A selection of literature by Asian American authors and illustrators for children to read or listen to.
Child picture book. This picture book depicts the start of a day in China--children are playing, an artist is painting, and people are exercising and meditating. Each page is a snapshot and the final spread collects them all to give a panorama of daily life in China. Full color. Age: 3-7
Child picture book. Grandfather returns each year to the demilitarized zone, the barrier--and accidental nature preserve--that separates families that live in North and South Korea. The demilitarized zone has become an amazing accidental nature preserve that gives hope for a brighter future for a divided land. Age: 4-12.
Child early reader book, and audiobook with print book. Part of the Ling and Ting series. Twin sisters Ling and Ting have fun together playing in all kinds of weather. Age: 5-7.
Early Chapter Books
Child graphic novel, and e-book. Growing up in the same Chinese-American suburb, perfectionist Christine and artistic, confident, impulsive Moon become unlikely best friends, whose friendship is tested by jealousy, social expectations, and illness. Age: 8-12.
Child graphic novel, and e-book. Hopper hates her new school, Stately Academy. The kids are mean, the principal is scary, and there's something creepy about the building itself. Hopper and her friend Eni are determined to get to the bottom of it, but the task will take two persistent programmers to figure it out! Age: 8-12.
Child fiction book. Through the stories of a terra-cotta soldier who has survived through the centuries, thirteen-year-old Ming, a village boy in 1970s China, learns the history of Emperor Qin, known both for building the Great Wall of China and for burying scholars alive, and how and why the terra-cotta soldiers came to be. Age: 9+
Child fiction book, e-book, audiobook on CD, and e-audiobook. Shy twelve-year-old Nisha, forced to flee her home with her Hindu family during the 1947 partition of India, tries to find her voice and make sense of the world falling apart around her by writing to her deceased Muslim mother in the pages of her diary. Age: 8-12.
Child fiction book, e-book, audiobook on CD, and e-audiobook. Twelve-year-old Jaden, an emotionally damaged adopted boy fascinated by electricity, feels a connection to a small, weak toddler with special needs in Kazakhstan, where Jaden's family is trying to adopt a "normal" baby. Age: 9+
Child fiction book, e-book, and e-audiobook. Through a series of poems, a young girl chronicles the life-changing year of 1975, when she, her mother, and her brothers leave Vietnam and resettle in Alabama. Age: 8-12.
Child fiction book, and e-audiobook. It's the Chinese year of the dog! When Pacy's mom tells her that this is a good year for friends, family, and "finding herself," Pacy begins searching right away. As the year goes on, she struggles to find her talent, deals with disappointment, makes a new best friend, and discovers just why the year of the dog is a lucky one for her after all. Age: 8+
Child fiction book. Sequel to The Year of the Dog. In the Chinese Year of the Rat, a young Taiwanese American girl faces many challenges: her best friend moves to California and a new boy comes to her school, she must find the courage to forge ahead with her dream of becoming a writer and illustrator, and she must learn to find the beauty in change. Age: 8+
Child fiction book, e-book, and e-audiobook. Twelve-year-old Amal's dream of becoming a teacher one day is dashed in an instant when she accidentally insults a member of her Pakistani village's ruling family. As punishment for her behavior, she is forced to leave her heartbroken family behind and go work at their estate. Amal is distraught but has faced setbacks before. So she summons her courage and begins navigating the complex rules of life as a servant, with all its attendant jealousies and pecking-order woes. Most troubling, though, is Amal's increasing awareness of the deadly measures the Khan family will go to in order to stay in control. It's clear that their hold over her village will never loosen as long as everyone is too afraid to challenge them--so if Amal is to have any chance of ensuring her loved ones' safety and winning back her freedom, she must find a way to work with the other servants to make it happen. Age: 9-14.
Child fiction book, e-book, and e-audiobook. Recent immigrants from China and desperate for work and money, ten-year-old Mia Tang's parents take a job managing a rundown motel in Southern California, even though the owner, Mr. Yao is a nasty skinflint who exploits them; while her mother (who was an engineer in China) does the cleaning, Mia works the front desk and tries to cope with demanding customers and other recent immigrants--not to mention being only one of two Chinese in her fifth grade class, the other being Mr. Yao's son, Jason. Age: 8-12.
Child nonfiction book, and featured on a DVD. Text in English and Hmong. A mysterious man enters a restaurant and pays for his dinner with a paper crane that magically comes alive and dances. Age: 5-8.
Child nonfiction book. Illustrated by Meilo So. Come down to the shore with this rich and vivid celebration of the ocean! With watercolors gorgeous enough to wade in by award-winning artist Meilo So and playful, moving poems by Kate Coombs, Water Sings Blue evokes the beauty and power, the depth and mystery, and the endless resonance of the sea.--Book jacket. Age: 3-10.