes, Aza Wu now has magic back. But like all things in her life, it has come at a great cost. After the tournament, Aza is able to pay off her parents' debt to Saint Willow. Unfortunately, the cost of the gathering spell she used to strip Finch of his magic has put her permanently in the employ of the gang leader. Aza has been doing little errands using real magic -- collecting debts, putting the squeeze on new businesses in the district. But that had never been the plan. Saint Willow is nothing if not ambitious and having Aza as a fighter is much more lucrative than as a fixer. Especially if she can control the outcome. Aza is going to have to put it all on the line again to get out of this situation!