With Youth

Younger Kids Lit

Detail from Book cover of Feather, by Wenxuan, Cao. Translate from Chinese by Chloe Garcia Roberts. illus. by Roger Mello

1. 20 Books for Young Readers To Celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month & Year-Round. This list contains 20 books reviewed by the School Library journal written by authors of Asian descent. Each list covers a diverse array of genres, time periods, and formats. They all feature subjects, figures, or protagonists who speak to the Asian/Pacific Islander diaspora and experience. Each item has a suggested age targeted demographic from Preschool to 8th grade.

2. 16 Books That Feature Asian American Heroes & Leads. This list contains 16 books ranging from historical fiction to graphic novels to bilingual picture books targeted to ages 3 to 14. Two items included are reimaginings of famous works: DC’s Green Lantern with a Vietnamese-American boy protagonist and Charles Dickens’s classic Great Expectations through the experiences of a funny, kind-hearted Korean-American heroine.

3. Children’s Picture Books: Stories about Characters of Filipino Ethnicity

4. Children’s Picture Books: Stories about Characters of Korean Ethnicity

5. Children’s Picture Books featuring Asian / Pacific Islander / Asian American cultures

6. Picture Books with Asian and Asian-American characters and themes

7. Asian and Pacific Islander Picture Book Biographies



Middle Grade and YA Lit

Comics and Graphic Novels

Girl reading

1. 7 Great Comics by Asian American Authors and Illustrators

2. 10 graphic novels by Asian American novelists and illustrators


Books for Middle Grades

American Born Chinese cover1. 63 Best Asian Middle-Grade Books to Add to Your Reading List in 2021 (readingmiddlegrade.com). A list of 63 books for middle grade students written by authors of Asian descent. It includes books about both historical and contemporary subjects and organizes them by topic, such as “Best Asian Middle-Grade Book About Music.”

2. 40 East Asian Middle Grade Authors – Literacious. Compiled in response to the increasing harassment of Asian Americans during the Coronavirus, this list features forty middle grade novels by authors of East Asian descent. The books are mainly fiction. The blog post includes links to blog posts with books featuring “Asian Protagonists” and “Indian Voices.”

3. 14 Chapter Books That Celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage. A list of fourteen chapter books that feature Asian American protagonists. The books are mainly contemporary fiction with a few historical fiction books and a graphic novel.

Books for Young Adults

Reading Middle Grade1. The Best of Asian YA – 51 Young Adult Novels by Authors of Asian Descent. A list of 51 Asian Young Adult books written by authors of Asian descent. Although not separated by topic or anything, the list does include many different genres, so every reader will be able to find a book that interests them. 

2. 20 Best Asian American YA Books To Read In 2020. All written by Asian authors or featuring an Asian American protagonist, this list of 20 books is a great place to start expanding one’s knowledge of Asian YA literature. 

3. A Round-Up of Awesome Asian American Protagonists in YA Lit. An extensive list of YA books that feature Asian American protagonists. The list is separated into categories like East Asian American Protagonists, Southeast American Protagonists, South Asian American Protagonists, and West Asian American Protagonists. However, some of the books have been marked as controversial in their representation of Asian American characters. Start with this list but be sure to research any books you wish to use.

4. Asian Pacific American Heritage Month: Young Adult Books | Los Angeles Public Library. A list of fiction, nonfiction, and graphic novels chosen by librarians at the Los Angeles Public Library.

5. Buzzfeed: 24 YA Books To Devour During Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. 24 Asian Pacific American books ranging from fantasy to rom coms all written for YA readers.



Digital Resources

Video Resources

New York Times photograph. Person in white sweater takes faceless selfie in mirror. Beside mirror, words "corona time"1. New York Times Opinion: How Coronavirus Racism Infected My High School

2. CNA Insider: Kids & Racism | Regardless Of Race 

3. Tedx, Canwen Xu: I Am Not Your Asian Stereotype. “Bad driver. Math wizard. Model minority. In this hilarious and insightful talk, eighteen-year-old highschool senior Canwen Xu shares her Asian-American story of breaking stereotypes, reaffirming stereotypes, and driving competently on her way to buy rice.” (Annotation from Video Description) 

Web Resources

Britannica Kids1. Britannica Kids: Asian Americans. This Encyclopedia Britannica page features information for kids about Asian Americans, their history in the United States, and the discrimination that people of Asian descent have faced in the U.S. 

2. UC Berkeley Library: The Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement: A Digital Archive. UC Berkeley hosts this website for primary source documents about the internment camps that held Japanese-Americans. This resource is navigable by older youth for self-study. 

3. Chinese-American Historical Society: Remembering the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act. Filled with primary source documents and more related to the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act.

4. 31 Works by Asian American Artists from the Collection. A Pinterest board from the National Gallery features works by Asian-American Artists that youth can explore.

Drawing Parallels to the San Francisco Plague

YouTube1. “The Bubonic Plague…In San Francisco?”. A thirty-minute engaging video from mortician Caitlin Doughty on the Bubonic Plague outbreak in 1904 and how Chinese-Americans were feared and ostracized for this outbreak. A historical counterpoint to the Coronavirus pandemic and the accompanying rise in anti-Asian hate acts.

2. PBS: Bubonic Plague. This video segment from A Science Odyssey recounts the tactics employed by San Francisco’s health officials to prevent bubonic plague from reaching America’s West Coast. – Suggested for Grades 6-12

Historical and Popular Role Models

Screenshot from Asian Americans in the People’s History of the United States webpage1. Heroes in Asian-American History (From Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States). Brief profiles with photographic portraits of key figures in Asian American history and hyperlinks to further reading on them.

2. A Creative’s Guide to Asian-American Media Studies. An excellent resource for aspiring artists. It explores current and historical Asian-American contributions to art.

3. Activist Kiyoshi Kuromiya. A short biography on and video remembrance of anti-war and gay rights activist Kiyoshi Kuramiya.

4. George Takei. A brief biography of the actor George Takei. It  summarizes different aspects of his life, including his family’s internment during World War II. The article is part of PBS’s “Pioneers of Television” series.

5. Asian Americans For Equality: Four Decades of Social Justice. The article and video in Four Decades of Social Justice details the forty years that Asian Americans For Equality spent fighting for the civil rights of Asian-Americans. They begin with the 1974 protests against Police Brutality and end in 2014, when the history was written. A must read and must see for understanding the ongoing injustices facing Asian-American communities and the continuing fight for social justice.

6. Yun-Dong Nam. Yun-Dong Nam is a Korean-American Artist that also teaches Ceramic class at UNC Chapel Hill. His instruction techniques show he cares about his students, and he often includes historical concepts/techniques of sculpture and ceramic in both different American and Asian cultures.