Asian & Pacific Islander Voices in YA

By Anna B, Isaac F, and Lisa T.
April 23, 2022

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These lists are always changing. See something we missed? Send your suggestions our way!

Jump to: Young Teen | Nonfiction


Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo

When Lily realizes she has feelings for a girl in her math class, it threatens Lily’s oldest friendships and even her father’s citizenship status and eventually, Lily must decide if owning her truth is worth everything she has ever known.

A Pho Love Story by Loan Le

High school seniors Bàao and Linh, whose feuding families own competing Vietnamese restaurants, conceal their budding romance, as well as Linh’s desire to become an artist.

Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Lim

After unleashing forbidden magic, being banished by her stepmother and unable to speak or her brothers will die, Shiori’anma must find a way to save them with the help of a paper bird, a mercurial dragon and the very boy she fought so hard not to marry.

An Arrow to the Moon by Emily X. R. Pan

Romeo and Juliet meets Chinese mythology in this magical novel about two teens who fall in love despite their families being caught in a bitter rivalry.

A Magic Steeped in Poison by Judy Lin

To save her sister’s life, Ning, a young tea-maker, enters a competition to win a favor from the princess, but soon finds herself the one in danger when she is faced with backstabbing competitors, bloody court politics and a mysterious boy with a shocking secret.

Tokyo Ever After by Emiko Jean

After discovering that her father is the crown prince of Japan, Izumi travels to Japan, where she contends with the Japanese Imperial family,  paparazzi, court intrigue, and oh yes, a handsome body guard, a frothy fun royal fairytale.

Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay

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.

Frankly In Love by David Yoon

In this hilarious and heartfelt debut, high school senior Frank Li takes a risk to go after a girl his parents would never approve of, but his plans will leave him wondering if he ever really understood love–or himself–at all.

David Tung Can’t Have a Girlfriend Until He Gets Into an Ivy League College by Ed Lin.

David Tung is a New Jersey high school student who is navigating multiple social circles, parental pressures, two possible girlfriends he’s not allowed to date, and the fear he will die alone, whether or not he gets into Harvard.

We are not Free by Traci Chee

For fourteen-year-old budding artist Minoru Ito and the other members of the Japanese-American community in southern California, the three months since Pearl Harbor was attacked have become a waking nightmare.

Of Curses and Kisses by Sandhya Menon.

Told in two voices, Jaya Rao, an East Indian princess, and Grey Emerson, an English lord, suffer the effects of a centuries-old feud when they meet at an elite Colorado boarding school.

Displacement by Kiku Hughes.

Kiku is on vacation in San Francisco when she finds herself pulled back in time to witness her grandmother’s experiences in a World War II Japanese internment camp.

The Downstairs Girl by Stacey Lee

As a Chinese immigrant in post-Civil War Atlanta, Jo looks for a place for herself and her voice.


Red, White & Whole by Rajani LaRocca

Reha feels torn between two worlds – school, where she’s the only Indian American student, and home, with her family’s traditions and holidays. 

Finding Junie Kim by Ellen Oh

Junie is motivated by an act of racism at school to learn about her ancestral heritage and her grandparents’ experiences as lost children during the Korean War.

Jennifer Chan is not Alone by Tae Keller

When Jennifer Chan, a new girl who believes she can find aliens, goes missing, Mallory Moss sets out to find her and must figure out why Jennifer might have run—and face the truth inside herself.

Green Lantern: Legacy by Minh Lê; illustrated by Andie Tong

When thirteen-year-old Tai Pham inherits his grandmother’s jade ring, he soon finds out he has been inducted into a group of space cops known as the Green Lanterns.

This Light Between Us by Andrew Fukuda.

In 1935, ten-year-old Alex Maki from Bainbridge Island, Washington becomes pen pals with Charlie Lévy of Paris, France. They share hopes and dreams, until the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the Nazi persecution of Jews force them to confront the darkest aspects of human nature.

The Magic Fish by Trung Le Nguyen.

Tié̂n still enjoys reading fairytales with his mother — It’s hard enough trying to communicate with your parents as a kid, but for Tié̂n, he doesn’t even have the right words. Is there a Vietnamese word for what he’s going through? Is there a way to tell them he’s gay?

Bone Talk by Candy Gourlay.

Samkad has never encountered anyone from outside his own tribe before. However, Samkad’s world is about to change utterly. He discovers the brother he never knew he had who tells him of a people called ‘Americans’  who are bringing war and destruction, right to their home.

A Wish in the Dark by Christina Soontornvat.

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


From a Whisper to a Rallying Cry: The Klling of Vincent Chin and the Trial that Galvanized the Asian American Movement by Paula Yoo

An account of the killing of Vincent Chin, the verdicts that took the Asian American community to the streets in protest, and the groundbreaking civil rights trial that followed.

Messy Roots: A Graphic Memoir of a Wuhanese America by Laura Gao

Follows a queer Chinese American’s immigration to Texas where she just wants to make the basketball team, escape Chinese school, and figure out why she is attracted to girls.

Dragon Hoops by Gene Luen Yang

Gene Luen Yang turns the spotlight on his life, his family, and the high school where he teaches. He starts understanding local enthusiasm about sports in his school when he gets to know some of his talented athletic peers and discovers that their stories are just as thrilling as the comics he loves.

Almost American Girl by Robin Ha

Moving abruptly from Seoul to Alabama, a Korean teen struggles in a hostile blended home and a new school where she does not speak English before forging unexpected connections in a local comic drawing class.