Special Collections

Asian American Fiction K-12

Description: Explore the wide range of identities under the Asian/Pacific American umbrella with these K-12 books from the Asian/Pacific American Library Association's Literature Award and the National Education Association's Asian American Booklist. #kids #teens


Showing 1 through 25 of 62 results
 

1001 Cranes

by Naomi Hirahara

WHEN 12-YEAR-OLD ANGELA Kato arrives in L. A. , the last thing she wants to do is spend the entire summer with her grandparents. But in the Kato family, one is never permitted to complain. Grandma Michi and Aunt Janet put Angela to work in their flower shop, folding origami and creating 1001 crane displays for newlyweds. At first, Angela learns the trade begrudgingly. But when her folding skills improve and her relationships with family and friends grow, Angela is able to cope with her troubles, especially her parents’ impending divorce. From the Hardcover edition.

Date Added: 08/09/2017


Category: Middle Grade

Alvin Ho

by Lenore Look and Leuyen Pham

Here's the first book in the beloved and hilarious Alvin Ho chapter book series, which has been compared to Diary of a Wimpy Kid and is perfect for both beginning and reluctant readers. Alvin, an Asian American second grader, is afraid of everything--elevators, tunnels, girls, and, most of all, school. He's so afraid of school that, while he' s there, he never, ever, says a word. But at home he's a very loud superhero named Firecracker Man, a brother to Calvin and Anibelly, and a gentleman-in-training, so he can be just like his dad. From Lenore Look and New York Times bestselling illustrator Leuyen Pham comes a drop-dead-funny and touching series with a truly unforgettable character.

Date Added: 08/09/2017


Category: Children's

Amina's Voice

by Hena Khan

A Pakistani-American Muslim girl struggles to stay true to her family’s vibrant culture while simultaneously blending in at school after tragedy strikes her community in this sweet and moving middle grade novel from the award-winning author of It’s Ramadan, Curious George and Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns.

Amina has never been comfortable in the spotlight. She is happy just hanging out with her best friend, Soojin.

Except now that she’s in middle school everything feels different. Soojin is suddenly hanging out with Emily, one of the “cool” girls in the class, and even talking about changing her name to something more “American.”

Does Amina need to start changing too? Or hiding who she is to fit in?

While Amina grapples with these questions, she is devastated when her local mosque is vandalized.

Amina’s Voice brings to life the joys and challenges of a young Pakistani American and highlights the many ways in which one girl’s voice can help bring a diverse community together to love and support each other.

Date Added: 08/09/2017


Category: Middle Grade

Apple Pie Fourth Of July

by Janet S. Wong

No one wants Chinese food on the Fourth of July, I say. We're in apple-pie America, and my parents are cooking chow mein!. . . They just don't get it. Americans do not eat Chinese food on the Fourth of July. Right? Shocked that her parents are cooking Chinese food to sell in the family store on this all-American holiday, a feisty Chinese-American girl tries to tell her mother and father how things really are. But as the parade passes by and fireworks light the sky, she learns a lesson of her own. This award-winning author-illustrator team returns with a lighthearted look at the very American experience of mixed cultures.

Date Added: 08/09/2017


Category: Children's

Archer's Quest

by Linda Park

In Dorchester, New York, Kevin is doing his homework when suddenly an arrow comes out of nowhere and pins his baseball cap to the wall. The man who shot the arrow claims he fell off a tiger . . . and wound up in Kevin's room. It's not long before Kevin realizes that the man, who calls himself Chu-mong, or Great Archer, is no ordinary burglar, but a traveler from far away in both space and time.A visit to the local museum confirms that there was a king named Chu-mong in ancient Korea who was legendary for many accomplishments, including exceptional skill with bow and arrow. Kevin knows little about his own Korean heritage, but he understands that unless Archer returns to his people and his throne, history will be changed forever. And he's determined to help Archer go back, no matter what it takes.Award-winning novelist Linda Sue Park has created a funny and suspenseful adventure, incorporating intriguing bits of Korean history and lore, that will captivate even reluctant readers and will add to her audience of devoted fans. Author's note.

Date Added: 08/09/2017


Category: Middle Grade

The Astonishing Color of After

by Emily X.R. Pan

A stunning, heartbreaking debut novel about grief, love, and family, perfect for fans of Jandy Nelson and Celeste Ng.

Leigh Chen Sanders is absolutely certain about one thing: When her mother died by suicide, she turned into a bird.

Leigh, who is half Asian and half white, travels to Taiwan to meet her maternal grandparents for the first time. There, she is determined to find her mother, the bird. In her search, she winds up chasing after ghosts, uncovering family secrets, and forging a new relationship with her grandparents. And as she grieves, she must try to reconcile the fact that on the same day she kissed her best friend and longtime secret crush, Axel, her mother was taking her own life.

A New York Times Bestseller

Alternating between real and magic, past and present, friendship and romance, hope and despair, The Astonishing Color of After is a stunning and heartbreaking novel about finding oneself through family history, art, grief, and love.

Date Added: 04/24/2019


Category: Young Adult

Bamboo People

by Mitali Perkins

Narrated by two teenaged boys on opposing sides of the conflict between the Burmese government and the Karenni, one of Burma's many Ethnic minorities, this coming-of-age novel takes place against the political and military backdrop of modern-day Burma. Chiko isn't a fighter by nature. He's a book-loving Burmese boy whose father, a doctor, is in prison for resisting the government. Tu Reh, on the other hand, wants to fight for freedom after watching Burmese soldiers destroy his Karenni family's home and bamboo fields. Timidity becomes courage and anger becomes compassion when the boys' stories intersect.

Date Added: 08/09/2017


Category: Children's

Beacon Hill Boys

by Ken Mochizuki

In 1972 Seattle, a teenager in a Japanese American family struggles for his own identity, along with a group of three friends who share his anger and confusion.

Date Added: 08/09/2017


Category: Young Adult

Bee-bim Bop!

by Linda Sue Park

Bee-bim bop (the name translates as "mix-mix rice”) is a traditional Korean dish of rice topped, and then mixed, with meat and vegetables. In bouncy rhyming text, a hungry child tells about helping her mother make bee-bim bop: shopping, preparing ingredients, setting the table, and finally sitting down with her family to enjoy a favorite meal.

The energy and enthusiasm of the young narrator are conveyed in the whimsical illustrations, which bring details from the artist’s childhood in Korea to his depiction of a modern Korean American family. Even young readers who aren’t familiar with the dish will recognize the pride that comes from helping Mama, the fun of mixing ingredients together in a bowl, and the pleasure of sharing delicious food. Includes author’s own recipe.

Date Added: 04/24/2019


Category: Children's

Big Red Lollipop

by Rukhsana Khan

Ages 4 and up. RUBINA IS INVITED to her first ever birthday party! She can't wait for the games, cake, fun . . . and party favors. But her mom doesn't know what a birthday party is--it's new to her--and she insists that Rubina bring her little sister along. That isn't the way it's supposed to work, but Rubina has no choice. And it turns out that having pesky Sana at the party isn't nearly as bad as what she does afterward!

Date Added: 08/09/2017


Category: Children's

Blackbird Fly

by Erin Entrada Kelly and Betsy Peterschmidt

Future rock star, or friendless misfit? That's no choice at all. Apple Yengko moved from the Philippines to Louisiana when she was little, and now that she is in middle school, she grapples with being different, with friends and backstabbers, and with following her dreams. Apple has always felt a little different from her classmates. Her mother still cooks Filipino foods, speaks a mix of English and Cebuano, and chastises Apple for becoming "too American." It becomes unbearable in middle school, when the boys--the stupid, stupid boys--in Apple's class put her name on the Dog Log, the list of the most unpopular girls in school. When Apple's friends turn on her and everything about her life starts to seem weird and embarrassing, Apple turns to music. If she can just save enough to buy a guitar and learn to play, maybe she can change herself. It might be the music that saves her . . . or it might be her two new friends, who show how special she really is. Erin Entrada Kelly deftly brings Apple's conflicted emotions to the page in her debut novel about family, friendship, popularity, and going your own way.

Date Added: 08/09/2017


Category: Middle Grade

Bobby the Brave (Sometimes)

by Lisa Yee and Dan Santat

Bobby fights his fears -- of stage fright, disconnection from his dad, and the evil neighbor cat with twenty-seven toes -- in this hilarious sequel to BOBBY VS. GIRLS (ACCIDENTALLY).

In his last adventure, Bobby Ellis-Chan got stuck to a stinky tree, had underwear attached to his back, and faced down a whole wolfpack of girls. What could be scarier or more humiliating than that?

Oh, how about playing sports with his football-hero dad ... a cat with 27 toes ... an asthma attack in public ... dancing on stage in the school musical ...

And the list goes on! Bobby will have to overcome his fears if he's going to come out on top.

Date Added: 08/09/2017


Category: Middle Grade

Chengli and the Silk Road Caravan

by Hildi Kang

Chengli is an orphaned errand boy who lives in Chang'an China in 630 A.D. His mother has died from illness and his father is presumed dead after disappearing into the desert when Chengli was a baby.

Now thirteen, Chengli feels ready for independence. He is drawn to the desert, beckoned by the howling of strange winds and the hope of learning something about his father-who he was and how he died. Chengli joins a caravan to travel down the merchant route known as the Silk Road, but it is a dangerous life, as his father knew. The desert is harsh, and there are many bandits-bandits interested in Chengli's caravan because a princess, her servants, and royal guards are traveling with them. But the desert is full of amazing places and life-changing experiences, as the feisty princess learns the meaning of friendship and Chengli learns the heroism of which he is capable.

Date Added: 08/09/2017


Category: Children's

Drum Dream Girl

by Margarita Engle and Rafael López

Girls cannot be drummers. Long ago on an island filled with music, no one questioned that rule--until the drum dream girl. In her city of drumbeats, she dreamed of pounding tall congas and tapping small bongós. She had to keep quiet. She had to practice in secret. But when at last her dream-bright music was heard, everyone sang and danced and decided that both girls and boys should be free to drum and dream. Inspired by the childhood of Millo Castro Zaldarriaga, a Chinese-African-Cuban girl who broke Cuba's traditional taboo against female drummers, Drum Dream Girl tells an inspiring true story for dreamers everywhere.

Date Added: 08/09/2017


Category: Children's

Father's Chinese Opera

by Rich Lo

The Chinese opera is anything but boring. Songs, acrobatics, acting, and costumes make the opera a truly spectacular show to behold. Spending a summer backstage at his father's Chinese opera, a young boy is instantly enamored with the performers and works hard to be a part of the show. Rehearsing the moves day and night with the show's famous choreographer, the boy thinks he is soon ready to perform with the others. But the choreographer doesn't agree. In fact, he laughs at the boy when asked to join the others in the acrobatics part of the opera. Upset, the boy runs home to sulk. What will he do next? Will he give up, or will he persevere and work his way up in the show?

In an exotic and intriguing story that draws on author Rich Lo's personal life, and features his own bright, mesmerizing illustrations, Father's Chinese Opera teaches children about hard work, patience, and the commitment needed to achieve an important goal, while introducing them to an important part of Chinese culture.

Date Added: 08/09/2017


Category: Children's

The Firekeeper's Son

by Linda Sue Park

In Korea in the early 1800s, news from the countryside reached the king by means of signal fires. On one mountaintop after another, a fire was lit when all was well. If the king did not see a fire, that meant trouble, and he would send out his army. Linda Sue Park's first picture book for Clarion is about Sang-hee, son of the village firekeeper. When his father is unable to light the fire one night, young Sang-hee must take his place. Sang-hee knows how important it is for the fire to be lit-but he wishes that he could see soldiers . . . just once. Mountains, firelight and shadow, and Sunhee's struggle with a hard choice are rendered in radiant paintings, which tell their own story of a turning point in a child's life. Afterword.

Date Added: 08/09/2017


Category: Children's

Frankly in Love

by David Yoon

Two friends. One fake dating scheme. What could possibly go wrong?Frank Li has two names. There's Frank Li, his American name. Then there's Sung-Min Li, his Korean name. No one uses his Korean name, not even his parents. Frank barely speaks any Korean. He was born and raised in Southern California.

Even so, his parents still expect him to end up with a nice Korean girl--which is a problem, since Frank is finally dating the girl of his dreams: Brit Means. Brit, who is funny and nerdy just like him. Brit, who makes him laugh like no one else. Brit . . . who is white.

As Frank falls in love for the very first time, he's forced to confront the fact that while his parents sacrificed everything to raise him in the land of opportunity, their traditional expectations don't leave a lot of room for him to be a regular American teen. Desperate to be with Brit without his parents finding out, Frank turns to family friend Joy Song, who is in a similar bind.

Together, they come up with a plan to help each other and keep their parents off their backs. Frank thinks he's found the solution to all his problems, but when life throws him a curveball, he's left wondering whether he ever really knew anything about love—or himself—at all.

In this moving debut novel—featuring striking blue stained edges and beautiful original endpaper art by the author—David Yoon takes on the question of who am I? with a result that is humorous, heartfelt, and ultimately unforgettable.

A New York Times Bestseller

Date Added: 10/08/2019


Category: Young Adult

From Twinkle, with Love

by Sandhya Menon

Three starred reviews for this charming romantic comedy about an aspiring teen filmmaker who finds her voice and falls in love, from the New York Times bestselling author of When Dimple Met Rishi.

Aspiring filmmaker and wallflower Twinkle Mehra has stories she wants to tell and universes she wants to explore, if only the world would listen. So when fellow film geek Sahil Roy approaches her to direct a movie for the upcoming Summer Festival, Twinkle is all over it. The chance to publicly showcase her voice as a director? Dream come true. The fact that it gets her closer to her longtime crush, Neil Roy—a.k.a. Sahil’s twin brother? Dream come true x 2.

When mystery man “N” begins emailing her, Twinkle is sure it’s Neil, finally ready to begin their happily-ever-after. The only slightly inconvenient problem is that, in the course of movie-making, she’s fallen madly in love with the irresistibly adorkable Sahil.

Twinkle soon realizes that resistance is futile: The romance she’s got is not the one she’s scripted. But will it be enough?

Told through the letters Twinkle writes to her favorite female filmmakers, From Twinkle, with Love navigates big truths about friendship, family, and the unexpected places love can find you.

Date Added: 04/24/2019


Category: Young Adult

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?

Date Added: 04/24/2019


Category: Middle Grade

Full Cicada Moon

by Marilyn Hilton

Inside Out and Back Again meets One Crazy Summer and Brown Girl Dreaming in this novel-in-verse about fitting in and standing up for what’s right

It's 1969, and the Apollo 11 mission is getting ready to go to the moon. But for half-black, half-Japanese Mimi, moving to a predominantly white Vermont town is enough to make her feel alien. Suddenly, Mimi's appearance is all anyone notices.

She struggles to fit in with her classmates, even as she fights for her right to stand out by entering science competitions and joining Shop Class instead of Home Ec.

And even though teachers and neighbors balk at her mixed-race family and her refusals to conform, Mimi’s dreams of becoming an astronaut never fade—no matter how many times she’s told no.

This historical middle-grade novel is told in poems from Mimi's perspective over the course of one year in her new town, and shows readers that positive change can start with just one person speaking up.

Jane Addams Children’s Book Honors Winner

Date Added: 08/09/2017


Category: Children's

Geeks, Girls, and Secret Identities

by Mike Maihack and Mike Jung

A SUPER funny, SUPER fast-paced, SUPER debut! Vincent Wu is Captain Stupendous's No. 1 Fan, but even he has to admit that Captain Stupendous has been a little off lately. During Professor Mayhem's latest attack, Captain Stupendous barely made it out alive - although he did manage to save Vincent from a giant monster robot. It's Vincent's dream come true... until he finds out Captain Stupendous's secret identity: It's Polly Winnicott-Lee, the girl Vincent happens to have a crush on. Captain Stupendous's powers were recently transferred to Polly in a fluke accident, and so while she has all of his super strength and super speed, she doesn't know how to use them, and she definitely doesn't know all the strengths and weaknesses of his many nemeses. But Vincent and his friends are just the right fan club to train up their favorite superhero before he (she?) has to face Professor Mayhem again. And if they make it through this battle for the safety of Copperplate City, Vincent might just get up the courage to ask Polly on a date.

Date Added: 08/09/2017


Category: Middle Grade

Girl in Translation

by Jean Kwok

Introducing a fresh, exciting new voice, an inspiring debut about a Chinese immigrant girl forced to choose between two worlds and two futures.

When Kimberly Chang and her mother emigrate from Hong Kong to Brooklyn squalor, she quickly begins a secret double life: exceptional schoolgirl during the day, Chinatown sweatshop worker in the evenings. Disguising the more difficult truths of her life-like the staggering degree of her poverty, the weight of her family's future resting on her shoulders, or her secret love for a factory boy who shares none of her talent or ambition-Kimberly learns to constantly translate not just her language but herself back and forth between the worlds she straddles.

Through Kimberly's story, author Jean Kwok, who also emigrated from Hong Kong as a young girl, brings to the page the lives of countless immigrants who are caught between the pressure to succeed in America, their duty to their family, and their own personal desires, exposing a world that we rarely hear about. Written in an indelible voice that dramatizes the tensions of an immigrant girl growing up between two cultures, surrounded by a language and world only half understood, Girl in Translation is an unforgettable and classic American immigrant novel--a moving tale of hardship and triumph, heartbreak and love, and all that gets lost in translation.

Date Added: 08/09/2017


Category: Young Adult

Good Enough

by Paula Yoo

How to make your Korean parents happy:

1. Get a perfect score on the SATs.

2. Get into HarvardYalePrinceton.

3. Don't talk to boys.*

Patti's parents expect nothing less than the best from their Korean-American daughter. Everything she does affects her chances of getting into an Ivy League school. So winning assistant concertmaster in her All-State violin competition and earning less than 2300 on her SATs is simply not good enough.

But Patti's discovering that there's more to life than the Ivy League. To start with, there's Cute Trumpet Guy. He's funny, he's talented, and he looks exactly like the lead singer of Patti's favorite band. Then, of course, there's her love of the violin. Not to mention cool rock concerts. And anyway, what if Patti doesn't want to go to HarvardYalePrinceton after all?

Paula Yoo scores big in her hilarious debut novel about an overachiever who longs to fit in and strives to stand out. The pressure is on!

*Boys will distract you from your studies.

Date Added: 08/09/2017


Category: Young Adult

The Grand Plan to Fix Everything

by Uma Krishnaswami and Abigail Halpin

Rose petal milk shakes and a world of surprises awaits Dini when her family moves to India in this spirited novel with Bollywood flair.

Eleven-year old Dini loves movies--watching them, reading about them, trying to write her own--especially those oh-so-fabulous Bollywood movies where you don't need to know the language to get what's going on. But when her mother reveals some big news, it does not at all jibe with the script Dini had in mind. Her family is moving to India. And not even to Bombay, which is the "center of the filmi universe" (and home to Dini's all-time most favorite star, Dolly Singh). No, they're moving to a teeny, tiny town that she can't even find on a map: Swapnagiri. It means Dream Mountain, a sleepy little place where nothing interesting can happen....

But wait a movie minute! Swapnagiri is full of surprises like rose petal milk shakes, mischievous monkeys, a girl who chirps like a bird, and...could it be...Dolly herself?

Date Added: 08/09/2017


Category: Children's

The Great Wall of Lucy Wu

by Wendy Wan-Long Shang

A humorous and heartwarming debut about split cultural identities, and all the ways life fails to go according to plan for sixth-grader Lucy Wu.

Lucy Wu, aspiring basketball star and interior designer, is on the verge of having the best year of her life. She's ready to rule the school as a sixth grader, go out for captain of the school basketball team, and take over the bedroom she has always shared with her sister. In an instant, though, her plans are shattered when she finds out that Yi Po, her beloved grandmother's sister, is coming to visit for several months -- and is staying in Lucy's room.

Lucy's vision of a perfect year begins to crumble, and in its place come an unwelcome roommate, foiled birthday plans, a bully who tries to scare Lucy off the basketball team, and Chinese school with the annoying know-it-all Talent Chang. Lucy's year is ruined -- or is it?

A wonderfully funny, warm, and heartfelt tale about the ways life often reveals silver linings in the most unexpected of clouds.

Date Added: 08/09/2017


Category: Children's


Showing 1 through 25 of 62 results