Books & Beyond

Asian and Pacific Islander Voices

By Lisa T.
May 13, 2022

May is Asian/Pacific American Heritage month, and in honor of this, we have put together a list of recent titles by authors of Asian and Pacific Islander decent.

A rather broad term, Asian/Pacific encompasses all of the Asian continent and the Pacific islands. The month of May was chosen to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States on May 7, 1843, and to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869 (as the majority of the workers who laid the tracks were Chinese immigrants). 

We invite you to explore worlds both real and imagined, and to voyage through time with these great new titles featuring a diverse array of Asian and Asian American characters.   Whether these books serve as mirrors or doorways for you and your children, we hope that you will enjoy reading them, and that they help to build greater empathy and understanding.

Click on any of the covers to go to our online catalog.


Jump to:  Picture Books  |  Early Readers  |  Chapter Books

Picture Books

Set to the tune of “the wheels on the bus”, a multigenerational family joyfully prepares and shares a meal.

My Love for you is Always by Gillian Sze

As she prepares a traditional Chinese meal for her family, a mother answers her child’s question, “What is love?”

I am Golden by Eva Chen

This lyrical book is an ode to the immigrant experience and a celebration of Chinese American joy.

A Boy Named Isamu by James Yang

This story imagines a day in the boyhood of Japanese American artist, Isamu Noguchi, and seeing things through the eyes of a young artist.

‘Ohana Means Family by Ilima Loomis; illustrated by Kenard Pak.

A family celebrates Hawaii and its culture while serving poi at a luau.

Eyes That Kiss in the Corners by Joanna Ho; illustrated by Dung Ho.

A young Asian girl notices that her eyes look different from her peers’, and realizes that her eyes are like her mother’s, her grandmother’s, and are filled with stories of the past and hope for the future.

Drawn Together by Minh Lê; illustrated by Dan Santat.

A boy and his grandfather cross a language and cultural barrier using their shared love of art, storytelling, and fantasy.

Bilaal Cooks Daal  by Aisha Saeed; illustrated by Anoosha Syed. 

Bilal and his father invite his friends to help make his favorite dish, daal, then all must wait patiently for it to be done.

Danbi Leads the School Parade / written and illustrated by Anna Kim. 

Danbi is thrilled to start school in America, but a bit nervous too.

A Different Pond by Bao Phi; illustrated by Thi Bui.

As a young boy, Bao awoke early to fish with his father at a small pond in Minneapolis.

Salma, the Syrian Chef / written by Danny Ramadan; art by Anna Bron.

Salma and friends cook up a heartwarming dish to cheer up Mama.

Festival of Colors  by Kabir Sehgal and Surishtha Sehgal; illustrated by Vashti Harrison..

Chintoo and Mintoo prepare for Holi, the Indian springtime Festival of Colors.

A Big Mooncake for Little Star by Grace Lin.

Mother bakes a Big Moon Cake and, despite Mama’s request to wait, Little Star begins nibbling at it every night.

Bee-Bim Bop! by Linda Sue Park; illustrated by Ho Baek Lee.

A child, eager for a favorite meal, helps with the shopping, food preparation, and table setting.

Ganesha’s Sweet Tooth by Sanjay Patel & Emily Haynes; illustrated by Sanjay Patel.

Based on Hindu mythology, this book tells the story of Ganesha’s love of sweets.

Leila in Saffron by Rukhsanna Guidroz; illustrated by Dinara Mirtalipova.

Shy and unsure of herself, Leila discovers all the things that make her special with the loving help of her Naani.

Early Readers

Meet Yasmin! (series) by Saadia Faruqi

Join spunky heroine Yasmin on every day adventures in this charming series.

Gigi and Ojiji by Eva Chen by Melissa Iwai

Gigi is excited to meet her grandpa, Ojiisan, who is arriving from Japan to live with her family.

Geraldine Pu and her Lunchbox, too! by Maggie P. Chang

A young girl ignores a classmate’s teasing and enjoys stinky tofu and other tasty lunches prepared by her Taiwanese grandmother.

Ling & Ting: Together in All Weather by Grace Lin

Twin sisters Ling and Ting have fun together playing in all kinds of weather.

Chapter Books

Maybe Maybe Marisol Rainey by Kelly Entrada

Marisol has a big imagination, but yearns to be more adventurous and find the courage to climb a tree she has named “Peppina”.

Sam Wu series  by Katie and Kevin Tsang

Sam Wu is out to prove that he is not afraid of anything in this humorous illustrated series.

Mindy Kim series by Lyla Lee

Mindy Kim wants to fit in at her new school, but her favorite lunch leads to scorn, then a thriving business, and finally big trouble in the first in a series.

Fly On the Wall by Remy Lai

Twelve-year-old Henry Khoo embarks on a forbidden trip to prove his independence to his overprotective family, while working out some problems with friends.

American as Paneer Pie by Supriya Kelkar

When a racist incident rocks her small Michigan town, eleven-year-old Lekha must decide whether to speak up or stay silent,

Ahmed Aziz’s Epic Year by Nina Hamza

Moving from Hawaii to Minnesota, Ahmed is having the worst year ever, until he begins to deal with a bully and make new friends—all while finding himself in three books assigned for his English class.

New from Here by Kelly Yang

Knox works to keep his family together as they move from Hong Kong back to Northern California during the initial outbreak of Covid-19.

Measuring Up by Lily LaMotte, illustrated by Ann Xu

Having just moved to Seattle from Taiwan, twelve-year-old Cici enters a cooking competition, but she only knows how to cook Taiwanese food.

Prairie Lotus  by Linda Sue Park

In Dakota Territory in the 1880s, half-Chinese Hanna and her white father face racism and resistance to change as they try to make a home for themselves.

Stargazing / written and illustrated by Jen Wang

Jen Wang draws on her childhood to paint a deeply personal yet wholly relatable friendship story that’s at turns joyful, heart-wrenching, and full of hope.

The House That Lou Built by Mae Respicio

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 arise.

Front Desk by Kelly Yang.

Mia Tang is keeping secrets at home and school.  Her schoolmates don’t know she lives in a motel, and her parents don’t know she wants to be a writer.

Power Forward  by Hena Khan

Zayd yearns to play on the basketball team, but when he skips orchestra rehearsal, his parents forbid anything basketball-related

Stand Up, Yumi Chung!  by Jessica Kim

Shy girl Yumi tries to keep her love for stand up comedy a secret, but what to do when she stumbles into a comedy camp and is mistaken for a participant?

Pie in the Sky by Remy Lai

Jingwen secretly bakes elaborate cakes to cope with grief and loneliness in this hilarious and moving illustrated novel. 

Accidental Trouble Magnet by Zanib Milan (series)

Omar’s big imagination and silly family help him to cope with going to a new school, making friends, and confronting bullies.