Books for Kids: AAPI Heritage Month

  • Books for Kids: AAPI Heritage Month

Here are some books for elementary schoolers to try during AAPI Heritage Month.

For a printable copy of this list, click here: Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Hush! a Thai Lullably

Minfong Ho

This book contains a lullaby which asks animals such as lizard, monkey, and water buffalo to be quiet and do not disturb the sleeping baby.

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A Different Pond

Bao Phi

A 2018 Caldecott Honor Book that Kirkus Reviews calls "a must-read for our times," A Different Pond is an unforgettable story about a simple event - a long-ago fishing trip. Graphic novelist Thi Bui and acclaimed poet Bao Phi deliver a powerful, honest glimpse into a relationship between father and son - and between cultures, old and new. As a young boy, Bao and his father awoke early, hours before his father's long workday began, to fish on the shores of a small pond in Minneapolis. Unlike many other anglers, Bao and his father fished for food, not recreation. A successful catch meant a fed family. Between hope-filled casts, Bao's father told him about a different pond in their homeland of Vietnam. Thi Bui's striking, evocative art paired with Phi's expertly crafted prose has earned this powerful picture books six starred reviews and numerous awards.

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What Will You Be, Sara Mee?

Kate Aver Avraham

Will she be an artist? A cook? A writer? Sara Mee is turning one, and her family and friends gather for her tol, or first-birthday celebration. Food and presents abound, but most exciting of all is the traditional Korean prophecy game, called the toljabee, which predicts what Sara Mee will be when she grows up. A book for all cultures, WHAT WILL YOU BE, SARA MEE? celebrates siblings, community, and the blending of traditions.

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The Turtle Ship

Helena Ku Rhee

A young Korean boy named Sunsin designs one of the greatest battleships in history and fulfills his dream of sailing the world.

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Sam and the Lucky Money

Karen Chinn

Sam must decide how to spend the lucky money he's received for Chinese New Year.

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Apple Pie Fourth of July

Janet S. Wong

A Chinese American child fears that the food her parents are preparing to sell on the Fourth of July will not be eaten.

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We Eat Rice

Min J. Hong

Two young Asian children show how many different ways rice can be prepared and how many foods rice can be eaten with.

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Yoga Class

Uma Krishnaswami

Demonstrates six simple positions in yoga for children.

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A Single Shard

Linda Sue Park

13-year-old Tree-ear lives in a Korean village famous for its ceramics. He doesn’t have much but he loves to watch master potter Min at work and dreams of learning the craft one day. Reluctantly Min agrees to let Tree-ear help him. Determined to do whatever it takes to prove himself, Tree-ear embarks on a dangerous journey to present his master’s work to the king, unaware it will change his life forever.

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Laurence Yep

In the early twentieth century a young Chinese boy joins his father in San Francisco and helps him realize his dream of making a flying machine.

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Sylvia & Aki

Winifred Conkling

Young Sylvia Mendez never expected to be at the center of a landmark legal battle. Young Aki Munemitsu never expected to be sent away from her home and her life as she knew it. The two girls definitely never expected to know each other, until their lives intersected on a Southern California farm in a way that changed the country forever. Who are Sylvia and Aki? And why did their family stories matter then and still matter today? This book reveals the remarkable, never-before-told story based on true events of Mendez vs. Westminster School District, the California court case that desegregated schools for Latino children and set the stage for Brown vs. Topeka Board of Education at the national level.

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Starry River of the Sky

Grace Lin

An innkeeper's chore boy discovers that a visitor's stories hold the key to returning the moon to the Starry River of the Sky.

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Archer’s Quest

Linda Sue Park

Twelve-year-old Kevin Kim helps Chu-mong, a legendary king of ancient Korea, return to his own time.

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A Jar of Dreams

Yoshiko Uchida

Eleven-year-old Rinko grows up in a closely-knit Japanese American family in California during the Depression, a time of great prejudice.

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Front Desk

Kelly Yang

Recent immigrants from China and desperate for work and money, ten-year-old Mia Tang's parents take a job managing a rundown motel in Southern California, even though the owner, Mr. Yao is a nasty skinflint who exploits them; while her mother (who was an engineer in China) does the cleaning, Mia works the front desk and tries to cope with demanding customers and other recent immigrants--not to mention being only one of two Chinese in her fifth grade class, the other being Mr. Yao's son, Jason.

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The Dragon’s Child

Laurence Yep

Did you want to go to America? Pop: Sure. I didn’t have a choice. My father said I had to go. So I went. Were you sad when you left your village? Pop: Maybe a little . . . well, maybe a lot. Ten-year-old Gim Lew Yep knows that he must leave his home in China and travel to America with the father who is a stranger to him. Gim Lew doesn’t want to leave behind everything that he’s ever known. But he is even more scared of disappointing his father. He uses his left hand, rather than the “correct” right hand; he stutters; and most of all, he worries about not passing the strict immigration test administered at Angel Island. The Dragon’s Child is a touching portrait of a father and son and their unforgettable journey from China to the land of the Golden Mountain. It is based on actual conversations between two-time Newbery Honor author Laurence Yep and his father and on research on his family’s immigration history by his niece, Dr. Kathleen Yep.

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Nine-in-one, Grr! Grr!

Blia Xiong, Cathy Spagnoli

When the great god Shao promises Tiger nine cubs each year, Bird comes up with a clever trick to prevent the land from being overrun by tigers.

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Passage to Freedom

Ken Mochizuki

Looks at the Chinese diplomat who used his powers--against the orders of his own government--to assist thousands of Jews in escaping the Nazis in Lithuania

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