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Asian and Asian American Fiction for Middle Grade and YA Readers

Fiction books that have Asians or Asian Americans as lead characters. 

Middle Grade Titles

Cover of The Boys in the Back Row
Mike
Jung

Best friends Matt and Eric are hatching a plan for one big final adventure together before Eric moves away: during the marching band competition at a Giant Amusement Park, they will sneak away to a nearby comics convention and meet their idol-a famous comic creator.

Cover of The Fallen Hero (Dragon Wa
Katie
Zhao

Determined to prevent the war her brother Alex is provoking, twelve-year-old Faryn Liu and her half-dragon friend, Ren, seek help from the New Order, warriors based in Manhattan's Chinatown, and from the Monkey King.

Cover of Girl Giant and the Monkey
Van
Hoang

Eleven-year-old Thom Ngho is keeping a secret: she's strong. Like suuuuper strong and it's making it impossible for her to fit in at her new middle school. Soon Thom is swept up in an ancient and fantastical world where demons, dragons, and Jade princesses actually exist.

Cover of Lupe Wong Won’t Dance
Donna Barba
Higuera

Lupe needs an A in all her classes in order to meet her favorite pitcher, Fu Li Hernandez, who's Chinacan/Mexinese just like her.  But when square dancing is the unit for gym class she can't fathom doing it and puts up an anti-square dance fight.

Cover of Peter Lee’s Notes from t
Angela
Ahn

Eleven year-old Peter Lee has one goal in life: to become a paleontologist. Okay, maybe two: to get his genius kid-sister, L.B., to leave him alone. But his summer falls apart when his real-life dinosaur expedition turns out to be a bust, and he watches his dreams go up in a cloud of asthma-inducing dust.

Cover of Strong as Fire, Fierce as
Supriya
Kelkar

In 1857 India, 12-year-old Meera escapes a life she has no say in--and certain death on her husband's funeral pyre--only to end up a servant to a British general in the East India Company. When a rebellion against British colonizers spreads, she must choose between relative safety in a British household or standing up for herself and her people.

Cover of Soul Lanterns
Shaw
Kuzki

Twelve-year-old Nozomi's understanding of the bombing of Hiroshima in 1945 is transformed when she learns how those she knows and loves were affected by the event. Translation of 光のうつしえ : 廣島ヒロシマ広島 . 

Cover of Three Keys (A Front Desk N
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.

Cover of The Unexplainable Disappea
Sheela
Chari

Based on the Peabody Award-winning podcast, this tech-filled adventure series pits intrepid Mars Patel and his outcast friends against a brilliant, enigmatic billionaire as they race to figure out why kids are disappearing from their school.

Cover of Unsettled
Reem
Faruqui

Young Nurah reluctantly moves with her family from Karachi, Pakistan, to Peachtree City, Georgia, but, after some ups and downs, begins to feel at home.

Cover of A Wish in the Dark
Christina
Soontornvat

Set in a Thai-inspired fantasy world, this is a twist on Victor Hugo's Les Misâerables as a dazzling, fast-paced adventure that explores the difference between law and justice -- and asks whether one child can shine a light in the dark.

YA Titles

Cover of Finding My Voice
Marie
Myung-Ok Lee

As she tries to enjoy her senior year and choose which college she will attend, Korean American Ellen Sung must deal with the prejudice of some of her classmates and pressure from her parents to get good grades. A groundbreaking Own Voices YA classic originally published in 1992.

Cover of The Knockout
Sajni
Patel

Kareena Thakkar's world is turned upside down when she learns she's landed an invitation to the US Open, which could lead to a spot on the first-ever Muay Thai Olympics team. To make it to the US Open, she has to come clean about being a Muay Thai fighter--a sport that her traditional Indian community deems too violent for girls--and own her destiny.

Cover of Last Night at the Telegrap
Malindo
Lo

America in 1954 is not a safe place for two girls to fall in love, especially not in Chinatown. Red-Scare paranoia threatens everyone, including Chinese Americans like Lily. With deportation looming over her father--despite his hard-won citizenship--Lily and Kath risk everything to let their love see the light of day.

Cover of Luck of the Titanic
Stacey
Lee

After smuggling herself onto the RMS Titanic, British-Chinese teenager Valora Luck reunites with her twin brother and tries to convince him that their acrobatic training could be their ticket to a better life.

Cover of Misfit in Love
S.K.
Ali

Janna Yusuf and her friends are planning for her brother's nikah. But what started as a simple marriage ceremony is turning into the biggest event of the summer-and a chance for Janna to finally reveal her crush...or so she thinks.

Cover of More Than Just a Pretty Fa
Syed M.
Masood

When self-proclaimed 'not very bright' nineteen-year-old Danyal Jilani is chosen for a prestigious academic contest, he hopes to impress a potential arranged marriage match, only to begin falling for the girl helping him study instead.

Cover of My Heart Underwater
Laurel Flores
Fantauzzo

After an accident leaves her dad comatose, Cory Tagubio feels like Ms. Holden is the only person who really understands her. But when a crush turns into something more and the secret gets out, Cory is sent to her relatives in Manila. She's not prepared to face strangers in an unfamiliar place, but she discovers how the country that shaped her past might also redefine her future.

Cover of Radha and Jai’s Recipe f
Nisha
Sharma

Told in two voices, teens Radha and Jai, seniors at a New Jersey performing arts high school, reignite their passion for dance and find strength in one another to pursue their dreams.

Cover of Rise of the Red Hand (The
Olivia
Chadha

A streetrat turned revolutionary and the disillusioned hacker son of a politician try to take down a ruthlessly technocratic government that sacrifices its poorest citizens to build its utopia. A rare, searing portrayal of the future of climate change in South Asia.

Cover of Super Fake Love Song
David
Yoon

When new-girl Cirrus mistakes self-described nerd Sunny Dae as the lead in a rock band, Sunny rolls with it forming a fake band with his friends, but as the lies continue he risks losing both Cirrus and his friends.

Cover of This Light Between Us: A N
Andrew
Fukuda

In 1935, ten-year-old Alex Maki of Bainbridge Island, Washington, is horrified to discover that his new pen pal, Charlie Lâevy of Paris, France, is a girl, but in spite of his initial reluctance, their letters continue over the years and they fight for their friendship even as Charlie endures the Nazi occupation and Alex leaves his family in an internment camp and joins the Army.