May is just around the corner and so is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. To celebrate, I have a curated list of books written by Asian American/Pacific Islander (AAPI) authors, about AAPI stories, for everyone to enjoy.
“The Astonishing Color of After” by Emily X. R. Pan
After her mother’s suicide, grief-stricken Leigh Chen Sanders travels to Taiwan for the first time to stay with grandparents she has never met, determined to find her mother who she believes turned into a bird.
“Frankly in Love” by David Yoon
High school seniors Frank Li and Joy Song pretend to date each other in order to please their Korean parents which gives them the freedom to date other (non-Korean) people.
“Mariam Sharma Hits the Road” by Sheba Karim
Mariam and her two best friends, Ghazala and Umar, make a spontaneous decision to go on a roadtrip to New Orleans the summer after their freshman year in college.
“Patron Saints of Nothing” by Randy Ribay
When seventeen-year-old Jay Reguero learns his Filipino cousin and former best friend, Jun, was murdered as part of President Duterte’s war on drugs, he flies to the Philippines to learn more.
“Noteworthy” by Riley Redgate
Jordan Sun has auditioned for the Kensington-Blaine Boarding School for the Performing Arts’ fall musical for the past three years and has been cut … for the past three years, because no one wants an Alto 2 in the ensemble. When a spot opens up in the Sharpshooters, Kensington’s elite all-male a cappella group, Jordan auditions á la Viola Hastings in She’s the Man.
“The Shadow Hero” by Gene Luen Yang
Yang’s origin story for the Green Turtle, the first Asian American superhero.
FOLK AND FAIRYTALE RETELLINGS
“The Star-Touched Queen” by Roshani Chokshi
Seventeen-year-old Maya is cursed with a horoscope that promises a marriage of Death and Destruction. Yet her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. Now the queen of Akaran, Maya must unravel an ancient mystery that spans reincarnated lives to save her loved ones.
“Anna K” by Jenny Lee
Seventeen-year-old Anna K seems above the typical problems of her Manhattan friends and siblings, but finding love with a notorious playboy changes everything. This book is based on “Anna Karenina” by Leo Tolstoy.
“They Called Us Enemy” by George Takei
Takei’s memoir of his childhood in America’s concentration camps during World War II. Takei is an author and activist and is well known for his role as Hikaru Sulu in the Star Trek TV series.
“Americanized” by Sara Saedi
Sara was two-years-old when her family fled to America from Iran. She finds out about her undocumented status as a teenager and her memoir deftly navigates between her anxiety over possible deportation and her just-as-concerning worry over attending prom without a date.