YA for Asian Heritage Month

Did you know that May is Asian Heritage Month? We’ve decided to celebrate by compiling a list of YA books by Asian authors that focuses on celebrating their culture and history, as well as the struggles and discrimination that they have faced (and still do). For more book suggestions, check out this larger list we’ve compiled in our catalogue!

cover art, A Magic Steeped in PoisonA Magic Steeped in Poison by Judy I. Lin

A Chinese-mythology inspired fantasy which follows 17-year-old Zhang Ning, who is a shénnóng-tú, an apprentice of the magical art of tea-making. Ning enters a cutthroat magical competition to find the kingdom’s greatest master of the art of brewing tea, but political schemes and secrets make her goal of gaining access to royal physicians to cure her dying sister far more dangerous than she imagined.






cover art, the red palace

The Red Palace by June Hur 

In 1758 Joseon (Korea), 18-year-old palace nurse Hyeon works closely with a young police inspector to uncover the truth surrounding the murder of eight palace nurses, when all the evidence points to the Crown Prince himself. This mystery intertwines the true story of Crown Prince Sado with fiction to make an entertaining and suspenseful story!






cover art, sunny g's series of rash decisions

Sunny G’s Series of Rash Decisions by Navdeep Singh Dhillon 

Sunny G’s brother left him one thing when he died: His notebook, which Sunny is determined to fill up with a series of rash decisions. Decision number one was a big one: He stopped wearing his turban, cut off his hair, and shaved his beard. He doesn’t look like a Sikh anymore. Debuting his new look at the prom, Sunny G  finds his night filled with rash wonderful, romantic, stupid, life-changing decisions when he meets Mindii Vang. Sunny  and Mindii connect not only over their shared interests, but their values—including their deep love for family and culture—and their grief –  in a prom night rom-com that leads with friendship and pathos.




cover art, we are not freeWe Are Not Free by Traci Chee

We Are Not Free, is the collective account of a tight-knit group of young Nisei, second-generation Japanese American citizens, whose lives are irrevocably changed by the mass U.S. incarcerations of World War II.

Fourteen teens who have grown up together in Japantown, San Francisco.
Fourteen teens who form a community and a family, as interconnected as they are conflicted.
Fourteen teens whose lives are turned upside down when over 100,000 people of Japanese ancestry are removed from their homes and forced into desolate incarceration camps.




cover art, daughter of the moon goddess

The Daughter of the Moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan

A debut fantasy inspired by the legend of the Chinese moon goddess, Chang’e, in which a young woman’s quest to free her mother pits her against the most powerful immortal in the realm and sets her on a dangerous path–where choices come with deadly consequences, and she risks losing more than her heart.






cover art, all my rageAll My Rage by Sabaa Tahir

Salahudin and Noor are more than best friends; they are family. Growing up as outcasts in the small desert town of Juniper, California, they understand each other the way no one else does. Until The Fight, which destroys their bond with the swift fury of a star exploding.

Now, Sal scrambles to run the family motel as his mother Misbah’s health fails and his grieving father loses himself to alcoholism. Noor, meanwhile, walks a harrowing tightrope: working at her wrathful uncle’s liquor store while hiding the fact that she’s applying to college so she can escape him—and Juniper—forever.

This deep dive into the complex ferocity of emotions within families is a love letter to Pakistani culture and revelations from the past that test the boundaries of survival.