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Asian/Asian American Experience

Books that have Asians or Asian Americans as lead characters. 

Middle School Titles

Cover of How to Make Friends With t
Tanya
Guerrero
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
2020

Moving to the Philippines with his zoologist mother, twelve-year-old Pablo struggles with anxiety while his mother fosters an orphaned child.

Cover of American as Paneer Pie
Supriya
Kelkar
Simon Pulse
2020

When a racist incident rocks her small Michigan town, eleven-year-old Lekha must decide whether to speak up or stay silent, even as she struggles to navigate her life at home, where she can be herself, and at school, where she is teased about her culture.

Cover of Stand Up, Yumi Chung!
Jessica
Kim
Kokila
2020

When eleven-year-old Yumi Chung stumbles into a kids' comedy camp she is mistaken for another student, she decides to play the part.

Cover of I’m OK
Patti
Kim
Atheneum Books For Young Readers
2018

Ok, a Korean American boy, tries a get rich quick scheme of starting a hair braiding business and winning the school talent competition to hide the fact that he is struggling with the loss of his father and the financial hardships he and his mother must now bear.

Cover of Operatic
Kyo
MacLear
Groundwood Books
2019

A story of friendship, first crushes, opera and the high drama of middle school told by award-winning Kyo Maclear in her debut graphic novel.

Cover of The Stars Beneath Our Feet
David Barclay
Moore
Alfred A. Knopf
2017

Unable to celebrate the holidays in the wake of his older brother's death in a gang-related shooting, Lolly Rachpaul struggles to avoid being forced into a gang himself while constructing a fantastically creative LEGO city at the Harlem community center.

Cover of The House That Lou Built
Mae
Respicio
Wendy Lamb Books
2018

Longing for an escape from her extended Filipino family, Lou plans to build a tiny house on land she inherited from her father, but difficulties quickly arise in this coming-of-age story that explores culture and family, forgiveness and friendship, and what makes a true home.

Cover of Stargazing
Jen
Wang
First Second
2019

Moon is everything Christine isn’t. She’s confident, impulsive, artistic ... and though they both grew up in the same Chinese-American suburb, Moon is somehow unlike anyone Christine has ever known. These unlikely friends become best friends and eventually deal with secrets and changes in their relationship.

Cover of The Bridge Home
Padma
Venkatraman
Nancy Paulsen Books
2019

Life is harsh in Chennai's teeming streets, so when runaway sisters Viji and Rukku arrive, their prospects look grim. Very quickly, eleven-year-old Viji discovers how vulnerable they are in this uncaring, dangerous world. Fortunately, the girls find shelter--and friendship--on an abandoned bridge.

Cover of Pippa Park Raises Her Game
Erin
Yun
Fabled Films Press
2020

In this modern reimagining of Great Expectations, Korean American Pippa Park struggles to manage her grades, basketball, friendship and cyber bullying.

High School Titles

Cover of Love, Hate & Other Filters
Samira
Ahmed
Soho Teen
2018

Maya Aziz, seventeen, is caught between her India-born parents world of college and marrying a suitable Muslim boy and her dream world of film school and dating her classmate, Phil, when a terrorist attack changes her life forever.

Cover of Starfish
Akemi Dawn
Bowman
Simon Pulse
2017

Kiko Himura yearns to escape the toxic relationship with her mother by getting into her dream art school, but when things do not work out as she hoped Kiko jumps at the opportunity to tour art schools with her childhood friend, learning life-changing truths about herself and her past along the way.

Cover of Emergency Contact
Mary H.K.
Choi
Simon & Schuster BYFR
2018

When Penny and Sam cross paths it's less meet-cute and more a collision of unbearable awkwardness. Still, they swap numbers and stay in touch--via text--and soon become digitally inseparable, sharing their deepest anxieties and secret dreams without the humiliating weirdness of having to see each other.

Cover of  Picture Us In the Light
Kelly Loy
Gilbert
Hyperion
2018

Danny Cheng, a Chinese-American teen, grapples with a dangerous revelation about his parents' past, his plans for the future, and his feelings for his best friend, Harry Wong.

Cover of Almost American Girl: an I
Robin
Ha
Balzer + Bray
2020

For as long as she can remember, it's been Robin and her mom against the world. Growing up as the only child of a single mother in Seoul, Korea, wasn't always easy, but it has bonded them fiercely together. So when a vacation to visit friends in Huntsville, Alabama, unexpectedly becomes a permanent relocation--following her mother's announcement that she's getting married--Robin is devastated.

Cover of That Thing We Call A Heart
Sheba
Karim
First Edition
2017

Shabnam Qureshi is facing a summer of loneliness and boredom until she meets Jamie, who scores her a job at his aunt's pie shack. Shabnam quickly finds herself in love, while her former best friend, Farah, who Shabnam has begun to reconnect with, finds Jamie worrying. In her quest to figure out who she really is and what she really wants, Shabnam looks for help in an unexpected place--her family, and her father's beloved Urdu poetry.

Cover of Love and Lies of Rukhsana
Sabina
Khan
Scholastic Press
2019

Seventeen-year-old Rukhsana Ali is looking forward to going to Caltech and getting away from her conservative Muslim parents' expectation that she will marry, especially since she is in love with her girlfriend Ariana--but when her parents catch her kissing Ariana, they whisk Rukhsana off to Bangladesh and a world of tradition and arranged marriages, and she must find the courage to fight for the right to choose her own path.

Cover of Patron Saints of Nothing
Randy
Ribay
Kokila
2019

When seventeen-year-old Jay Reguero learns his Filipino cousin and former best friend, Jun, was murdered as part of President Duterte's war on drugs, he flies to the Philippines to learn more.

Cover of The Authentics
Abdi
Nazemian
Balzer + Bray
2017

Daria Esfandyar is an Iranian American fiercely proud of her heritage. She and her friends call themselves the Authentics, because they pride themselves on always keeping it real. But in the course of researching a school project, Daria learns something shocking about her past, which launches her on a journey of self-discovery.

Cover of The Astonishing Color of A
Emily X.R.
Pan
Little, Brown and Company
2018

After her mother's suicide, grief-stricken Leigh Sanders travels to Taiwan to stay with grandparents she never met, determined to find her mother who she believes turned into a bird.

Cover of Forward Me Back to You
Mitali
Perkins
Farrar Straus Giroux
2019

Told in separate voices, Kat and Robin leave Boston on a church mission to help combat human trafficking in India while Kat recovers from a sexual assault and Robin seeks his birth mother.

Cover of Thoughts to the Universe
Salina
Xiong
2019

A collection of poetry written over the course of Xiong's life. Themes include but are not limited to love, identity, and her journey with her mental health.