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

From Japan to Pakistan, from the Phillipines to New Zealand, 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. 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, Asian American, Desi, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Characters and Books with Characters of Color.

A Big Mooncake for Little Star Poster Image
BOOK

A Big Mooncake for Little Star

age 3+

Girl sneaks nibbles, mooncake wanes in cozy bedtime charmer.

By: Grace Lin (2018)
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Cannonball Poster Image
BOOK

Cannonball

age 3+

Warm story of individuality and achieving a perfect splash.

By: Sacha Cotter (2020)
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Beautifully Me Poster Image
BOOK

Beautifully Me

age 4+

Family remembers what beauty really is in kind, joyful tale.

By: Nabela Noor (2021)
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Cinnamon Poster Image
BOOK

Cinnamon

age 4+

Beautiful art distinguishes Indian-style princess tale.

By: Neil Gaiman (2017)
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Young girl looking up at moon and stars with excited, happy face.
BOOK

Hannah and the Ramadan Gift

age 4+

Sweet, inspiring story about girl's Ramadan celebration.

By: Qasim Rashid (2021)
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I Am Golden Poster Image
BOOK

I Am Golden

age 4+

Girl learns to love being Chinese American in joyful tale.

By: Eva Chen (2022)
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Eyes That Kiss in the Corners Poster Image
BOOK

Eyes That Kiss in the Corners

age 4+

Lovely picture book celebrates family identity, heritage.

By: Joanna Ho (2021)
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Eyes That Speak to the Stars Poster Image
BOOK

Eyes That Speak to the Stars

age 4+

Little boy learns his eyes are beautiful in gorgeous sequel.

By: Joanna Ho (2022)
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Hair Twins Poster Image
BOOK

Hair Twins

age 4+

Warm story of family connection and Sikh hair traditions.

By: Raakhee Mirchandani (2021)
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Katie Woo Series Poster Image
BOOK

Katie Woo Series

age 5+

Relatable stories in short chapters have good life lessons.

By: Fran Manushkin (2011)
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Ling & Ting: Not Exactly the Same! Poster Image
BOOK

Ling & Ting: Not Exactly the Same!

age 5+

Twins embrace individuality in funny book for new readers.

By: Grace Lin (2010)
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Yasmin in Charge Poster Image
BOOK

Yasmin in Charge

age 5+

Problem-solving girl shares her culture in sweet stories.

By: Saadia Faruqi (2019)
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Girl sits at desk with teddy bear.
BOOK

Zahra's Blessing: A Ramadan Story

age 5+

Girl's kindness shines in gorgeous Ramadan tale.

By: Shirin Shamsi (2022)
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The Chinese Emperor's New Clothes Poster Image
BOOK

The Chinese Emperor's New Clothes

age 6+

Clever twist on classic tale adds dimension and great art.

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Crouching Tiger Poster Image
BOOK

Crouching Tiger

age 6+

Boy learns to appreciate his heritage in universal story.

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A Different Pond Poster Image
BOOK

A Different Pond

age 6+

Exquisitely tender family story of Vietnamese refugees.

By: Bao Phi (2017)
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The Fearless Flights of Hazel Ying Lee Poster Image
BOOK

The Fearless Flights of Hazel Ying Lee

age 6+

Inspiring bio of 1st Asian American woman military pilot.

By: Julie Leung (2021)
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Love in the Library Poster Image
BOOK

Love in the Library

age 6+

Gentle, true story about finding love, hope in prison camp.

By: Maggie Tokuda-Hall (2022)
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Mindy Kim Series Poster Image
BOOK

Mindy Kim Series

age 6+

Warm series about Korean American girl's life in new town.

By: Lyla Lee (2020)
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The Year of the Book: Anna Wang, Book 1 Poster Image
BOOK

The Year of the Book: Anna Wang, Book 1

age 6+

Charming story of lonely, book-loving girl who finds friend.

By: Andrea Cheng (2012)
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