Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month Book Recommendations

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Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month is celebrated every May. Here are some great AAPI-authored children’s books that our youth librarians recommend you check out!  


The Fearless Flights of Hazel Ying Lee by Julie Leung

This is a book about the first Chinese American women to fly for the U.S. military, Women Airforce Service Pilots during World War II. This is an incredible true story about a fearless woman who overcame challenges to achieve what she believed in! Find copies of The Fearless Flights here



Yes We Will: Asian Americans Who Shaped this Country by Kelly Yang

This book is illustrated by many wonderful Asian and Asian American artists. The story describes eighteen Asian Americans who inspire people through the way they helped shape this country! Find copies of Yes We Will: Asian Americans Who Shaped this Country here



A is for Asian American: An Asian Pacific Islander Desi American alphabet by Virginia Loh-Hagan

This book presents the cultural traditions and contributions of Asian Americans in U.S. history. Celebrations, traditions, food, and more topics are covered in this beautifully illustrated book! Find copies of A is for Asian American: An Asian Pacific Islander Desi American alphabet here



Punky Aloha by Shar Tuiasoa 

Initially nervous about meeting new people, Punky Aloha sets out to get butter for her grandmother for her famous banana bread, only to find a big adventure, new friends, and courage she did not know she had. A book as sweet and delightful as this family treat, Punky Aloha is a gorgeous and engaging book, with bold and vibrant colors. Punky Aloha is one of the first ever mainstream published Pacific Islander picture books by a Pacific Islander in the United States. Shar Tuiasoa, the author and illustrator, was born and raised in Hawai’i, and her art celebrates her Polynesian culture. A delightful read aloud that is sure to bring much joy to young readers. Find copies of Punky Aloha by Shar Tuiasoa here



A Thousand Questions by Saadia Faruqi 

Set in Karachi, Pakistan, it's a summer of self-discovery and growing friendship, told in alternating perspectives by Mimi, an American girl who is spending the summer visiting her grandparents, and Sakina, a Pakistani servant girl who works in the grandparents’ house and has big dreams. Saadia Faruqi deftly and subtly shows how the girls come to understand each other, their families and themselves. A Thousand Questions is a middle grade novel of the highest caliber. Find copies of A Thousand Questions here



Astrid and Apollo and the Starry Campout by V.T. Bidani, illustrated by Dara Lashia Lee 

Astrid and Apollo are fun-loving eight-year-old twins who, along with their Hmong American family, go on adventures, including a family campout for the first time. They encounter new experiences that push them to be brave and face their fears. Back matter includes a pronunciation guide to Hmong words, discussion questions, and additional information about Hmong culture. This is the first book in this series sure to engage readers who enjoy realistic chapter books like Romona Quimby, Jo Jo Makoons, or Yasmin. Find copies of Astrid and Apollo and the Starry Campout here


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Youth Services Librarians
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