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More YA Novels to Celebrate AAPI Month (May 2021)

Posted 05/01/21 by Joyce S.

The Toledo Lucas County Public Library celebrates the diversity of our community and works to advance equity, access, inclusion, and belonging through our services, collections, programs, and policies. The recent violent attacks against Asian community members are in direct conflict with the Library's values and we unequivocally condemn these hateful actions.

It is incumbent upon the Library to provide a wide variety of materials that inform, challenge, and inspire people to learn more about Asian and Pacific Islander community members. Fiction, nonfiction, short stories, poetry, memoirs, thrillers, historical fiction, science fiction, and more can help people expand their horizons and consider the diverse perspectives of our neighbors.

To continue honoring Asian American and Pacific American Heritage Month (and beyond), we’ve compiled a short list of novels for Asian and Asian American voices.

All you need is a Library card to begin your own journey of discovery and understanding. If you have a card, but need help with your account number or PIN, call 419.259.5200. If you need a Library card, you can apply and begin borrowing digital materials within minutes with our online application.

Cover of Tell Me My Name

Tell Me My Name
By Amy Lynn Reed

Fern is watching and waiting for summer, for college, for her childhood best friend to decide he loves her. Then Ivy Avila lands on the island like a falling star. When Ivy shines on her, Fern feels seen. When they're together, Fern has purpose. She glimpses the secrets Ivy hides behind her fame, her fortune, the lavish parties she throws at her great glass house and understands that Ivy hurts in ways Fern can't fathom. As they get closer, Fern’s cozy life begins to unravel.

Cover of Luck of the Titanic

Luck of the Titanic
By Stacey Lee

The Titanic story told through the viewpoint of Valora Luck, a Chinese girl making her way to the United States.

Cover of Outrun the Moon

Outrun the Moon
By Stacey Lee

eBook   |   eAudiobook   |   hoopla eAudiobook

On the eve of the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906, Mercy Wong, daughter of Chinese immigrants, is struggling to hold her own among the spoiled heiresses at prestigious St. Clare's School. When tragedy strikes, everyone must band together to survive.

Cover of From Little Tokyo, with Love

From Little Tokyo, with Love
By Sarah Kuhn

Rika's life seems like a fairy tale in the making. She’s an orphan with two bossy cousins, working away in the family business. Rika loves her family, even her cousins who are named after Disney heroines. Working at her aunts' restaurant in LA's Little Tokyo is also kind of fun. With her judo skills, half-Asian heritage, and a healthy interest in Japanese snake-girl folklore, Rika is sure she's more the misunderstood witch than the singing princess. All that changes the moment she locks eyes with a certain Grace Kimura, America’s reigning rom-com sweetheart!

Cover of The Kingdom of Back

The Kingdom of Back
By Marie Lu

eBook   |   eAudiobook

Desperate to be forever remembered for her music, Nannerl Mozart makes a dangerous pact with a mysterious stranger. Will it cost her everything?

Cover of A Taste for Love

A Taste for Love
By Jennifer Yen

To her friends, Liza Yang is nearly perfect: smart, kind, and pretty. She dreams big and never shies away from a challenge. Liza agrees to help out at the bakery’s annual junior competition. The catch? Every contestant is a young Asian American man her mother has handpicked for Liza to date!

Cover of Every Reason We Shouldn’t

Every Reason We Shouldn’t
By Sara Fujimura

Olivia Kennedy is a sixteen-year-old figure skater whose Olympic dreams have ended. She’s bitter but still enjoying teenage life, until Jonah Choi starts training at her family’s struggling rink.

Cover of The Weight of our Sky

The Weight of our Sky
By Hannah Alkaf

During the 1969 Chinese-Malay conflict in Kuala Lumpur, Melati becomes separated from her mother. With the help of a young Chinese boy, she fights prejudice, violence, and her own obsessive-compulsive disorder to find her mother again.

Cover of A Land of Permanent Goodbyes

A Land of Permanent Goodbyes
By Atia Abawi

After their home in Syria is bombed, Tareq seeks refuge with his father and sister. They travel first to family in Raqqa, a stronghold for the militant group, Daesh, and then abroad.

Cover of Vicious Spirits

Vicious Spirits
By Kate Cho

The sequel to Wicked Fox: Miyoung and Jihoon’s efforts to start over in the wake of devastating losses. The loss of the fox bead has caused a tear between the world of the living and the world of the dead, and ghosts are suddenly flooding the streets of Seoul.

Cover of Empress of a Thousand Skies

Empress of a Thousand Skies
By Rhoda Belleza

eBook   |   eAudiobook

When their paths cross after a brutal attack, Aly is falsely accused of killing Rhee. Now Aly must work together with an unlikely ally to save themselves and the universe.

Cover of The Kidney Hypothetical, or How to Ruin Your Life in Seven Days

The Kidney Hypothetical, or How to Ruin Your Life in Seven Days
By Lisa Yee

eBook   |   hoopla

Higgs Boson Bing has seven days left before his perfect high school career is completed. Then it's on to Harvard to fulfill the fantasy portrait of success that he and his parents have cultivated for the past four years. When Higgs' girlfriend presents him with a hypothetical question about whether or not he'd give her a kidney, the exposed fault lines reach straight down to the foundations of his life.

Cover of Crossing

Crossing
By Andrew Xia Fukada

As one of only two Asian students at Slackenkill High School, freshman Xing Xu exists on the fringes of adolescent society, counting the days until he's free. When a series of abductions rattles his adopted hometown, Xing as an outsider can see and hear things others cannot. As he moves closer to unveiling the kidnapper, he must choose between staying in the shadows or revealing a secret from his past, which may prove his worth to his classmates.

Cover of Interior Chinatown

Interior Chinatown
By Charles Yu

eBook   |   eAudiobook

Willis Wu doesn't perceive himself as a protagonist even in his own life: he's merely Generic Asian Man. Every day, he leaves his tiny room in a Chinatown SRO and enters the Golden Palace restaurant, where Black and White, a procedural cop show, is in perpetual production. He's a bit player here too, but he dreams of being Kung Fu Guy, the highest aspiration he can imagine for a Chinatown denizen. Or is it? After stumbling into the spotlight, Willis finds himself launched into a wider world than he's ever known, discovering not only the secret history of Chinatown, but the buried legacy of his own family.

Cover of Your House will Pay

Your House will Pay
By Steph Cha

eBook   |   eAudiobook   |   hoopla eBook   |   hoopla eAudiobook

In the wake of the police shooting of a black teenager, Los Angeles is as tense as it's been since the unrest of the early 1990s. Grace Park and Shawn Matthews have their own problems. Grace is sheltered and largely oblivious, living in the Valley with her Korean-immigrant parents, working long hours at the family pharmacy. Shawn has had enough of politics and protest after an act of violence shattered his family years ago. He just wants to be left alone to enjoy his quiet life in Palmdale. But when another shocking crime hits LA, both the Park and Matthews families are forced to face their shared history while navigating the tumult of a city on the brink of more violence.

Cover of Lovely, Dark, and Deep

Lovely, Dark, and Deep
By Justina Chen

Teenager Viola Li is selling bean buns at a science fiction gathering in Seattle when she collapses. She wakes up in the hospital to find that she has developed an extreme case of photosensitivity, so bad that even ordinary lights can cause blisters! In her senior year of high school, Viola has to craft a new life that will still include journalism school, activism, and the new guy who caught her as she fell.

Cover of Land of Big Numbers

Land of Big Numbers
By Te-Ping Chen

A debut collection inspired by the culture and diversity of China. Read about the experiences of twins who pursue radically different careers, and a government call-center worker who is stalked by a violent ex.

Cover of How I Became a North Korean

How I Became a North Korean
By Krys Lee

An accomplished student from a prominent North Korean family, a disadvantaged youth who smuggles goods to survive, and an outcast Chinese American teen forge family-like ties when circumstances bring them together on the volatile border of China and North Korea.

Cover of Days of Distraction

Days of Distraction
By Alexandra Chang

eBook   |   hoopla eBook   |   hoopla eAudiobook

As a staff writer at a prestigious tech publication, a young woman reports on the achievements of smug Silicon Valley billionaires and start-up bros while her own request for a raise gets bumped from manager to manager. Captivated by the stories of her ancestors and other Asian Americans in history, she must confront a question at the core of her identity: What does it mean to exist in a society that does not notice or understand you?

Cover of Sea Sirens

Sea Sirens
By Amy Chu and Janet K. Lee

Trot, a Vietnamese American surfer girl, and Cap'n Bill, her cranky one-eyed cat, catch too big a wave and wipe out, sucked down into a magical underwater kingdom where an ancient deep-sea battle rages.

Cover of Virginia Apgar

Virginia Apgar
By Sayantani DasGupta

There weren't many women studying to become doctors when Virginia Apgar went to medical school, but she didn't let that stop her. After a professor discouraged her from becoming a surgeon, she became an anesthesiologist instead, creating the famous Apgar test to check the health of newborn babies. It's a test that's still used in hospitals across the world today!

Cover of The Bridge Home

The Bridge Home
By Padma Venkatraman

A tale about four determined, homeless children eager to make a life for themselves in Chennai, India.

Cover of See You in the Cosmos

See You in the Cosmos
By Jack Cheng

Alex Petroski is an 11-year-old with a dog named Carl Sagan. Together, they make big discoveries about their family on a road trip. Alex records it all on a golden iPod that he intends to launch into space.

Cover of We Belong

We Belong
By Cookie Hiponia Everman

Stella and Luna know that their mama, Elsie, came from the Philippines when she was a child, but they don't know much else. As they get ready for bed, their mama spins two tales: that of her youth as a strong-willed middle child and immigrant; and that of the young life of Mayari, the mythical daughter of a god. Both are tales of sisterhood and motherhood, the difficult experience of trying to fit into a new culture, fighting for a home and acceptance. Glorious and layered, this is a portrait of family and strength for the ages.

Cover of How it all Blew Up

How it all Blew Up
By Arvin Ahmadi

eBook

Eighteen-year old Amir Azadi always knew that coming from a Muslim family would be messy. He just never thought that he would end up in an airport interrogation room. When faced with a failed relationship, bullies, and blackmail, running away to Rome is his only option, right? Soon, late nights with new friends and dates in the Sistine Chapel start to feel like second nature, until his old life comes knocking on his door.

Cover of Last Night at the Telegraph Club

Last Night at the Telegraph Club
By Malinda Lo

eBook

Lily Hu can’t remember exactly when the feeling took root, but it definitely bloomed the moment that she and Kathleen Miller walked under the flashing neon sign of the Telegraph Club. Everything suddenly seemed possible then. However, it is 1954 in America, where it isn’t safe for two girls to fall in love, especially not in Chinatown.

Cover of A Time to Dance

A Time to Dance
By Padma Venkatraman

An inspirational story about a courageous, teenage girl in India who excels at Bharatanatyam dance. She refuses to give up, even after losing a leg in an accident.

Cover of Written in the Stars

Written in the Stars
By Aisha Saeed

Naila’s vacation to Pakistan turns into a nightmare when she discovers that her parents want to force her into an arranged marriage with a man she has never met.

Cover of The Reader

The Reader
By Traci Chee

Set in the world where reading is unheard of, Sefia makes use of a mysterious object to track down who kidnapped her Aunt Nin and what happened the night that her father was murdered. Part of the Sea of Ink and Gold trilogy.

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