YA Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

YA Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month


Celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month by reading young adult books written by contemporary AAPI YA authors! You can also go to AAPI Heritage Month to learn more.

Compiled by:
Jen H
All-American Muslim Girl

Nadine Jolie Courtney
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Courtne)

Sixteen-year-old Allie, aged seven when she knew her family was different and feared, struggles to claim her Muslim and Arabic heritage while finding her place as an American teenager.

The Astonishing Color of After

Emily X.R. Pan
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Pan)

After her mother's suicide, grief-stricken Leigh Sanders travels to Taiwan to stay with grandparents she never met, determined to find her mother who she believes turned into a bird.

Butterfly Yellow

Thanhha Lai
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Lai)

A Vietnam War refugee in Texas partners with a city boy with rodeo dreams to track down the younger brother she was separated from six years before when he was evacuated by American troops during the waning days of the Vietnam War.

Darius the Great is Not Okay

Adib Khorram
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Khorram)

Clinically-depressed Darius Kellner, a high school sophomore, travels to Iran to meet his grandparents, but it is their next-door neighbor, Sohrab, who changes his life.

Descendant of the Crane

Joan He
(Young Adult Fiction - Y He)

Princess Hesina of Yan is thrust into power when her beloved father is murdered, and she's determined to find his killer--whatever the cost.

Dragon Pearl

Yoon Ha Lee
(Juvenile Fiction - J Lee)

Min, a thirteen-year-old girl with fox-magic, stows away on a battle cruiser and impersonates a cadet in order to solve the mystery of what happened to her older brother in the Thousand World Space Forces.

An Ember in the Ashes

Sabaa Tahir
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Tahir)

Laia is a Scholar living under the iron-fisted rule of the Martial Empire. When her brother is arrested for treason, Laia goes undercover as a slave at the empire's greatest military academy in exchange for assistance from rebel Scholars who claim that they will help to save her brother from execution.

The Epic Crush of Genie Lo

F.C. Yee
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Yee)

The struggle to get into a top-tier college consumes sixteen-year-old Genie’s every waking thought. But when she discovers she’s a celestial spirit who’s powerful enough to bash through the gates of heaven with her fists, her perfectionist existence is shattered.

Everything Sad is Untrue: (A True Story)

Daniel Nayeri
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Nayeri)

At the front of a middle school classroom in Oklahoma, a boy named Khosrou (whom everyone calls "Daniel") stands, trying to tell a story. his story. But no one believes a word he says. Khosrou's stories, stretching back years, and decades, and centuries, are beautiful, and terrifying.

Forest of a Thousand Lanterns

Julie C. Dao
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Dao)

The stars say Xifeng is destined for greatness, that she is meant to be Empress of Feng Lu. But is the price of the throne too high? She must spurn the young man who loves her and exploit the callous magic that runs through her veins. For the god who has sent her on this journey will not be satisfied until his power is absolute.

The Henna Wars

Adiba Jaigirdar
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Jaigird)

Nishat doesn't want to lose her family, but she also doesn't want to hide who she is. Flávia is beautiful and charismatic, and Nishat falls for her instantly. Nishat has a decision to make: stay in the closet for her family, or put aside her differences with Flávia and give their relationship a chance.

I'll Be the One

Lyla Lee
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Lee)

Skye Shin has heard it all. Fat girls shouldn't dance. Shouldn't wear bright colors. Shouldn't call attention to themselves. But Skye dreams of joining the glittering world of K-Pop, and to do that, she's about to break all the rules that society, the media, and even her own mother, have set for girls like her.


Samira Ahmed
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Ahmed)

A terrifying, futuristic United States where Muslim-Americans are forced into internment camps, and seventeen-year-old Layla Amin must lead a revolution against complicit silence.

Lalani of the Distant Sea

Erin Entrada Kelly
(Juvenile Fiction - J Kelly)

Lalani Sarita takes on the impossible task of traveling to the legendary Mount Isa, towering on an island to the north. Generations of men and boys have died on the same quest--how can a timid young girl in a tiny boat survive the epic tests of the archipelago?

Last Night at the Telegraph Club

Malinda Lo
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Lo)

Lily Hu can't remember exactly when the question took root, but the answer was in full bloom the moment she and Kathleen Miller walked under the flashing neon sign of a lesbian bar called the Telegraph Club.

Like a Love Story

Abdi Nazemian
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Nazemia)

It's 1989 in New York City, and the world is changing. Reza is an Iranian boy who has just moved to the city with his mother to live with his stepfather. He's terrified that someone will guess the truth he can barely acknowledge about himself. Reza knows he's gay, but all he knows of gay life are the media's images of men dying of AIDS.

Loveboat, Taipei

Abigail Hing Wen
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Wen)

When Ever Wong's parents sent her away for the summer, she's expecting Chien Tan: a strict, educational immersion program in Taiwan. Instead, she finds the infamous "Loveboat." But summer will end and Ever will be back to her parents and the future they've planned for her. Will she let this glimpse of freedom go - or will Loveboat give her the courage to pursue the future she dreams of, and the Ever Wong she wants to be?

The Night Diary

Veera Hiranandani
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Hiranan)

It's 1947, and India, newly independent of British rule, has been separated into two countries: Pakistan and India. The divide has created much tension between Hindus and Muslims, and hundreds of thousands are killed crossing borders. Half-Muslim, half-Hindu twelve-year-old Nisha doesn't know where she belongs, or what her country is anymore.

Patron Saints of Nothing

Randy Ribay
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Ribay)

When seventeen-year-old Jay Reguero learns his Filipino cousin and former best friend, Jun, was murdered as part of President Duterte's war on drugs, he flies to the Philippines to learn more.

Shadow of the Fox

Julie Kagawa
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Kagawa)

Yumeko has trained all her life to hide her yokai nature. Half kitsune, half human, her skill with illusion is matched only by her penchant for mischief. Until the day her home is burned to the ground, her adoptive family is brutally slain and she is forced to flee for her life with the temple's greatest treasure--one part of the ancient scroll.


Marie Lu
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Lu)

The Karensa Federation has conquered a dozen countries, leaving Mara as one of the last free nations in the world. Refugees flee to its borders to escape a fate worse than death. Robbed of her voice and home, Talin Kanami knows first hand the brutality of the Federation. But when a mysterious prisoner is brought from the front, Talin senses there's more to him than meets the eye.

Somewhere Only We Know

Maurene Goo
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Goo)

Told from two viewpoints, teens Lucky, a very famous K-pop star, and Jack, a part-time paparazzo who is trying to find himself, fall for each other against the odds through the course of one stolen day.

Super Fake Love Song

David Yoon
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Yoon)

When new-girl Cirrus mistakes self-described nerd Sunny Dae as the lead in a rock band, Sunny rolls with it forming a fake band with his friends, but as the lies continue he risks losing both Cirrus and his friends.

These Violent Delights

Chloe Gong
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Gong)

In 1926 Shanghai, eighteen-year-old Juliette Cai, heir of the Scarlet Gang, and her first love-turned-rival Roma Montagov, leader of the White Flowers, must work together when mysterious deaths threaten their city.

To All the Boys I've Loved Before

Jenny Han
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Han)

Lara Jean writes love letters to all the boys she has loved and then hides them in a hatbox until one day those letters are accidentally sent.

A Very Large Expanse of Sea

Tahereh Mafi
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Mafi)

A year after 9/11, Muslim teenager Shirin has completely withdrawn from social life, until she meets Ocean James in her biology class and is tempted to actually let her guard down.

We Are Not Free

Traci Chee
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Chee)

For budding artist Minoru Ito, and the other members of the Japanese-American community in southern California, the three months since Pearl Harbor was attacked have become a waking nightmare--and now things are about to get worse, their lives forever changed by the mass incarcerations in the relocation camps.

When Dimple Met Rishi

Sandhya Menon
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Menon)

When Dimple Shah and Rishi Patel meet at a Stanford University summer program, Dimple is avoiding her parents' obsession with "marriage prospects" but Rishi hopes to woo her into accepting arranged marriage with him.

Wicked Fox

Kat Cho
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Cho)

After Gu Miyoung, a nine-tailed fox surviving in modern-day Seoul by eating the souls of evil men, kills a murderous goblin to save Jihoon, she is forced to choose between her immortal life and his.

Graphic Novels

Almost American Girl

Robin Ha
(Graphic Novels - GN 741.5092 Ha Ha)

Growing up as the only child of a single mother in Seoul, Korea, wasn't always easy, but it has bonded them fiercely together. So when a vacation to visit friends in Huntsville, Alabama, unexpectedly becomes a permanent relocation--following her mother's announcement that she's getting married--Robin is devastated.

Dragon Hoops

Gene Luen Yang
(Graphic Novels - GN 741.5092 Yang Yan)

The men's varsity team, the Dragons, is having a phenomenal season that's been decades in the making. Each victory brings them closer to their ultimate goal: the California State Championships. Once Gene gets to know these young all-stars, he realizes that their story is just as thrilling as anything he's seen on a comic book page.

The Magic Fish

Trung Le Nguyen
(Graphic Novels - GN Trung Magic Fish)

It's hard enough trying to communicate with your parents as a kid, but for Tié̂n, he doesn't even have the right words because his parents are struggling with their English. Is there a Vietnamese word for what he's going through? Is there a way to tell them he's gay?

Monstress Vol. 1: Awakening

Marjorie Liu
(Graphic Novels - GN Monstress v. 1)

Monstress tells the epic story of Maika Halfwolf, a teenage survivor of a cataclysmic war between humans and their hated enemies, the Arcanics.


Nidhi Chanani
(Juvenile Graphic Novels - J-GN Chanani Pashmina)

Indian-American teen, Priyanka "Pri" Das, attempts to reconnect with her mother's homeland through a magical pashmina shawl.


Marjane Satrapi
(Graphic Novels - GN 741.5092 Satrapi Sat)

In powerful black-and-white comic strip images, Satrapi tells the story of her life in Tehran from ages six to 14, years that saw the overthrow of the Shah's regime, the triumph of the Islamic Revolution, and the devastating effects of war with Iraq.

Séance Tea Party

Reimena Yee
(Juvenile Graphic Novels - J GN Yee Seance Tea Party)

After watching her circle of friends seemingly fade away, Lora is determined to still have fun on her own, so when a tea party leads Lora to discovering Alexa, the ghost that haunts her house, they soon become best friends.

They Called Us Enemy

George Takei
(Graphic Novels - GN 791.4392 Takei Tak)

A stunning graphic memoir recounting actor/author/activist George Takei's childhood imprisoned within American concentration camps during World War II.