These are the books on my bookstore’s Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month (AAPI) teen display this year:
The Astonishing Color of After is a heartbreaking magical realism novel about a girl grieving after her mother’s death and trying to reconnect with her mother’s family and finding family secrets along the way.
Patron Saints of Nothing is a engaging novel that follows a Filipino-American teenager uncovering the truth about his cousin’s murder in President Dueterte’s war on drugs.
Inspired by East Asian folklore, Six Crimson Cranes is a reimagining of The Wild Swan. It follows a voiceless princess who has been exiled and has to figure out how to save her brothers after they were turned into cranes by her stepmother.
In Darius the Great Is Not Okay, Darius hardly fits in at home in America or in Iran, so when he takes his first trip to Iran and meets Sohrab, the boy next door, he finds himself being more himself than he ever has and understanding his Persian roots.
Hollow Fires follows an aspiring journalist, Safiya Mirza, tackling the life-changing investigation of the death of Jawad Ali, a fourteen year old who built a cosplay jetpack that a teacher mistook for a bomb and was arrested for it.
It All Comes Back to You is an Indian rom-com about two exes who reunite when their siblings start dating each other.
Told from numerous ways (first person point-of-view, scripts, telegrams and letters), For A Muse of Fire explores how a character fights against a colonizing power with her ability to see the dead and bind them that is kept extremely hidden.
Fans of Avatar: The Last Airbender will love this! The Rise of Kyoshi is about Kyoshi, the Earth Kingdom-born Avatar—from her humble beginnings to how she became feared and admired as the Avatar.
A heist that 1889 will remember in The Gilded Wolves, treasure hunter and hotelier Severin Montagnet-Alarie is offered his true inheritance in exchange for a mission to hunt down an ancient artifact of the Order, and creates a team of unlikely experts—engineer, historian, dancer, and brother in arms—to help him.
Written in verse, Turtle Under Ice weaves between the perspectives of two sisters—full of grief from their mother death—trying to make sense of their existence in this world. When Ariana disappears in the middle of a snowstorm, Rowena has to figure out where Ariana went and why.
Rukhsana Ali is having a hard time living up to her conservative Muslim parents’ expectations, and when her parents catch her kissing her girlfriend, she is sent to Bangladesh. There, she had to gain the courage to fight for her love, but at what cost to her everybody else in her life?
The Downstairs Girl explores a Chinese-American woman, Jo Kuan, living in the South—by day, she works as a lady’s maid for the daughter of one of the wealthiest men in Atlanta, and by night, she moonlights as an anonymous columnist for the genteel Southern lady newspaper that talks about race and gender. She embarks on a path to discover her own past and family.
Loosely based on the Korean mythology The Tale of Shim Cheong, The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea follows Mina, the sister of Joon who’s beloved is Shim Cheong, who throws herself in the water (in place of Shim Cheong) to save her brother. She embarks on a quest in the Spirit Realm to wake up the Sea God to stop the killr storms.
In When We Were Infinite, friendship is the most important thing to Beth. When her family is breaking, her friends are all she has, but their friendships are put to the test when one of the friends, Jason, experiences violence at his home and lashes out. Beth must decide how far she’s willing to go to protect her friends.
A princess is suddenly thrust into power after her beloved father, the King, is found dead, and her advisors want her to blame a neighboring kingdom, but she’d rather find her father’s actual killer and by doing that, she needs to commit a treasonous act and trust in an investigator/convicted criminal to help her.
In Tokyo Ever After, a teenager girl discovers that her father is the Crown Prince of Japan and is thrust into an entirely new world filled with “hungry press, conniving cousins, a hungry press, a scowling but handsome bodyguard who just might be her soulmate, and thousands of years of tradition and customs to learn.” She learns how to be herself, straddling between being American and Japanese.
Everything changes for Julie when her boyfriend Sam dies in You’ve Reached Sam. She is thrown head first into grief and tries to forget him. The only thing she has is a voicemail of Sam’s, and when she calls it, Sam somehow picks up.
In The Bone Witch, Tea comes from a family of witches, and when she accidentally resurrects her brother from the dead, she becomes feared and ostracized by her community. Danger lurks in the horizon threatening Tea and her brother.
Following two characters—Zafira, the Hunter who disguised herself as a man and can venture into the cursed forest unharmed, and Nasir the Prince of Death who kills for his father, We Hunt the Flame embarks on their stories as they come together on a similar quest to find a lost artifact.
Butterfly Yellow is a historical novel set at the end of the Vietnam War, where Hằng finds her little brother Linh in the US after Linh had been ripped out of her arms, but realizes Linh doesn’t remember anything about her, their family, or their life in Vietnam.
- The display at my store—actually called Asian/Pacific Islander Voices—is year-round. I refuse to take it down. I just switch out the titles, so these are the books that are currently on the display.
- All these books are by Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders. I will make a separate post for authors who are not Americans, Teens, and kids.
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