Celebrate AAPI Heritage Month!

Sara Conway  //  Apr 26, 2022

Celebrate AAPI Heritage Month!

Scholastic is celebrating Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month with Celebrate AAPI Month, a campaign spanning across all of May. Celebrate AAPI Month is dedicated to showcasing books that center AAPI lives with stories that will resonate far beyond a single month of the year. Check out the 15 featured titles, and be sure to follow us on social media for more AAPI Heritage Month content!

Wishes by Mượn Thị Văn and illustrated by Victo Ngai

Wishes tells the powerful, honest story about one Vietnamese family's search for a new home on the other side of the world, and the long-lasting and powerful impact that makes on one of the youngest members of the family. Inspired by actual events in the author's life, this is a narrative that is both timely and timeless. Told through the eyes of a young girl, the story chronicles a family's difficult and powerful journey to pack up what they can carry and to leave their world behind, traveling to a new and unknown place in a crowded boat. With sparse, poetic, and lyrical text from acclaimed author Mượn Thị Văn, thoughtful back matter about the author's connection to the story, and luminous, stunning illustrations from Forbes 30 Under 30 honoree Victo Ngai, Wishes tells a powerful and timely story in a gentle and approachable way for young children and their families.

Room to Dream (Front Desk #3) by Kelly Yang

New York Times bestselling author Kelly Yang is back with another heartwarming and inspiring story of Mia and friends!

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!

Barakah Beats by Maleeha Siddiqui

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.

Last Gamer Standing by Katie Zhao 

In twelve-year-old Reyna Cheng's world, gaming is everything. Professional esports teams are the mainstream celebrities. Kids begin training from a young age, aspiring for the big leagues.

Reyna is the up-and-coming junior amateur Dayhold gamer, competing in a VR battle royale against AI monsters and human players. But despite Reyna's rising popularity and skills, no one knows who she is. Gaming is still a boys' club and to protect herself against trolls and their harassment, she games the mysterious TheRuiNar.

When Reyna qualifies for the Dayhold Junior Tournament, she knows she's got what it takes to win the championship title and the $10,000 prize. It's a chance to make a step forward towards her professional esports dreams and to help her family with the costs of her mother's hospital bills.

But when she's blackmailed and threatened to be doxed by an anonymous troll, Reyna has to confront the toxic gaming community head-on.

With her dreams and the cash prize on the line, it's game on!

Freedom Swimmer by Wai Chim

A powerful story of friendship, bravery, and a desperate bid for freedom, inspired by true events.

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.

Debating Darcy by Sayantani DasGupta

It is a truth universally acknowledged that Leela Bose plays to win.

A life-long speech competitor, Leela loves nothing more than crushing the competition, all while wearing a smile. But when she meets the incorrigible Firoze Darcy, a debater from an elitist private school, Leela can’t stand him. Unfortunately, he’ll be competing in the state league, so their paths are set to collide.

But why attempt to tolerate Firoze when Leela can one-up him? The situation is more complicated than Leela anticipated, though, and her participation in the tournament reveals that she might have tragically misjudged the debaters—including Firoze Darcy—and more than just her own winning streak is at stake…her heart is, too.

Debating Darcy is bestselling author Sayantani DasGupta’s reinterpretation of beloved classic Pride and Prejudice—imaginative, hilarious, thought-provoking, and truly reflective of the complex, diverse world of American high school culture.

K-Pop Revolution by Stephan Lee

In the sequel to K-Pop Confidential, Candace is a Rookie idol. Her life is suddenly filled with the fans, cameras, and glamor of stardom: She and her boyfriend, YoungBae, are a K-Pop power couple; she’s a walking icon at Brandt Foreign School; and her new girl group, known simply as THE GIRLS, is poised to break records across the industry. With her status as the industry’s K-Pop Warrior, she has all the clout at her disposal to make waves. Right?

Her label, S.A.Y., promises to help make the sweeping changes for the industry to become a more humane and compassionate place for artists. But what will happen when the road to a record-breaking debut isn’t as smooth as they’d planned? When a rival girl group emerges to steal the spotlight, carrying the message of change better than Candace ever could, she’ll have to decide what it’ll cost her and her bandmates to stand up for their beliefs. And as the world turns against her, with online bullies scrutinizing her every word, there’s only so much that one person can take.

From the top of the world to the brink of disaster, Candace is going to have to figure out why the world is out to get her. And she’s not going to be able to do it alone.

How far does one girl need to be pushed to start a K-Pop Revolution?

The Dragon Path: A Graphic Novel by Ethan Young

In this action-adventure fantasy, young Prince Sing must overcome monstrous obstacles to help his clan return to their homeland.

The Wong Clan must leave their ruined homeland for a better life in the mythical Old Land, but to get there they must follow the dragon path, where their sworn enemies, the Dragon Tribe, rule. During a surprise attack, Prince Sing is separated from his clan. With the help of Ming, a powerful mystic from the Old Land, and Midnight, a monstrous warrior beast, Prince Sing must do all he can to save both his family and the Dragon Tribe from mutual destruction.

The Rice in the Pot Goes Round and Round by Wendy Wan-Long Shang & Lorian Tu

The rice in the pot goes round and round,

Round and round, round and round,

The rice in the pot goes round and round

At the table where my family gathers round...

Slurp noodles, squish tofu, tap chopsticks, and sing along to this familiar tune! Dinner at this table means delicious food, laughter, and, most of all, love.

Rhythmic text from The Great Wall of Lucy Wu author and Asian/Pacific American Library Association Award winner Wendy Wan-Long Shang, and vibrant, playful illustrations from artist Lorian Tu bring this heartwarming, mouth-watering story to life. Informative back matter includes a food glossary and etiquette guidelines that are sure to delight and engage young readers.

Lala's Words by Gracey Zhang

From debut author-illustrator and the 2022 Ezra Jack Keats Illustrator Award winner Gracey Zhang comes a timeless and timely picture book that celebrates the unassuming power of kind words.

Oh, there goes Lala! She carries a pot of water around the corner, down the block, and over the fence, to a patch of dirt and concrete where tiny weeds sprout. "Hello, hello, friends!" she whispers. Lala waters the plants every day, but it is her kind words that make them sway and nod.

Lala's wild nature and quiet compassion enchant in this evergreen story about the power of kind words and the magic of being loved for who you are.

Ms. Marvel: Stretched Thin (Orginal Graphic Novel) by Nadia Shammas and illustrated by Nabi H. Ali

Kamala Khan (a.k.a Ms. Marvel) is stretched too thin-literally. She's having a hard time balancing schoolwork with being a good friend, being there for her family, becoming the best fanfic writer this side of the Hudson River ... and, you know, becoming a Super Hero. She's tired and just barely keeping control, BUT she's handling it. Totally.

But when a mysterious robot tries to infiltrate Avengers Tower, it'll be up to Ms. Marvel to (again, literally) pull herself together, learn to ask for help, and fix the mess she's made before anyone gets hurt!

The Aquanaut by Dan Santat

Dive in to this whimsically adventurous graphic novel from Caldecott Medalist Dan Santat!

Ever since her father was lost at sea, Sophia has been moping around Aqualand, the marine theme park her dad and uncle created. But Sophia's world is turned upside down when an "aquanaut" breaks into the park's research lab.

To her amazement, Sophia discovers that the aquanaut is not what it seems—inside lives a band of four goofy sea creatures! And when they all realize that Aqualand has evolved into something much darker than Sophia's dad had envisioned, Sophia is determined to help the aquanaut crew free the park's captive marine life before it's too late.

Just Be Cool, Jenna Sakai by Debbi Michiko Florence

When Jenna Sakai 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.

Save Me A Seat by Gita Varadarajan

Joe and Ravi might be from very different places, but they're both stuck in the same place: SCHOOL. Joe's lived in the same town all his life, and was doing just fine until his best friends moved away and left him on his own. Ravi's family just moved to America from India, and he's finding it pretty hard to figure out where he fits in.Joe and Ravi don't think they have anything in common—but soon enough they have a common enemy (the biggest bully in their class) and a common mission: to take control of their lives over the course of a single crazy week.

Not Your All-American Girl by Wendy Wan-Long Shang and 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?

 

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