Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month YA Reading List

Celebrate Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month with this AAPI Heritage Month Reading List. Add these YA books to your TBR list.

This month, we are celebrating Asian American Pacific Islander creators and their stories. AAPI Heritage Month first began as Pacific/Asian American Heritage Week in 1979, when Congress introduced and passed a law praising the contributions of people of Asian and Pacific Islander people to American history. In 1991, Congress unanimously passed a proclamation designating May as Asian/Pacific Heritage Month, and in 1992, Congress declared that Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month be observed annually in May.

We’ve pulled together a list of incredible works from some of our favorite creators for Asian American Pacific Islander month and beyond.

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Alma Presses Play

Alma Presses Play

A lyrical novel-in-verse that takes us through the journey of coming of age in New York during the 80s.

American Betiya

American Betiya

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.

Americanized: Rebel Without a Green Card

Americanized: Rebel Without a Green Card

In development as a television series from Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine production company and ABC Studios!

This hilarious, poignant and true story of one teen’s experience growing up in America as an undocumented immigrant from the Middle East is an increasingly necessary read in today’s divisive world. Perfect for fans of Mindy Kaling and Trevor Noah’s books.

“Very funny but never flippant, Saedi mixes ‘90s pop culture references, adolescent angst and Iranian history into an intimate, informative narrative.” —The New York Times

Chinese Cinderella

Chinese Cinderella

More than 800,000 copies in print!

From the author of critically acclaimed and bestselling memoir Falling Leaves, this is a poignant and moving true account of her childhood, growing up as an unloved daughter in 1940s China.

Dark Star Burning, Ash Falls White

Dark Star Burning, Ash Falls White

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The epic sequel to the book Song of Silver, Flame Like Night, is a fast-paced, riveting YA fantasy inspired by the mythology and folklore of ancient China.

Didn't See That Coming

Didn't See That Coming

A hilariously fresh and romantic send-up to You’ve Got Mail about a gamer girl with a secret identity and the online bestie she’s never met IRL until she unwittingly transfers to his school, from the bestselling author of Dial A for AuntiesThe Obsession, and Well, That Was Unexpected.

Fireworks

Fireworks

Fame and friendship can get complicated, especially when there are more than platonic feelings at play in this rom com perfect for fans of Netflix’s XO, Kitty!

Her Radiant Curse

Her Radiant Curse

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the critically acclaimed author of SIX CRIMSON CRANES comes a fantasy tale of two sisters—one as beautiful as the other is monstrous—who must fight to save each other when a betrothal contest gone wrong unleashes an evil that could sever their bond forever!

One sister must fall for the other to rise.

Imposter Syndrome and Other Confessions of Alejandra Kim

Imposter Syndrome and Other Confessions of Alejandra Kim

A multicultural teen struggles to fit into her elite prep school, her diverse Queens neighborhood, and even her own home. A hilarious, poignant, and powerful YA novel from the award-winning author of Re Jane.

Moonstorm

Moonstorm

In a society where conformity is valued above all else, a teen girl training to become an Imperial pilot is forced to return to her rebel roots to save her world in this adrenaline-fueled sci-fi adventure—perfect for fans of Iron Widow and Skyward!

My Father, The Panda Killer

My Father, The Panda Killer

A poignant coming-of-age story told in two alternating voices: a California teenager railing against the Vietnamese culture, juxtaposed with her father as an eleven-year-old boat person on a harrowing and traumatic refugee journey from Vietnam to the United States.

“A profoundly moving, achingly resonant story of love, family, and coming of age amid the lingering echoes of war; a luminous tapestry woven from the many threads of American dreams.”

―Jeff Zentner, award-winning author of The Serpent King and In the Wild Light

Queen Bee

Queen Bee

A teen girl seeking retribution against her backstabbing former best friend finds her plans slightly derailed once she catches the eye of a familiar, handsome marquess. Bestselling author Amalie Howard delivers a delightful, anti-historical Regency-era romp that’s Bridgerton meets The Count of Monte Cristo!

Radha & Jai's Recipe for Romance

Radha & Jai's Recipe for Romance

To All the Boys I Loved Before meets World of Dance in this delectable love story that combines food, dance, and a hint of drama to cook up the perfect romance.

Six Crimson Cranes

Six Crimson Cranes

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A princess in exile, a shapeshifting dragon, six enchanted cranes, and an unspeakable curse… Drawing from fairy tales and East Asian folklore, this original fantasy from the author of Spin the Dawn is perfect for fans of Shadow and Bone.

“A dazzling fairytale full of breathtaking storytelling.” –Stephanie Garber, New York Times bestselling author of Caraval

Snowglobe

Snowglobe

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • In a world of constant winter, only the citizens of the climate-controlled city of Snowglobe can escape the bitter cold—but this perfect society is hiding dark and dangerous secrets within its frozen heart. A groundbreaking Korean novel translated into English for the first time!

The Hunger Games meets Squid Game in Soyoung Park’s dystopian thriller Snowglobe” –Entertainment Weekly

Song of Silver, Flame Like Night

Song of Silver, Flame Like Night

In a fallen kingdom, one girl carries the key to discovering the secrets of her nation’s past—and unleashing the demons that sleep at its heart. An epic fantasy series inspired by the mythology and folklore of ancient China.

“Brims with pure magic. Zhao has woven together a story of self-discovery, slow-burning romance, and heart-pounding revelations.” —Rebecca Ross, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Divine Rivals

“A magical tale set in a glittering, dangerous world featuring a dynamic heroine and an enigmatic hero.” —Isabel Ibañez, #1 New York Times bsetselling author of What The River Knows

The Colliding Worlds of Mina Lee

The Colliding Worlds of Mina Lee

When a Korean American teenage artist gets sucked into the world of her own web comic, she must find a way out with the help of a cute boy all while facing off against a villainous corporation. Inspired by the A-ha’s “Take on Me” music video, this entertaining YA novel is a grounded speculative fiction adventure from a founding member of We Need Diverse Books.

“Sincere, smart, and meta…this stirring high-concept novel… stands out from the rest.”-Soman Chainani, author of THE SCHOOL FOR GOOD AND EVIL series

“A lighthearted story with touches of romance and fantasy, told with K-drama flair.” —Kirkus Reviews

Mina has become the hero of her own story. Literally.

The Dragon's Promise

The Dragon's Promise

In this sequel to New York Times bestselling, Six Crimson Cranes Shiori must journey to the kingdom of dragons, return a cursed pearl with the power to destroy the world, and fight to hold on to all that is dear to her. Fans of Shadow and Bone will devour this soaring fantasy from the acclaimed author of Spin the Dawn.

The Girl with No Reflection

The Girl with No Reflection

By Keshe Chow

Coming 08.06.24

A young woman chosen as the crown prince’s bride must travel to the royal palace to meet her new husband—but her world is shaken when she discovers the dark truth the royal family has been hiding for centuries—in this lush fantasy debut perfect for fans of Song of Silver, Flame Like Night and Violet Made of Thorns.

The Magic Fish

The Magic Fish

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR by the New York Public Library • Kirkus Reviews • Booklist • Publishers Weekly

Tiến loves his family and his friends…but Tiến has a secret he’s been keeping from them, and it might change everything. An amazing YA graphic novel that deals with the complexity of family and how stories can bring us together.

The Notes

The Notes

A reserved Chinese American teen at a Southern performing arts boarding school comes into her own under the tutelage of a glamorous new piano teacher. A moving coming-of-age-novel from a debut novelist about first love, adolescent angst, and academic pressures.

“Compellingly readable. Make room in the boarding-school book canon for a new classic.”  – Jeff Zentner, award-winning author of In the Wild Light and The Serpent King

“A moving, highly virtuosic, and heart-rending portrait of an aspiring teen pianist trying to find her way…it made me feel seen.” – Patricia Park, author of Imposter Syndrome and Other Confession of Alejandra Kim and What’s Eating Jackie Oh?

Violet Made of Thorns

Violet Made of Thorns

“Beautifully vicious. Perfect for the fairytale reader who has always wanted the heroine to grow sharp teeth and bite Prince Charming.”—Chloe Gong, #1 New York Times bestselling author of These Violent Delights

A darkly enchanting fantasy debut about a morally gray witch, a cursed prince, and a prophecy that ignites their fate-twisted destinies—perfect for fans of The Cruel Prince and Serpent & Dove.

Well, That Was Unexpected

Well, That Was Unexpected

“Hilarious!”–Ali Hazelwood, New York Times bestselling author of The Love Hypothesis

A laugh-out-loud YA rom-com about a girl who’s whisked from LA to her mother’s native Indonesia to get back to her roots and finds herself fake-dating the son of one of the wealthiest families there, from the bestselling author of Dial A for Aunties and The Obsession

What's Eating Jackie Oh?

What's Eating Jackie Oh?

A Korean American teen tries to balance her dream to become a chef with the cultural expectations of her family when she enters the competitive world of a TV cooking show. A hilarious and heartfelt YA novel from the award-winning author of Imposter Syndrome and Other Confessions of Alejandra Kim and Re Jane.

“Park’s novel delivers authentic characters who will make you laugh…and cry. Not to be missed!” –Ellen Oh, author of The Colliding Worlds of Mina Lee

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