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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  Amira & Hamza: The Quest

Amira and Hamza have returned from Qaf, the magical Jinn world, as triumphant heroes--and life has been pleasantly quiet. Too quiet. Hamza is determined to have one last monumental, epic adventure before summer ends. But when sneaking off to explore an old, abandoned castle goes from life-changing adventure to potentially deadly, Amira and Hamza find themselves in the middle of another dangerous quest to save the worlds. 

Cover of Dawn Raid
Pauline Vaeluaga
Mat Hunkin

Told through Sofia's diary entries, with illustrations throughout, this is the story of one ordinary girl living in extraordinary times, learning how to stand up and fight.

Cover of In the Beautiful Country

Arriving in America, the so-called beautiful country, Anna, a young Taiwanese girl, finds it anything but beautiful as she and her family struggle to make a place for themselves in this world and learn the true meaning of home.

Cover of Karthik Delivers

One summer during the Financial Crisis, fourteen-year-old Karthik Raghavan makes deliveries for his father's ailing Indian grocery, but he is cast in a play and can't tell his parents.

Cover of The Last Mapmaker

As assistant to Mangkon's most celebrated mapmaker, twelve-year-old Sai plays the part of a well-bred young lady with a glittering future. In reality, her father is a conman--and in a kingdom where the status of one's ancestors dictates their social position, the truth could ruin her. Sai seizes the chance to join an expedition to chart the southern seas, but she isn't the only one aboard with secrets. 

Cover of Nikhil Out Loud

Thirteen-year-old Nikhil Shah is the beloved voice actor for Raj Reddy on the hit animated series Raj Reddy in Outer Space. But when his mom temporarily moves them to the small town in Ohio where she grew up to take care of Nikhil's sick grandfather, Nikhil feels as out of orbit as his character.

Cover of Omar Rising

Seventh-grader Omar must contend with being treated like a second-class citizen when he gets a scholarship to an elite boarding school in Pakistan.

Cover of The Secret Battle of Evan
Wendy Wan-Long

Evan Pao and his family move to Haddington, Virginia in hopes of keeping his father's notoriety a secret, but a small southern town is not an easy place for a Chinese-American boy to fit in, and one kid, Brady Griggs, seems determined to make things difficult.

Cover of Sweet and Sour
Debbie Michiko

Eleven-year-old Mai has been contemplating revenge on her former best friend Zach ever since he humiliated her two years ago, but while spending time together for the summer, Mai has noticed a change in Zach, forcing her to decide if she can forgive him, even if she can never forget.

Cover of Where the Lost Ones Go
Akemi Dawn

A twelve-year-old biracial Japanese American girl grieves the loss of her beloved grandma and attempts to contact her beyond the grave.


YA Titles

Cover of All My Rage

Salahudin and Noor are more than best friends; they are family. Growing up as outcasts in the small desert town of Juniper, California, they understand each other the way no one else does. Sal scrambles to run the family motel as his mother Misbah's health fails and his grieving father loses himself to alcoholism. Noor, meanwhile, walks a harrowing tightrope: working at her wrathful uncle's liquor store while hiding the fact that she's applying to college so she can escape him--and Juniper--forever.

Cover of Beating Heart Baby

Seventeen-year-old Santi Arboleda finally feels settled in his new life in Los Angeles with a growing found family and a relationship with musical prodigy Suwa--until Suwa is offered the chance to step into the spotlight that he has always denied himself and they must finally face their dreams, their pasts, and their futures, whether together or apart.

Cover of Beauty and the Besharam

Seventeen-year-old, high-achieving Kavya Joshi has always been told she's a little too ambitious, a little too mouthy, and overall just a little too much. In one word: besharam. So, when her nemesis, Ian Jun, witnesses Kavya's very public breakup with her loser boyfriend on the last day of junior year, she decides to lay low and spend the summer doing what she loves best-working part time playing princess roles for childrens' birthday parties.

Cover of Fight Like a Girl

Love and violence. In some families they're bound up together, dysfunctional and poisonous, passed from generation to generation like eye color or a quirk of smile. Trisha's trying to break the chain, channeling her violent impulses into Muay Thai kickboxing, an unlikely sport for a slightly built girl of Trinidadian descent. 

Cover of Finding My Voice
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 If You Could See the Sun

A Chinese American girl monetizes her strange new invisibility powers by discovering and selling her wealthy classmates' most scandalous secrets.

Cover of The Loophole

Sy, a seventeen-year-old gay Muslim boy, travels the world for a second chance at love after a possibly magical heiress grants him three wishes.

Cover of Queen of Tiles

Fifteen-year-old Najwa Bakri is forced to investigate the mysterious death of her best friend and Scrabble Queen, Trina, a year after the fact when her Instagram comes back to life with cryptic posts and messages.

Cover of The Red Palace

A palace nurse and a royal investigator team up to look into a pattern of grisly murders when the Crown Prince becomes the prime suspect.

Cover of A Thousand Steps Into Nigh

When a girl who's never longed for adventure is hit with a curse that begins to transform her into a demon, she embarks on a quest to reverse the curse and return to her normal life, but along the way is forced to confront her true power within.

Cover of TJ Powar Has Something to
Kaur Deo

When TJ Powar, a pretty, popular debater, and her cousin Simran become the subject of a meme: with TJ being the "expectation" of dating an Indian girl and her Sikh cousin who does not remove her body hair being the "reality"--TJ decides to take a stand.