Read Woke @ Goodnow

Children’s Book Recommendations:

Asian American Voices


Alvin Ho (series) by Lenore Look – “A Chinese-American second-grader in Concord, Massachusetts, loves superheroes and comes from a long line of brave Chinese farmer-warriors, wants to make friends, but first he must overcome his fear of everything.”

Amina’s Voice by Hena Khan – “An 11-year-old Pakistani-American Muslim girl struggles to stay true to her family’s vibrant culture while simultaneously blending in at school.  Does Amina need to become more “American” and hide who she really is?”

Barbed Wire Baseball by Marissa Moss “Traces the childhood dream of Japanese-American baseball pioneer Kenichi Zenimura of playing professionally and his family’s struggles in a World War II internment camp where he introduces baseball to raise hope.”

Blackbird Fly by Erin Entrada Kelly – “Bullied at school, eighth-grader Apple, a Filipino American who loves the music of the Beatles, decides to change her life by learning how to play the guitar.”

Count Me In by Varsha Bajaj – “Told from two viewpoints, sixth-graders Karina and Chris use social media to stand up to racism in Houston, Texas, after an attack puts Karina’s Indian American grandfather in the hospital.”

Front Desk (series) by Kelly Yang – “10-year-old Mia Tang is a recent immigrant from China. Her parents take a job managing a rundown motel in California, even though the owner, Mr. Yao is nasty. While Mia’s mother does the cleaning, Mia works the front desk coping with demanding customers and other recent immigrants. She is one of two Chinese in her 5th-grade class, the other being Mr. Yao’s son, Jason.”

Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai – “Through a series of poems, a 10-year-old girl chronicles the life-changing year of 1975, when she, her mother, and her brothers leave war-torn South Vietnam and resettle in Alabama…captures a child-refugee struggle with rare honesty.”

Jasmine Toguchi, Mochi Queen (Chapter Book) by Debbi Mitchiko Florence – “Eager to do something her big sister has not done first, eight-year-old Jasmine Toguchi decides to pound the rice for mochi (Japanese sweet rice cakes) with the men and boys when her family gets together for New Year’s.”

Meet Yasmin! (series) (Chapter Book) by Saadia Faruqi – “Pakistani American second-grader Yasmin learns to cope with the small problems of school and home, while gaining confidence in her own skills and creative abilities.”

Nina Soni, Former Best Friend by Kashimira Sheth – “Organized but sometimes forgetful Nina has a lot to keep track of as she rushes to complete a school project, help with little sister Kavita’s birthday party, and make up with best friend Jay.”

Pashmina by Nidhi Chanani – “Eager to learn more about her cultural identity and family history, teenaged Pryanka, a budding cartoon artist, is transported to India after finding a magical scarf.”

Prairie Lotus by Linda Sue Parks – “A powerful, touching, multilayered book about a girl determined to fit in and realize her dreams: getting an education, becoming a dressmaker in her father’s shop, and making at least one friend. Acclaimed, award-winning author Linda Sue Park has placed a young half-Asian girl, Hanna, in a small town in America’s heartland, in 1880.” 

Stargazing (Graphic Novel) by Jen Wang – “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 in this middle grade graphic novel.”

Step up to the Plate, Maria Singh by Uma Krishnaswami – “Nine-year-old Maria Singh learns to play softball just like her heroes in the All-American Girls’ League, while her parents and neighbors are struggling through World War II, working for India’s independence, and trying to stay on their farmland.”

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin – “Minli, an adventurous girl from a poor village, buys a magical goldfish, and then joins a dragon who cannot fly on a quest to find the Old Man of the Moon in hopes of bringing life to Fruitless Mountain and freshness to Jade River.”

Year of the Book (series) by Andrea Cheng – “Follows a Chinese-American girl (and book lover!), as she navigates relationships with family, friends, and her fourth-grade classroom, and finds a true best friend.”

Year of the Dog by Grace Lin – “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.”


Picture Books

A Big Mooncake for Little Star by Grace Lin – “Reimagines the cycles of the moon as a mother bakes a Big Moon Cake and, despite Mama’s request to wait, Little Star begins nibbling at it every night.”

A Different Pond by Bao Phi – “As a young boy, Bao Phi awoke early to fish on the shores of a small pond in Minneapolis. Between hope-filled casts, Bao’s father told him about a different pond in their homeland of Vietnam.”

Amy Wu and the Perfect Bao by Kat Zhang – “Amy is determined to make a perfect dumpling like her parents and grandmother do, but hers are always too empty, too full, or not pinched together properly.”

Angel in Beijing by Belle Yang – “In busy Beijing, New Year’s Eve firecrackers scare a stray white cat into the courtyard of a young girl. The two become fast friends, riding the girl’s bike through the city and seeing all kinds of people and things.”

Bee-bim Bop! by Linda Sue Park – “Bee-bim bop is a traditional Korean dish of rice topped, and then mixed, with meat and vegetables. In bouncy rhyming text, a hungry child tells about helping her mother make bee-bim bop: shopping, preparing ingredients, setting the table, and finally sitting down with her family to enjoy a favorite meal.”

Bilal Cooks Daal by Aisha Saeed – “Six-year-old Bilal is excited to help his dad make his favorite food of all-time: daal! The slow-cooked lentil dish from South Asia requires lots of ingredients and a whole lot of waiting.” 

Drawn Together by Minh Le – “A boy and his grandfather cross a language and cultural barrier using their shared love of art, storytelling, and fantasy.”

Grandfather’s Journey by Allen Say – “A Japanese-American man recounts his grandfather’s journey to America, which he later also undertakes, and the feelings of being torn by a love for two different countries.”

The Many Colors of Harpreet Singh by Supriya Kelkar – “Harpreet Singh loves his colors. He especially takes care with his patka–his turban–smoothing it out and making sure it always matches his outfit. But when his family moves to a new, snowy city, everything just feels gray. Can he find a way to make life bright again?”

The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi – “After Unhei moves from Korea to the United States, her new classmates help her decide what her name should be.”

One Hug by Katrina Moore – “A young boy discovers many different kinds of hugs and ways to show love as family members and friends gather to welcome his immigrant relatives from China.”

Suki’s Kimono by Chieri Uegaki – “On her first day of first grade, despite the objections of her older sisters, Suki chooses to wear her beloved Japanese kimono to school because it holds special memories of her grandmother’s visit last summer.”