To honor our Asian American community, we are highlighting books by Asian and Asian-American authors to check out today (and everyday).*
Displacement by Kiku Hughes
Kiku is on vacation in San Francisco when suddenly she finds herself displaced to the 1940s Japanese-American internment camp that her late grandmother, Ernestina, was forcibly relocated to during World War II. These displacements keep occurring until Kiku finds herself stuck back in time. Living alongside her young grandmother and other Japanese-American citizens in internment camps, Kiku gets the education she never received in history class.
They Called Us Enemy by George Takei
A stunning graphic memoir recounting actor/author/activist George Takei’s childhood imprisoned within American concentration camps during World War II. Experience the forces that shaped an American icon — and America itself — in this gripping tale of courage, country, loyalty, and love.
American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang
Alternates three interrelated stories about the problems of young Chinese Americans trying to participate in the popular culture.
Love, Hate and Other Filters by Samira Ahmed
Maya Aziz 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. In the aftermath of a terrorist attack hundreds of miles away, the community she’s known since birth is transformed by fear, bigotry, and hatred.
Love from A to Z by S.K. Ali
Eighteen-year-old Muslims Adam and Zayneb meet in Doha, Qatar, during spring break and fall in love as both struggle to find a way to live their own truths.
American Panda by Gloria Chao
A freshman at MIT, seventeen-year-old Mei Lu tries to live up to her Taiwanese parents’ expectations, but no amount of tradition, obligation, or guilt prevent her from hiding several truths–that she is a germaphobe who cannot become a doctor, she prefers dancing to biology, she decides to reconnect with her estranged older brother, and she is dating a Japanese boy. Can she find a way to be herself, before her web of lies unravels?
The Surprising Power of a Good Dumpling by Wai Chim
Anna Chiu has her hands full. When she’s not looking after her brother and sister or helping out at her father’s restaurant, she’s taking care of her mother, whose debilitating mental illness keeps her in bed most days. Her father’s new delivery boy, Rory, is a welcome distraction and even though she knows that things aren’t right at home, she’s starting to feel like she could be a normal teen.
Yolk by Mary H.K. Choi
Struggling with emotional problems and an eating disorder, Jayne, a Korean American college student living in New York City, is estranged from her accomplished older sister June, until June gets cancer.
This Light Between Us by Andrew Fukuda
In 1935, ten-year-old Alex Maki of Bainbridge Island, Washington, is horrified to discover that his new pen pal, Charlie Lévy of Paris, France, is a girl, but in spite of his initial reluctance, their letters continue over the years and they fight for their friendship even as Charlie endures the Nazi occupation and Alex leaves his family in an internment camp and joins the Army.
The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo
Clara Shin lives for pranks and disruption. When she takes one joke too far, her dad sentences her to a summer working on his food truck, the KoBra, alongside her uptight classmate Rose Carver. Not the carefree summer Clara had imagined. But maybe Rose isn’t so bad. Maybe the boy named Hamlet (yes, Hamlet) crushing on her is pretty cute. Maybe Clara actually feels invested in her dads business. What if taking this summer seriously means that Clara has to leave her old self behind?
The Silence of Bones by June Hur
1800, Joseon (Korea). Homesick and orphaned, Seol is indentured to the police bureau. She has been tasked with assisting a well-respected young inspector with the investigation into the politically charged murder of a noblewoman. The two form an unlikely bond of friendship as they delve into the dead woman’s secrets. But when he becomes the prime suspect, Seol may be the only one capable of discovering what truly happened on the night of the murder. In a land where silence and obedience are valued above all else, curiosity can be deadly.
Amina’s Voice by Hena Khan
A Pakistani-American Muslim girl struggles to stay true to her family’s vibrant culture while simultaneously blending in at school after tragedy strikes her community.
A Pho Love Story by Loan Le
Bảo Nguye̋n would describe himself as steady and strong: his grades are average, his social status unremarkable. He works at his parents’ phở restaurant – as his parents’ fifth favorite employee. Linh Mai would describe herself as a firecracker: stable when unlit, but full of potential for joy and fire. She dreams of pursuing a career in art, while working practically full-time at her family’s phở restaurant. Bao and Linh have never even had a class together – but after a chance encounter, sparks fly. Can this relationship survive their families’ feud?
I’ll Be the One by Lyla Lee
Skye Shin has heard it all. Fat girls shouldn’t dance. Wear bright colors. Shouldn’t call attention to themselves. But Skye dreams of joining the glittering world of K-Pop, and to do that, she’s about to break all the rules that society, the media, and even her own mother, have set for girls like her.
There’s Something About Sweetie by Sandyha Menon
Ashish Patel didn’t know love could be so… sucky. After being dumped by his ex-girlfriend, his mojo goes AWOL. So, in a moment of weakness, Ash challenges them to set him up. Sweetie Nair is many things: a formidable track athlete who can outrun most people in California, a loyal friend, a shower-singing champion. Oh, and she’s also fat. To Sweetie’s traditional parents, this last detail is the kiss of death. She decides to kick off the Sassy Sweetie Project, where she’ll show the world (and herself) what she’s really made of. Ashish and Sweetie both have something to prove. But with each date they realize there’s an unexpected magic growing between them. Can they find their true selves without losing each other?
You Bring the Distant Near by Mitali Perkins
From 1965 through the present, an Indian American family adjusts to life in New York City, alternately fending off and welcoming challenges to their own traditions.
Lucy and Linh by Alice Pung
In Australia, Lucy tries to balance her life at home surrounded by her Chinese immigrant family, with her life at a pretentious private school.
Parachutes by Kelly Yang
They’re called parachutes: teenagers dropped off to live in private homes and study in the US while their wealthy parents remain in Asia. Claire Wang never thought she’d be one of them, until her parents pluck her from her privileged life in Shanghai and enroll her at a high school in California. Suddenly she finds herself living in a stranger’s house, with no one to tell her what to do for the first time in her life. She soon embraces her newfound freedom, especially when the hottest and most eligible parachute, Jay, asks her out.
Good Enough by Paula Yoo
A Korean American teenager tries to please her parents by getting into an Ivy League college, but a new guy in school and her love of the violin tempt her in new directions.
Frankly in Love by David Yoon
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.
*Book blurbs from the WPL Catalog.