Books by Asian & Pacific Islander Americans to Read All Year

Guest Blogger  //  May 13, 2020

Books by Asian & Pacific Islander Americans to Read All Year

Did you know that May is Asian and Pacific Islander American Heritage Month? To celebrate, we’re sharing some of our favorite books by Asian and Pacific Islander Americans that you should read this month and all year long!

My Lucky Little Dragon by Joyce Wan

Whether your child is a happy little horsey, a snuggly little lamb, or a brave little tiger, My Lucky Little Dragon will have every parent saying, "Baby, I'm so lucky to have you!"

From the creator of the scrumptious You Are My Cupcake, Joyce Wan's new board book with bright colors, bold illustrations, and a mirror in the last page is a perfect read-aloud for the little dragon in your life.

Rabbit Moon by Jean Kim

Bedtime wishes take flight on paper airplanes, traveling all the way to the moon. There Rabbit gathers the night's haul, grinds the wishes into stardust, and fills the sky with their starlight. It is a beautiful sight to behold, but lonely work. So one night, Rabbit takes a wish and makes it float down to earth; when it comes true, he makes new friends and the star work takes a back seat to some well-earned fun. But as each day fades, so do the night stars. And with the first starless sky, Rabbit realizes it's time to make the journey home. It is a sad departure, but Rabbit's friends make one last wish, and send an astronomical gift.

Will Bear Share? by Hilary Leung

Meet Bear. Bear has so much to give, but will she share? Find out in this surprising and memorable storybook all about friendship, compromise, and of course, sharing.

A fresh and funny book in a new series of animal question stories by creative talent Hilary Leung that will keep little ones laughing, and sharing (when it's appropriate!).

Be Curious! by Joy Cho; Art by Angie Stalker

Follow one happy cat as she goes on a sensory adventure full of animal friends, joy, and of course — curiosity! This book's simple, rhyming text fosters parent-child interactions and read-aloud fun. Detailed and adorable illustrations with exploratory interactive lift-the-flaps and peek-through holes ensure that little ones stay engaged and curious as they laugh, explore, and read this story!

Amulet Series by Kazu Kibuishi

After the tragic death of their father, Emily and Navin move with their mother to the home of her deceased great-grandfather, but the strange house proves to be dangerous. Before long, a sinister creature lures the kids' mom through a door in the basement. Em and Navin, desperate not to lose her, follow her into an underground world inhabited by demons, robots, and talking animals.

Eventually, they enlist the help of a small mechanical rabbit named Miskit. Together with Miskit, they face the most terrifying monster of all, and Em finally has the chance to save someone she loves.

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?

Front Desk by Kelly Yang

Mia Tang has a lot of secrets.

Number 1: She lives in a motel, not a big house. Every day, while her immigrant parents clean the rooms, ten-year-old Mia manages the front desk of the Calivista Motel and tends to its guests.

Number 2: Her parents hide immigrants. And if the mean motel owner, Mr. Yao, finds out they've been letting them stay in the empty rooms for free, the Tangs will be doomed.

Number 3: She wants to be a writer. But how can she when her mom thinks she should stick to math because English is not her first language?

It will take all of Mia's courage, kindness, and hard work to get through this year. Will she be able to hold on to her job, help the immigrants and guests, escape Mr. Yao, and go for her dreams?

Kiranmala and the Kingdom Beyond Series 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. It turns out that there might be some truth to her parents' fantastical stories — for example, that Kiranmala is a real Indian princess who 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, essentially, to save New Jersey, as well as her entire world and everything beyond it.

Diary of an Ice Princess Series by Christina Soontornvat

Princess Lina has a life any kid would envy. She lives in a massive palace in the clouds. Everyone in her family has the power to control the wind and weather. On a good day, she can even fly! She loves making lemons into lemon ice, riding wind gusts around the sky, and turning her bedroom into a real life snow globe.

There's just one thing Lina wants: to go to regular, non-magical school with her best friend Claudia. She promises to keep the icy family secret under wraps. What could go wrong? (EVERYTHING!)

I Love You So Mochi by Sarah Kuhn

Kimi Nakamura loves a good fashion statement. She's obsessed with transforming everyday ephemera into Kimi Originals: bold outfits that make her and her friends feel brave, fabulous, and like the Ultimate versions of themselves. But her mother sees this as a distraction from working on her portfolio paintings for the prestigious fine art academy where she's been accepted for college. So when a surprise letter comes in the mail from Kimi's estranged grandparents, inviting her to Kyoto for spring break, she seizes the opportunity to get away from the disaster of her life. When she arrives in Japan, she loses herself in Kyoto's outdoor markets, art installations, and cherry blossom festival — and meets Akira, a cute med student who moonlights as a costumed mochi mascot. What begins as a trip to escape her problems quickly becomes a way for Kimi to learn more about the mother she left behind, and to figure out where her own heart lies.

The Love & 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 favour her brother and saves her crop tops and makeup for parties her parents don't know about. If she can just hold out another few months, Rukhsana will be out of her familial home and away from her parents' ever-watchful eyes at Caltech, a place where she thinks she can finally be herself. But when she is caught kissing her girlfriend Ariana, her devastated parents take Rukhsana to Bangladesh, where everything she had been planning is out of reach. There, immersed in a world of tradition and arranged marriages, Rukhsana finds the perspective she's been looking for in her grandmother's old diary. The only question left for her to answer is: Can she fight for the life she wants without losing her family in the process?