On Twitter and Tumblr #weneeddiversebooks has been trending so thought I’d do my part to push both diverse books and Asian Pacific American Month by posting a list of books to read. Most of these I have personally read, and I listed books by Asian-American authors and that are set in the US. Some are new, some are oldies but goodies.
Anything by Grace Lin (Year of the Dog, Year of the Rat)
Anything by Allen Say (The Favorite Daughter, Tea With Milk)
Anything by Linda Sue Park (The Mulberry Project,* Bee-Bim Bop)
The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi
Suki’s Kimono by Chieri Uegaki
The Two Mrs. Gibsons* by Toyomi Igus
Kira Kira and The Thing About Luck by Cynthia Kadohata (middle-school grade)
1001 Cranes by Naomi Hirahara (middle school)
For older kids and also adults
The Red Kimono* by Jan Morrill
Wingshooters* by Nina Revoyr
Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok (in high school classrooms around the world)
Mambo in Chinatown by Jean Kwok (available for pre-order, release June 2014)
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet and Songs of Willow Frost by Jamie Ford
Anything by Naomi Hirahara (Mas Arai and now the Officer Ellie Rush mysteries)
* extra multicultural
Most of these books are about cultural assimilation and include history—important stories and learning experiences. Someday we’ll have more stories with diverse characters whose cultures aren’t main characters—although, take a look at Naomi Hirahara’s fun detective stories. If you know other good books by Asian-American authors and set in the US, feel free to mention them in comments.
PS: I was excited to meet Jan Morrill at a writer’s conference I presented at on Saturday – and got her to autograph my copy of The Red Kimono! (She’s working on a sequel.)
Hey, ladies! Glad the two of you got together!
Yes, Koji-san, she’s a very nice person, and a lot taller than me (no fair!).
Lol! When I had a chance to meet her in LA, I had two kids in tow who just couldn’t wait to hit the shops. We only chatted for two minutes!
Thanks for the shoutout, Linda! And happy Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. (All-the-year-round for us!)
You’re welcome, Naomi! I wish you the best on the new mystery series – always great to hear of strong female leads.
I’m so honored to be on this list, Linda. I’ve read some of these (including yours, which you didn’t list!) and I look forward to reading the others. It was great seeing you at OWL, and I really enjoyed your presentation!
Reblogged this on THE RED KIMONO and commented:
In this post by Linda Austin, she provides a great list of books to read for Asian Pacific American Month.
Thanks, Jan! I sure enjoyed the excerpt of the draft sequel to The Red Kimono that you read at the conference’s open mic night. Intriguing!
Thanks, Linda. I’m enjoying getting to know both Jubie and Taro better in the sequel. Jubie was just “aching” to tell her story. 🙂
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