Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month is celebrated each May and recognizes the contributions that Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have made to our country that have enriched its culture, history and its success. In this AAPI Heritage Month, we would like to recommend some titles by Asian authors to readers of all ages. All featured books are available at the library.
Children will enjoy Grace Lin’s “A Big Mooncake for Little Star” picture book, which follows a young girl who cooks with her mother and can’t resist a bite of the treat they prepare. Bao Phi’s “A Different Pond” is a beautiful story about a father-son fishing trip, where a boy named Bao discovers a pond in their native Vietnam. In “The Many Colors of Harpreet Singh” by Supriya Kelkar, little Harpreet has a different color for every mood and occasion, from pink for dancing to bhangra rhythms to red for courage.
One of our favorite chapters is Yoon Ha Lee’s “Dragon Pearl,” a space opera about 13-year-old Min, who comes from a long line of fox spirits. Those looking to start a new series should try Roshani Chokshi’s ‘Aru Shah and the End Times’, an adventurous tale about a girl who spends her autumn vacation at home, waiting for her mother to return from her final archaeological journey. . At the museum where his mother works, Aru unwittingly releases the Sleeper, an ancient demon. The graphic novel “The Legend of Auntie Po” by Shing Yin Khor is a great choice for those who love history and folk tales. In it, young Mei works in a Sierra Nevada logging camp in the years following the Chinese Exclusion Act. As she works, she reimagines Paul Bunyan mythos, with Paul reimagined as Po Pan Yin (Aunt Po), an elderly Chinese matriarch.
We also have plenty of young adult titles, including Akshaya Raman’s “The Ivory Key,” a tale of magic, royalty and intrigue. Navdeep Singh Dhillon’s “Sunny G’s series of Rash Decisions” is a wonderful prom romantic comedy about a Sikh teenager’s search for love and identity. Fans of historical fiction will enjoy Stacey Lee’s ‘The Downstairs Girl,’ which follows 17-year-old Jo Kuan, who works as a maid by day and moonlights as the author of a newspaper advice column. . Elizabeth Lim’s “Six Crimson Cranes” fantasy features a young, banished princess who goes on a quest to free her brothers from a curse. This book weaves together several stories, including “The Wild Swans”, “Cinderella”, the Legend of Chang E and the “Tale of the Bamboo Cutter”.
Adults looking for memoirs should try “Crying in H Mart” by Michelle Zauner, founder of the Japanese Breakfast group. It chronicles the author’s relationship with her Korean mother and how she tries to deal with her grief after her mother’s death by learning to cook the dishes her mother made for her. Another food-themed memoir to try is “Eat a Peach” by David Chang, owner of Momofuku Noodle Bar in Manhattan’s East Village. David recounts the series of unlikely events that led him to success as a chef and explores his ordeals with mental illness. Mystery buffs should try Mia P. Manansala’s “Arsenic and Adobo,” a fun story about a chef and his relatives, who run a restaurant where they serve delicious Filipino dishes and solve crimes on the side. Step back in time to the 1980s with Quan Barry’s “We Ride Upon Sticks,” a paranormal tale about a high school field hockey team that discovers their winning season may have been influenced by the witchcraft of their Salem ancestors. Stop by our new Adult Manga section to discover “Made in Korea — Volume 1” by Jeremy Holt, a sci-fi story in which a couple adopts a child created using artificial intelligence.
In addition to reading these amazing books, you can visit the AAPI Heritage Month Book Stalls to pick up more titles throughout May at the library. We also organize the poster exhibition “I want the vast American land: an American history of Asia-Pacific”. The exhibit is courtesy of the Smithsonian Institution and supported by a grant from the WK Kellogg Foundation. The posters offer a panoramic look at Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in American history from the 1860s to the present day. It highlights the earliest Asian American immigrants, AAPI war veterans, Asian Americans who fought for fair labor practices and civil rights, as well as the many contributions of Americans to Asian origin to our national culture. The posters also detail the history of exclusion and discrimination that Asians in America have faced.
The library also has materials available in our world language collections. Books, music and movies are available in Vietnamese for guests of all ages. Our collection of children’s books has recent additions of books in Hindi, Japanese, Korean and Chinese, and we will continue to expand our selection of books in this area.
We’d be happy to help you find more titles to celebrate AAPI Heritage Month. Email us at [email protected] or check out our Book Recommendations section at library.pflugervilletx.gov for personalized suggestions for readers of all ages.
Bette McDowell is a senior librarian at the Pflugerville Public Library.