Asian American and Pacific Islander Book List

This month we honor and celebrate Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders (AAPI) and Native Hawaiians! This month (and every month), we encourage everyone celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander communities and expand their understandings of the many AAPI communities that are essential to the United States, in the past, present, and future.

Poudre Libraries encourages our community to check out these, and many other, AAPI voices through a mix of contemporary books, eBooks, audiobooks, and graphic novels.

Adult Book Choices

yellowface by r.f. kuang book cover

Yellowface, by R.F. Kuang

After the death of her literary rival in a freak accident, author June Hayward steals her just-finished masterpiece and sends it to her agent as her work. However, as emerging evidence threatens her success, she discovers how far she’ll go to keep what she thinks she deserves.

pachinko by min jin lee book cover

Pachinko, by Min Jin Lee

Pachinko follows one Korean family through the generations, beginning in early 1900s Korea with Sunja, the prized daughter of a poor yet proud family, whose unplanned pregnancy threatens to shame them all. So begins a sweeping saga of an exceptional family in exile from its homeland and caught in the indifferent arc of history. Through desperate struggles and hard-won triumphs, its members are bound together by deep roots as they face enduring questions of faith, family, and identity.

welcome me to the kingdom by mai nardone book cover

Welcome Me To the Kingdom, by Mai Nardone

Spanning decades and perspectives, seamlessly shifting between the gothic and the tenderhearted, Welcome Me to the Kingdom announces the arrival of an immensely talented new voice in literary fiction. Organized around the devastating financial crisis of 1997, these stories introduce us to an unforgettable cast of characters–Nam, Pea, Lara, Benz, Ping, and more–who employ various schemes and strategies to conceal, betray, lie, and seduce their way to achieving the ‘good’ life.

vera wong's unsolicited advice for murderers by jesse q. sutanto book cover

Vera Wong’s Unsolicited Advice for Murderers, by Jesse Q. Sutanto

When she discovers a dead man in the middle of her tea shop, Vera Wong, a suspicious Chinese mother with time on her hands, calls the police but not before swiping the flash drive from the body, setting a trap for the killer that becomes complicated by unexpected friendships with her customers.

we too sing america by deepa iyer book cover

We Too Sing America, by Deepa Iyer

An attorney chronicles a post-9/11 history of hatred and racial profiling against various immigrant and undocumented groups, as well as efforts to improve the situation.

sea change by gina chung book cover

Sea Change, by Gina Chung

Ro is stuck. She’s just entered her thirties, she’s estranged from her mother, and her boyfriend has just left her to join a mission to Mars. Ro’s only companion is Dolores, a giant Pacific octopus who also happens to be Ro’s last remaining link to her father, a marine biologist who disappeared while on an expedition when Ro was a teenager. When Dolores is sold to a wealthy investor intent on moving her to a private aquarium, Ro finds herself on the precipice of self-destruction.

on earth we're briefly gorgeous by ocean vuong book cover

On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous, by Ocean Vuong

This poetic autobiographical novel intimately explores grief, race, and sexuality in the form of letters from a son to his mother, who is illiterate.

new waves, a novel, by kevin nguyen book cover

New Waves: A Novel, by Kevin Nguyen

In this sharp novel about tech culture, two startup employees, tired of being office pariahs and dealing with passive-aggressive racism, decide to steal their company’s user database in an act of vengeance before quitting their jobs.

insurrecto, a novel, by gina apostol book cover

Insurrecto, by Gina Apostol

Apostol layers complex labyrinthian narratives to tell the story of two women—a filmmaker and a translator—creating rival scripts in Duterte’s Philippines. This meta-narrative is a haunting look at the brutalities of the Filipino-American War and its postcolonial legacy.

the bandit queens by parini shroff, book cover

The Bandit Queens, by Parini Shroff

A young Indian woman finds the false rumors that she killed her husband surprisingly useful–until other women in the village start asking for her help getting rid of their own husbands–in this razor-sharp debut.

Teen Book Choices

almost american girl, an illustrated memoir by robin ha

Almost American Girl: An Illustrated Memoir, By Robin Ha

Ha’s graphic memoir explores her journey to a new country and her struggles with culture shock and loneliness. It delves into the idea of straddling two cultures and simultaneously feeling a part of both and neither.

chloe and the kaishao boys by mae coyiuto book cover

Chloe and the Kaishao Boys, by Mae Coyiuto

Seventeen-year-old Chinese Filipina Chloe’s father sets her up on a marathon of arranged dates to convince her to stay close to their Manila home for college.

born confused by ianuja desai hidier book cover

Born Confused, by Tanuja Desai Hidier

Dimple Lala’s conflicted feelings about her Indian heritage come to a head when her best friend wants to learn more about Indian culture to catch the eye of attractive college student Karsh Kapoor, a friend of the Lala family.

flamer by mike curato book cover

Flamer, by Mike Curato

Aidan is at Boy Scouts camp for the summer. On top of growing feelings for his roommate, Aidan also deals with racism, bullying, and self-esteem issues. As the summer progresses, he finds himself with a lot of questions and compounding emotions, culminating in his self-discovery.

i was their american dream, a graphic memoir, by malaka gharib

I Was Their American Dream: A Graphic Memoir, by Malaka Gharib

Gharib depicts her experience growing up as a first-generation American, the daughter of a Catholic Filipino mother and Muslim Egyptian father, and her struggles to stay true to herself as she moves from a diverse high school to a predominantly white university.

the magic fish by trung lee nguyen book cover

The Magic Fish, by Trung Le Nguyen

Young Tiến wants to tell his mother he’s gay, but he doesn’t know how. His mother struggles with English, and he doesn’t know the right words in Vietnamese. But through the language of fairy tales, Tiến and his mother find a way to connect and create their own happily-ever-after.

Kids Book Choices

bee-bim-bop! written by linda sue park , illustrated by ho baek lee book cover

Bee-bim Bop!, by Linda Sue Park

Illustrated by Ho Baek Lee | A child, eager for a favorite meal, helps with the shopping, food preparation, and table setting.

any day with you written and illustrated by mae respicio book cover

Any Day with You, by Mae Respicio

When Kaia’s great-grandfather Tatang resolves to move home to the Philippines, Kaia desperately tries to convince him to stay. She hatches a plan: to win the local filmmaking contest with a film inspired by the traditional Filipino folktales that Tatang has shared over the years.

a big mooncake for little star written and illustrated by grace lin book cover

A Big Mooncake for Little Star, by Grace Lin

Little Star loves the delicious mooncake that she bakes with her mama. But she’s not supposed to eat any yet! What happens when she can’t resist a nibble?

bilal cooks daal by aisha saeed, illustrated by anoosha syed book cover

Bilal Cooks Daal, by Aisha Saeed

Illustrated by Anoosha Syed | Bilal loves chana daal, a South Asian lentil stew. But it takes a long time to cook and the young Pakistani American boy isn’t sure if his non-Asian American friends will appreciate the dish or understand all the love that goes into making it.

a different pond by bao phi, illustrated by thi bui book cover

A Different Pond, by Bao Phi

Illustrated by Thi Bui | A young Vietnamese boy and his father head off to a nearby pond to fish for dinner before dawn. This is a powerful, quietly joyful, and intimate slice of life filled with important aspects of one Vietnamese refugee’s experience.

the many colors of harpreet singh by supriya kelkar book cover

The Many Colors of Harpreet Singh, by Supriya Kelkar

Illustrated by Alea Marley | Harpreet uses his many-colored patkas (turbans) to express his feelings. This rainbow-hued picture book shows how a simple conversation can spark a friendship. A brief afterword on Sikhism is provided.

lei and the fire goddess by malia maunakea book cover

Lei and the Fire Goddess, by Malia Maunakea

Twelve-year-old Anna must dig deep into her Hawaiian roots in order to save her best friend and her island from an angry fire goddess.