Back to top

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 Berani

This story spins together three perspectives: Malia, who is prepared to risk anything for her activism, Ari, who knows the right path but fears what it will cost, and Ginger Juice, the caged orangutan who still remembers the forest and her mother. The choices the young people make will have consequences for themselves, for Ginger Juice, and for others.

Cover of The Chaos Monster (Secrets

When 10-year-old Kinjal hears a strange noise in the middle of the night, he grabs his twin sister Kiya and the two go searching in the forest. There, they find Snowy and Midnight, two winged pakkhiraj horses from the Kingdom Beyond Seven Oceans and Thirteen Rivers who have come to this dimension to seek help: bees are disappearing, along with the nectar the pakkhiraj horses need to survive.

Cover of Grounded
Aisha Saeed, SK Ali, Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow and
Huda Al-Marashi

Told in alternating points of view, at Hurston Airport, four unlikely kids' lives are changed forever when their flight is grounded by weather following a Muslim convention.

Cover of Lei and the Fire Goddess

Twelve-year-old Anna must dig deep into her Hawaiian roots in order to save her best friend and her island from an angry fire goddess.

Cover of Mirror to Mirror

Unable to find their rhythm, once-close twin sisters Maya and Chaya make a bet: they'll switch places at summer camp and whoever can keep the ruse going the longest will get to make a life-changing decision, which isn't as easy as it sounds.

Cover of Shakti
Nabi H. Ali

When the three meanest girls in school start casting spells, 12-year-old Shakti draws on ancient Indian magic to stop them but instead curses the entire town and must harness her own strength, power and empathy to save those she loves and end the hate.

Cover of Stories of the Islands

Journey into a land of magic and powerful girls in this feminist graphic novel retelling of three Indonesian folktales, lushly reimagined by a debut author-illustrator. In this collection, the girls are the ones with power. The power to fight evil, to protect others, and to grow as people. 

Cover of Tiger Daughter

Equal parts heartbreaking and hopeful, Tiger Daughter is an award-winning novel about finding your voice amidst the pressures of growing up in an immigrant home told from the perspective of a remarkable young Chinese girl.

Cover of The Very Unfortunate Wish
Waka T.

In this modern-day retelling of the Japanese folktale The Melon Princess and the Amanjaku, twelve-year-old Melony befriends a wish-granting demon who encourages her to rebel against her overprotective parents, all while using her for his own evil scheme.

Cover of When Clouds Touch Us

Ha and her family have worked hard to make a life for themselves in the US, but it hasn't come easy. Ha has only just started to feel settled when Mother decides that the family will move to Texas for a new job.


YA Titles

Cover of Chasing Pacquiao

When Bobby is unwillingly outed he turns to boxing, finding a hero in Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao, but when Pacquiao publicly denounces homosexuality, Bobby must discover a hero within himself.

Cover of The Dos and Donuts of Love

This pun-filled contemporary romance finds a teenage girl competing in a televised baking competition, with contestants including her ex-girlfriend and a potential new crush.

Cover of Hurt You
Marie Myung-Ok

This homage to Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men tells the tragic story of a Korean American teen who fights to protect herself and her neurodivergent older brother from a hostile community. Hurt You is a deep exploration of family, society, and the bond between siblings and reflects the reality that people with intellectual disabilities are far more likely to be the victim of a violent crime, not the perpetrator.

Cover of Imposter Syndrome and Othe

This is an incisive, laugh-out-loud, provocative read about feeling like a misfit caught between very different worlds, what it means to be belong, and what it takes to build a future for yourself.

Cover of Kween

From debut author Vichet Chum comes a celebration of Khmer identity, queerness, and embracing the complicated histories that shape who we are and want to be.

Cover of Only This Beautiful Moment

Set against the backdrop of Tehran and Los Angeles, this tale of intergenerational trauma and love is an ode to the fragile bonds of family, the hidden secrets of history, and all the beautiful moments that make us who we are today.

Cover of Rebel of Fire and Flight

This is the story of sixteen-year-old Khadija, who flees her home in a stolen hot air balloon to escape life in an arranged marriage. A fantasy adventure exploring prejudice, the deep roots of hatred, and the reality of the world that this heroine hopes to save.

Cover of The Search for Us
Susan Azim

Told in two voices, when half-siblings Samira and Henry discover each other they join forces to find their absent father, uncovering the complexities of truth and the lasting impact of withheld family information.

Cover of This Is Not a Personal Sta

After getting rejected from her dream college, sixteen-year-old Filipino American Perla Perez forges her own acceptance and commits to living a lie at university.

Cover of While You Were Dreaming

It's a classic story: girl meets boy, girl falls for boy, boy finally notices girl when he sees her in a homemade costume. At least, that's what Sonia Patil is hoping for when she plans to meet her crush at the local comic-con in cosplay. But instead of winning her crush over, Sonia rescues him after he faints into a canal and, suddenly, everything changes. Sonia finds herself hiding from social media detectives and trying to connect with her crush and his family. Can Sonia hide in plain sight forever?