Books with Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander Characters

From East Asia to the Middle East, from Southeast Asia to the islands of the Pacific, from California to Alabama, this list of more than 100 books covers a lot of geographical ground. Kids, tweens, and teens will find all sorts of exciting stories about people who live in or have ancestors in many different Asian and Pacific Island countries, including Japan, China, the Philippines, Korea, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, New Zealand, India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. Historical fiction, fantasy, coming-of-age novels, immigrant tales, mysteries, graphic novels -- the genres are almost as numerous as the countries where the stories are set. So dig in! And be sure to also check out our list of Movies with Asian and Asian American Characters and Books with Characters of Color.

Browse Books with Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander Characters

A Big Mooncake for Little Star Book Poster Image
Girl sneaks nibbles, mooncake wanes in cozy bedtime charmer.
By Grace Lin
(2018)
(2018)
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Cannonball Book Poster Image
Warm story of individuality and achieving a perfect splash.
By Sacha Cotter
(2020)
(2020)
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Cinnamon Book Poster Image
Beautiful art distinguishes Indian-style princess tale.
By Neil Gaiman
(2017)
(2017)
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Eyes That Kiss in the Corners Book Poster Image
Lovely picture book celebrates family identity, heritage.
By Joanna Ho
(2021)
(2021)
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Katie Woo Series Book Poster Image
Relatable stories in short chapters have good life lessons.
By Fran Manushkin
(2015)
(2011)
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Ling & Ting: Not Exactly the Same! Book Poster Image
Twins embrace individuality in funny book for new readers.
By Grace Lin
(2011)
(2010)
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Yasmin in Charge Book Poster Image
Problem-solving girl shares her culture in sweet stories.
By Saadia Faruqi
(2019)
(2019)
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The Chinese Emperor's New Clothes Book Poster Image
Clever twist on classic tale adds dimension and great art.
By Ying Chang Compestine
(2018)
(2017)
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Crouching Tiger Book Poster Image
Boy learns to appreciate his heritage in universal story.
By Ying Chang Compestine
(2012)
(2011)
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A Different Pond Book Poster Image
Exquisitely tender family story of Vietnamese refugees.
By Bao Phi
(2017)
(2017)
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Mindy Kim Series Book Poster Image
Warm series about Korean American girl's life in new town.
By Lyla Lee
(2020)
(2020)
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The Year of the Book: Anna Wang, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Charming story of lonely, book-loving girl who finds friend.
By Andrea Cheng
(2012)
(2012)
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Ruby Lu Series Book Poster Image
Spirited Ruby faces changing family, friends in fun series.
By Lenore Look
(2016)
(2004)
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Amina's Voice Book Poster Image
Beautiful tale of Pakistani American middle-schooler.
By Hena Khan
(2017)
(2017)
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Clues to the Universe Book Poster Image
Two friends look for fathers, reach for stars in brave tale.
By Christina Li
(2021)
(2021)
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Dragon Pearl Book Poster Image
Fox-spirit teen brings Korean myths to adventurous sci-fi.
By Yoon Ha Lee
(2019)
(2019)
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Escape from Aleppo Book Poster Image
Gripping, moving tale of Syrian teen fleeing war-torn city.
By N.H. Senzai
(2018)
(2018)
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Frazzled: Everyday Disasters and Impending Doom: Frazzled, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Girl conquers middle school worries in fun graphic novel.
By Booki Vivat
(2016)
(2016)
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The Girl and the Ghost Book Poster Image
Spellbinding story of ghosts, strong girls, and friendship.
By Hanna Alkaf
(2020)
(2020)
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In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson Book Poster Image
Funny tale of Chinese girl adapting to 1947 Brooklyn life.
By Bette Bao Lord
(2020)
(1984)
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Measuring Up Book Poster Image
Strong Asian girl drives quick, tasty cooking drama.
By Lily LaMotte
(2021)
(2020)
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More to the Story Book Poster Image
Warm Little Women update stars Pakistani American sisters.
By Hena Khan
(2019)
(2019)
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Stargazing Book Poster Image
Sweet friendship-themed graphic novel has a medical scare.
By Jen Wang
(2019)
(2019)
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Tua and the Elephant Book Poster Image
Fun, exciting tale of Thai girl who rescues an elephant.
By R.P. Harris
(2012)
(2012)
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When Heaven Fell Book Poster Image
Snapshot of Vietnamese culture past and present.
By Carolyn Marsden
(2007)
(2007)
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When the Sea Turned to Silver Book Poster Image
Rich folklore-fantasy blend makes a great read-aloud.
By Grace Lin
(2016)
(2016)
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When You Trap a Tiger Book Poster Image
Superb family tale of loss has mystery, folklore, sadness.
By Tae Keller
(2021)
(2020)
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A Wish in the Dark Book Poster Image
Dazzling, Thai-inspired riff on Les Mis has big heart.
By Christina Soontornvat
(2021)
(2021)
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Aru Shah and the End of Time: Pandava, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Flawed but fascinating modern spin on Indian mythology.
By Roshani Chokshi
(2018)
(2018)
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Blackbird Fly Book Poster Image
Super relatable heroine, lots of middle school drama.
By Erin Entrada Kelly
(2015)
(2015)
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Flying Over Water Book Poster Image
Refugee friendship tale has strong tolerance, faith message.
By N.H. Senzai, Shannon Hitchcock
(2020)
(2020)
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Fly on the Wall Book Poster Image
Funny graphic novel hybrid about friendship, communication.
By Remy Lai
(2020)
(2020)
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The Fold Book Poster Image
Insightful and frank novel explores beauty in America.
By An Na
(2008)
(2008)
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Front Desk, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Immigrant kid tackles racism, bullying in powerful tale.
By Kelly Yang
(2019)
(2018)
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Full Cicada Moon Book Poster Image
Girl beats stereotypes in powerful free-verse novel.
By Marilyn Hilton
(2015)
(2015)
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Hello, Universe Book Poster Image
Charming tale of friendship, courage, and self-acceptance.
By Erin Entrada Kelly
(2017)
(2017)
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Pavi Sharma's Guide to Going Home Book Poster Image
Wry story of foster kids looks at tough and tender truths.
By Bridget Farr
(2019)
(2019)
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Pie in the Sky Book Poster Image
Moving graphic novel hybrid explores immigration and grief.
By Remy Lai
(2019)
(2019)
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Red, White, and Whole Book Poster Image
Emotional novel in verse follows 1983 Indian American teen.
By Rajani LaRocca
(2021)
(2021)
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The Serpent's Secret: Kiranmala and the Kingdom Beyond, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Rushed, fun adventure with Indian princess in combat boots.
By Sayantani DasGupta
(2018)
(2018)
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Amal Unbound Book Poster Image
Compelling story of girl in Pakistan forced to be a servant.
By Aisha Saeed
(2018)
(2018)
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The Bridge Home Book Poster Image
Heartbreak, hope in fierce story of homeless kids in India.
By Padma Venkatraman
(2019)
(2019)
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Bridge of Time Book Poster Image
Clever tale of present-day kids lost in 1864 San Francisco.
By Lewis Buzbee
(2012)
(2012)
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Counting by 7s Book Poster Image
Striking tale of quirky girl connecting after parental loss.
By Holly Goldberg Sloan
(2013)
(2013)
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Girl Giant and the Monkey King Book Poster Image
Middle school girl uses trickster god's help in fun fantasy.
By Van Hoang
(2020)
(2020)
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The Grand Plan to Fix Everything Book Poster Image
Young girl's Bollywood-esque adventure is lots of fun.
By Uma Krishnaswami
(2011)
(2011)
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Inside Out and Back Again Book Poster Image
Inspiring, educational immigrant story told in free verse.
By Thanhha Lai
(2011)
(2011)
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It Ain't So Awful, Falafel Book Poster Image
Relatable story of Iranian girl in U.S. who wants to fit in.
By Firoozeh Dumas
(2016)
(2016)
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Kira-Kira Book Poster Image
Girl faces racism, sister's cancer in touching tale.
By Cynthia Kadohata
(2005)
(2005)
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Lalani of the Distant Sea Book Poster Image
Girl goes on epic quest in Filipino folklore-inspired tale.
By Erin Entrada Kelly
(2019)
(2019)
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The Land of Forgotten Girls Book Poster Image
Sisters search for hope in heartbreaking coming-of-age tale.
By Erin Entrada Kelly
(2016)
(2016)
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My Fate According to the Butterfly Book Poster Image
Emotional tale of family, forgiveness, and drug addiction.
By Gail D. Villanueva
(2019)
(2019)
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The Night Diary Book Poster Image
India-Pakistan religious conflict drives moving family tale.
By Veera Hiranandani
(2018)
(2018)
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Nowhere Boy Book Poster Image
Riveting friendship tale set against terror, refugee crisis.
By Katherine Marsh
(2018)
(2018)
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Other Words for Home Book Poster Image
Hopeful, relatable story of Syrian refugee in middle school.
By Jasmine Warga
(2019)
(2019)
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Pashmina Book Poster Image
Big-hearted graphic novel explores Indian culture.
By Nidhi Chanani
(2017)
(2017)
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Pippa Park Raises Her Game Book Poster Image
Charming middle-grade novel about friendship and identity.
By Erin Yun
(2020)
(2020)
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Revolution Is Not a Dinner Party Book Poster Image
Gripping story, great intro to China's Cultural Revolution.
By Ying Chang Compestine
(2008)
(2007)
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Secrets of the Terra-Cotta Soldier Book Poster Image
Boy joins a come-to-life clay soldier in exciting adventure.
By Ying Chang Compestine, Vinson Compestine
(2014)
(2014)
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Shooting Kabul Book Poster Image
Life and 9/11 through lens of 11-year-old Afghan immigrant.
By N.H. Senzai
(2011)
(2011)
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Superman Smashes the Klan Book Poster Image
Asian American teens and Superman vs. racism in retro tale.
By Gene Luen Yang
(2020)
(2020)
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The Thing About Luck Book Poster Image
Migrant worker girl faces big responsibility in sweet story.
By Cynthia Kadohata
(2013)
(2013)
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Where the Mountain Meets the Moon Book Poster Image
Chinese girl's Oz-like adventure begging to be read aloud.
By Grace Lin
(2010)
(2009)
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City of the Plague God Book Poster Image
Action-packed tale of Middle East myths, magic, monsters.
By Sarwat Chadda
(2021)
(2021)
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Everything Sad Is Untrue: (A True Story) Book Poster Image
Young refugee's story is told in memories, myths, fables.
By Daniel Nayeri
(2020)
(2020)
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A Place to Belong Book Poster Image
Emotional post-WWII story promotes compassion, perseverance.
By Cynthia Kadohata
(2019)
(2019)
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Prairie Lotus Book Poster Image
Stunning tale of Asian girl's struggle on 1880s frontier.
By Linda Sue Park
(2020)
(2020)
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Weedflower Book Poster Image
Interned girl, Native boy find common ground in moving tale.
By Cynthia Kadohata
(2009)
(2009)
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10 Things I Hate About Pinky Book Poster Image
Teen falls for her fake boyfriend in charming romance.
By Sandhya Menon
(2020)
(2020)
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Almost American Girl Book Poster Image
Tender graphic memoir of Korean teen's immigrant experience.
By Robin Ha
(2020)
(2020)
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Avatar, The Last Airbender: The Rise of Kyoshi: The Kyoshi Novels, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Servant girl becomes mystical hero in fast-paced fantasy.
By F.C. Yee, Michael Dante DiMartino
(2019)
(2019)
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The Beast Player Book Poster Image
Teen bonds with magical beasts in captivating fantasy.
By Nahoko Uehashi
(2020)
(2019)
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Boxers & Saints Book Poster Image
Exciting graphic-novel set is powerful historical fiction.
By Gene Luen Yang
(2013)
(2013)
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Darius the Great Is Not Okay Book Poster Image
Unforgettable, heartwarming story of friendship and family.
By Adib Khorram
(2019)
(2018)
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Displacement Book Poster Image
Moving tale of teen time traveler's trip to internment camp.
By Kiku Hughes
(2020)
(2020)
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The Epic Crush of Genie Lo Book Poster Image
Gripping fantasy with strong characters, humor, adventure.
By F.C. Yee
(2017)
(2017)
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For a Muse of Fire Book Poster Image
Captivating alternate-Asia fantasy has magic, suspense.
By Heidi Heilig
(2019)
(2018)
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From Twinkle, with Love Book Poster Image
Sparkling romantic comedy has lots to say about friendship.
By Sandhya Menon
(2018)
(2018)
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Gilded Book Poster Image
Adventurous fantasy weaves Korean mythology, martial arts.
By Christina L. Farley
(2014)
(2014)
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A Moment Comes Book Poster Image
Moving coming-of-age story set amid creation of Pakistan.
By Jennifer Bradbury
(2013)
(2013)
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Nine Days Book Poster Image
Gripping search for missing dad, based on a true story.
By Fred Hiatt
(2013)
(2013)
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Of Curses and Kisses: St. Rosetta's Academy, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Sparkling modern retelling of "Beauty and the Beast."
By Sandhya Menon
(2020)
(2020)
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A Pho Love Story Book Poster Image
Vietnamese American teens find love in heartwarming romcom.
By Loan Le
(2021)
(2021)
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Spin the Dawn: The Blood of Stars, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Teen unravels secrets of sewing in sharp, unusual fantasy.
By Elizabeth Lim
(2019)
(2019)
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There's Something About Sweetie Book Poster Image
It's what's on the inside that matters in sweet romcom.
By Sandhya Menon
(2019)
(2019)
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They Called Us Enemy Book Poster Image
Powerful graphic memoir of actor's internment as a child.
By George Takei, Justin Eisinger, Steven Scott
(2019)
(2019)
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Tokyo Heist Book Poster Image
Manga, art, and life lessons in top-notch mystery adventure.
By Diana Renn
(2012)
(2012)
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We Are Not Free Book Poster Image
Powerful tale of Japanese American resilience during WWII.
By Traci Chee
(2020)
(2020)
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While I Was Away Book Poster Image
Girl finds Japanese roots in sweet, reflective memoir.
By Waka T. Brown
(2021)
(2021)
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You Bring the Distant Near Book Poster Image
Empowering tale of pursuing dreams, honoring heritage.
By Mitali Perkins
(2017)
(2017)
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American Born Chinese Book Poster Image
Teen confronts Asian myths, stereotypes in quest to fit in.
By Gene Luen Yang
(2007)
(2006)
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American Panda Book Poster Image
Hilarious story of MIT freshman juggling culture, freedom.
By Gloria Chao
(2018)
(2018)
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The Henna Wars Book Poster Image
Page-turner romcom takes on race, faith, queer love.
By Adiba Jaigirdar
(2020)
(2020)
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I'll Be the One Book Poster Image
Body-positive teen seeks K-pop stardom in cute romcom.
By Lyla Lee
(2020)
(2020)
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Our Wayward Fate Book Poster Image
Taiwanese American teens tackle racism in heartfelt tale.
By Gloria Chao
(2019)
(2019)
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Rent a Boyfriend Book Poster Image
Sweet, romantic tale about identity and family expectations.
By Gloria Chao
(2020)
(2020)
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Shadow of the Fox Book Poster Image
Samurai, demons, Japanese folklore; very cool, kind of gory.
By Julie Kagawa
(2018)
(2018)
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Something in Between Book Poster Image
Teen romance inspires empathy for immigrants.
By Melissa de la Cruz
(2016)
(2016)
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Somewhere Only We Know Book Poster Image
K-pop star steps out in romantic "Roman Holiday" retelling.
By Maurene Goo
(2019)
(2019)
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Song of the Crimson Flower Book Poster Image
Absorbing companion story to Asian-inspired fantasy series.
By Julie C. Dao
(2019)
(2019)
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Starfish Book Poster Image
Biracial teen learns to love herself in heartbreaking novel.
By Akemi Dawn Bowman
(2018)
(2017)
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Summer Bird Blue Book Poster Image
Emotional novel deals with death, grief, and abandonment.
By Akemi Dawn Bowman
(2018)
(2018)
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This Time Will Be Different Book Poster Image
Captivating story of teen confronting the racist past.
By Misa Sugiura
(2019)
(2019)
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A Thousand Beginnings and Endings Book Poster Image
Modern authors meet Asian mythology in stellar anthology.
By Ellen Oh, Elsie Chapman
(2018)
(2018)
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To All the Boys I've Loved Before, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Sassy sisters steal the show in well-told romantic read.
By Jenny Han
(2014)
(2014)
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A Very Large Expanse of Sea Book Poster Image
Muslim teen busts stereotypes in bitterly funny school tale.
By Tahereh Mafi
(2018)
(2018)
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When Dimple Met Rishi Book Poster Image
Opposites begin to attract in sweet arranged-union tale.
By Sandhya Menon
(2017)
(2017)
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Wicked Fox Book Poster Image
Dramatic fantasy-romance based on Korean tale of the gumiho.
By Kat Cho
(2019)
(2019)
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Butterfly Yellow Book Poster Image
Moving post-Vietnam War story of courage and perseverance.
By Thanhha Lai
(2019)
(2019)
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The Counterfeit Family Tree of Vee Crawford-Wong Book Poster Image
Angsty tale of Chinese American teen questioning his roots.
By L. Tam Holland
(2013)
(2013)
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Don't Read the Comments Book Poster Image
Heartfelt tale tackles sexism and racism in gaming industry.
By Eric Smith
(2020)
(2020)
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Eleanor & Park Book Poster Image
Intense '80s romance is a fabulous pick for mature teens.
By Rainbow Rowell
(2013)
(2013)
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Fat Chance, Charlie Vega Book Poster Image
Charming novel promotes body positivity and self-acceptance.
By Crystal Maldonado
(2021)
(2021)
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Frankly in Love Book Poster Image
Heartfelt coming-of-age tale about love, family, identity.
By David Yoon
(2019)
(2019)
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How It All Blew Up Book Poster Image
Funny tale of Muslim teen's coming-of-age and coming-out.
By Arvin Ahmadi
(2020)
(2020)
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I Believe in a Thing Called Love Book Poster Image
Girl uses Korean TV dramas as guide in charming romance.
By Maurene Goo
(2017)
(2017)
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The Joy Luck Club Book Poster Image
Sweeping story of bicultural mother-daughter friction.
By Amy Tan
(2010)
(1989)
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Loveboat, Taipei Book Poster Image
Taiwanese American teen finds love and freedom in fun tale.
By Abigail Hing Wen
(2020)
(2020)
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Love from A to Z Book Poster Image
North American Muslim teens find romance on Qatar trip.
By S.K. Ali
(2019)
(2019)
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Patron Saints of Nothing Book Poster Image
Heartrending tale explores grief, Philippines' war on drugs.
By Randy Ribay
(2019)
(2019)
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The Perfect Escape Book Poster Image
Charming romance highlights communication and integrity.
By Suzanne Park
(2020)
(2020)
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Picture Us in the Light Book Poster Image
Compelling story of friendship, family, loss, and secrets.
By Kelly Loy Gilbert
(2018)
(2018)
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Rani Patel in Full Effect Book Poster Image
Powerful coming-of-age tale deals with abuse, addiction.
By Sonia Patel
(2016)
(2016)
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The Sun Is Also a Star Book Poster Image
Beautiful and philosophical love story is deeply moving.
By Nicola Yoon
(2016)
(2016)
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Super Fake Love Song Book Poster Image
Hilarious romcom highlights communication and integrity.
By David Yoon
(2020)
(2020)
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Symptoms of a Heartbreak Book Poster Image
Emotional tale of girl genius who's both doctor and teen.
By Sona Charaipotra
(2019)
(2019)
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The Way You Make Me Feel Book Poster Image
Sweet coming-of-age tale explores family, food, friendship.
By Maurene Goo
(2018)
(2018)
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When We Were Infinite Book Poster Image
Powerful story of friendship, expectations, and healing.
By Kelly Loy Gilbert
(2021)
(2021)
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A Girl Like That Book Poster Image
Compelling tale of teen rebellion, tragedy in Saudi Arabia.
By Tanaz Bhathena
(2018)
(2018)
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Never Fall Down Book Poster Image
Harrowing true story of boy in Cambodia's Killing Fields.
By Patricia McCormick
(2012)
(2012)
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Parachutes Book Poster Image
Powerful tale of immigration, privilege, and rape culture.
By Kelly Yang
(2020)
(2020)
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The Kite Runner Book Poster Image
Brilliant, violent Afghanistan novel will enlighten teens.
By Khaled Hosseini
(2012)
(2003)
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Life of Pi Book Poster Image
Fascinating survival tale with animal facts, gory detail.
By Yann Martel
(2011)
(2001)
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Not the Girls You're Looking For Book Poster Image
Half-Iraqi teen finds her way in scattered coming-of-ager.
By Aminah Mae Safi
(2018)
(2018)
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