Last month was Asian Pacific American Heritage Month!
As described by the Library of Congress, this month is a “celebration of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States” (Asian Pacific American Heritage, n.d., para. 1). It is when we celebrate the achievements and contributions, as well as the culture, traditions, and roles Asians and Pacific Islanders have played in shaping our society.
To continue celebrating past the month of May in your libraries and with your patrons, here is a list of books written by Asians and Pacific Islanders, that will take your readers on emotional journeys, fantastical adventures, romantic and hilarious moments, and into edgy and daring worlds. But most of all it will introduce readers to new cultures and diverse characters whom they can relate to.
The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo
Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)/Macmillan Publishers
Publication Date: May 8, 2018
A romantic comedy about finding yourself and who you’re supposed to be, when you least expect it.
The main character, Clara Shin is full of life. A prankster who lives for chaos. However, when one of her pranks goes awry, she’s sentenced to spend the summer working on her father’s food truck, the KoBra, with a classmate who could not be more the opposite of her in personality: Rose Carver.
For Clara, summer starts to look like a bust. But as she begins working alongside Rose and her dad, she realizes that it might not be as bad as she thought. Throw in a love interest in the form of a boy named Hamlet, and Ms. Goo gives readers a story filled with self-discovery, humor, friendship, love, and family.
The Way You Make Me Feel would be a great for fans of Jenny Han, Sandhya Menon, Morgan Matson, or Kasie West.
After the Shot Drops by Randy Ribay
HMH Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: March 6, 2018
A novel about friendship, family, and basketball. With basketball as the stage the characters are playing on, Ribay’s novel tells a deeper story that is told from the points of view of two best friends: Bunny, who accepts a basketball scholarship to play at private school, and Nasir, who feels abandoned by his best friend when he leaves.
Filled with drama and how choices and responsibilities effect more than just ourselves, After the Shot Drops is the kind of novel that will make you think as you read it. Any high school experience is complex, but the one that Ribay presents is one that goes beyond with characters that you can really feel for and situations that push them and develop them into something more.
Fans of books by Jason Reynolds, Matt de la Pena, and Walter Dean Myers should take a look at After the Shot Drops.
Batman: Nightwalker (DC Icons Series) by Marie Lu
Random House Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: January 2, 2018
The origin story of an icon hero, Marie Lu takes on writing the story of Batman when he was just Bruce Wayne. About to celebrate his eighteenth birthday and inherit both his family’s fortune and Wayne Industries, but instead of going straight to his party he gets caught up in a high-speed car chase with the police and ends up being sentenced to community service at Gotham’s Arkham Asylum where he meets inmate, Madeleine Wallace. Associated with the Nighwalkers, Madeleine is mystery that will be hard for Bruce to solve.
Filled with action, intrigue, and two characters (Bruce and Madeleine) that will keep you interested from start to finish. This take on Batman/Bruce’s origin story is complex and interesting and like many batman stories one that is more than just hero vs villain. Nothing is simple in Gotham, least of all Madeleine, the Nightwalkers, or Bruce. This is a nice addition to the Batman universe as well as the DC Icons Series, Batman: Nightwalker would be great for fans of Leigh Bardugo’s Wonder Woman and superhero fans in general.
Asian Pacific American Heritage, htttp://www.asianpacificheritage.gov