Essentials: Asian American

I’m sorry it’s take me so long to conclude these core lists for teens of color. I’ve proposed my lists for Latino/as and Middle Eastern and Native Americans. Today, I’d like you to consider my Asian Pacific Islander American list.  This was not an easy one!

I’ve consulted several sources in compiling this list, including  Dr. Virginia Loh Hagan’s “Quantity and Quality: The Need for Culturally Authentic Trade Books in Asian-American Young Adult Literature.” The ALAN Review 34.1 (2006): 36-83. and Lisa Wong Macabasco’s “Teens First, Asian American Second” in the online Hyphen Asian America Unabridged. The completely different assessment found in these articles made perfect sense to me. As an African American, I want those in other ethnic groups to understand my differences as much as I want them to understand my similarities.

Again, we’re dealing with a HUGE territory and many different cultures!! This selection attempts to go wide, not deep. No, there is no manga. I think I’d have to create a list almost as long as this to give fair representation to the genre.  If  there are absolute must haves, do please tell me what you think!  Hopefully, these introductory readings will leave readers wanting more!

Born Confused by Tanuja Dasai Hidier

Bamboo People by Mitali Perkins

Shine, Coconut Moon by Neesha Meminger

Adventures on the Ancient Silk Road by Priscila Galloway and Dawn Hunter

Escaping the Tiger by  Laura Manivong
The Analects of Confucius by Confucius (Author),Simon Leys (Translator)
Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
Born Confused by Tanuja Desai Hidier
Chenxi and the Foreigner by Sally Rippin
American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang
No No Boy by John Okada
Chinese Cinderella: The True Story of an Unwanted Daughter Adeline Yen Mah
A Step from Heaven; The Fold by An Na
Native Speaker by Chang-rae Lee
Kira Kira by Cynthia Kadohata
The Art of Inuyasha by Rumiko Takahashi
Good Enough by Paula Yoo
Samurai Shortstop by Alan Gratz
Stop Me if You’ve Heard This One Before by David Yoo
When My Name Was Keoko by Linda Sue Park
Snow Falling in Spring: Coming of Age in China During the Cultural Revolution by Moying Li-Marcus
Alive in the Killing Fields: Surviving the Khmer Rouge Genocide by Nawuth Keat
Golden  Mountain Chronicles series; Dragonwings by Laurence Yep
Nothing but the Truth (and a Few White Lies); Girl Overboard by Justina Chen Headley
Gangsta We Are All Looking For by Lê Thi Deim Thúy
I Love Yous are for White People by Lac Su
Silver Phoenix by Cindy Pon
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
Farewell to Manzanar by Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston
Name Me Nobody by  Lois-ann Yamanaka
Necessary Roughness by  Marie G. Lee
Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit by Nahoko Uehashi Hardcover
Mr. Pip by Lloyd Jones



7 thoughts on “Essentials: Asian American

    1. Two very different but complimentary lists! I do think I may ‘borrow’ a few titles from the YAYA list. The first title I clicked on there was “The Language of Love”, a Filipino story. I couldn’t find any books from the Philippines for my list!

  1. @Tarie, I haven’t read it but if you’re recommending it I’ll assume it’s a good one!
    @ Medeia, good suggestion. I think these lists have to recognize current titles.
    @Christina: Welcome!

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