Books for Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

By Colleen Rowe | April 30 2021 | English Language ArtsSocial Studies

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage month, and we are sharing books from AAPI creators to be read and celebrated by students all year long.

 

My Year Abroad

My Year Abroad is an entertaining story of a young American whose life is transformed when a Chinese-American businessman suddenly takes him under his wing on a global adventure.

 

Finding My Voice

This is a groundbreaking classic from Korean-American author Marie Myung-Ok Lee, reissued with a new foreword from Kat Cho. It tells the story of seventeen-year-old Ellen Sung just wants to be like everyone else at her all-white school. When she stands up to racism at school and disapproval at home, Ellen discovers that her greatest challenge is finding the courage to speak up and raise her voice.

 

Minor Feelings        

Poet and essayist Cathy Park Hong fearlessly and provocatively blends memoir, cultural criticism, and history to expose fresh truths about racialized consciousness in America. A radically honest work of art, Minor Feelings forms a portrait of one Asian American psyche—and of a writer’s search to both uncover and speak the truth.

 

Interior Chinatown

Charles Yu’s National Book Award winning novel Interior Chinatown is infinitely inventive and deeply personal, exploring the themes of pop culture, assimilation, and immigration. It tells the story of Willis Wu who doesn’t perceive himself as the protagonist in his own life. After stumbling into the spotlight, he finds himself launched into a wider world than he’s ever known, discovering not only the secret history of Chinatown, but the buried legacy of his own family.

 

Last Night at the Telegraph

Here is a gripping story of love and duty set in San Francisco’s Chinatown in 1954, which is not a safe place for two girls to fall in love. Red-Scare paranoia threatens everyone, including Chinese Americans like Lily Hu, who is in love with Kathleen Miller. With deportation looming over her father—despite his hard-won citizenship—Lily risks everything to let their love see the light of day.

 

Vietnamerica

Here is a superb graphic memoir in which inspired artist and storyteller GB Tran reveals the road that brought his family to where they are today: Vietnamerica. In telling his family’s story, GB finds his own place in this saga of hardship and heroism. Vietnamerica is a visually stunning portrait of survival, escape, and reinvention—and of the gift of the American immigrants’ dream, passed on to their children.

 

America Betiya

Here is a luminous story of a young artist grappling with first love, family boundaries and the complications of a cross-cultural relationship. Braiding together themes of sexuality, artistic expression, and appropriation, she gives voice to a girl claiming ownership of her identity, one shattered stereotype at a time.

 

Discover more titles

High School titles

Middle School titles

 

Visit our course catalog for books in the following categories:

Asian American Literature, History of Asian Americans, People and Cultures in the United States – Asian American

My Year Abroad
A Novel
978-1-59463-457-4
From the award-winning author of Native Speaker and On Such a Full Sea, an exuberant and entertaining story of a young American whose life is transformed when a Chinese-American businessman suddenly takes him under his wing on a global adventure.
$28.00 US
Feb 02, 2021
Hardcover
496 Pages
Riverhead Books
Grades AP/IB


Minor Feelings
An Asian American Reckoning
978-1-9848-2038-9
A ruthlessly honest, emotionally charged exploration of the psychological condition of being Asian American, by an award-winning poet and essayist
$18.00 US
Mar 02, 2021
Paperback
224 Pages
One World
Grades 9-12 + AP/IB

Interior Chinatown
A Novel
978-0-307-94847-2
Winner of the National Book Award
$16.00 US
Nov 17, 2020
Paperback
288 Pages
Vintage
Grades 9-12 + AP/IB



American Betiya
978-1-9848-9715-2
A luminous story of a young artist grappling with first love, family boundaries and the complications of a cross-cultural relationship. Perfect for fans of Sandhya Menon, Erika Sanchez and Jandy Nelson.
$17.99 US
Mar 09, 2021
Hardcover
368 Pages
Knopf Books for Young Readers
Grade 7 & Up