Asian Heritage Month - children's chapter books and more

Celebrate Asian Heritage Month with these amazing reads!

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Ahmed Aziz's epic year

Ahmed Aziz's epic year

Hamza, Nina, author
2021

"A Indian American boy endures a family move from Hawaii to frigid Minnesota and, with the help of three life-changing books he reads in school, he learns to like reading, and ultimately, himself"-- Provided by publisher.

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Berani

Berani

Kadarusman, Michelle, 1969- author
2022

Perspectives of two Indonesian middle-schoolers and a caged orangutan entwine. Wealthy Malia faces the consequences of disobediently circulating an anti-palm-oil petition at her school, resulting in suspensions for herself, her best friend, and her teacher. Ari, fortunate to be plucked from his impoverished village to attend school and compete in chess tournaments, helps the uncle who is hosting him but worries about Ginger Juice, the orangutan his uncle keeps in a cage. When Ari learns about orangutan rehabilitation centers from Malia's petition, the young people unite to plot a rescue.

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Beyond the great mountains : a visual poem about China

Beyond the great mountains : a visual poem about China

Young, Ed.
2005

Lyrical text and illustrations featuring Chinese characters and paper collage introduce the beauty and richness of China.

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Cherry blossom baseball

Cherry blossom baseball

Maruno, Jennifer, 1950-, author
2015



The comeback

The comeback

Shen, E. L., author
2021

Twelve-year-old Maxine Chen dreams of being a figure skating champion, but a remarkably talented new girl at the arena and a racist classmate at school test her resolve.-- Provided by Publisher.

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Dream, Annie, dream

Dream, Annie, dream

Brown, Waka T., author
2022

As the daughter of immigrants who came to America for a better life, Annie Inoue was raised to dream big. And at the start of seventh grade, she's channeling that irrepressible hope into becoming the lead in her school play. So when Annie lands an impressive role in the production of The King and I, she's thrilled... until she starts to hear grumbles from her mostly white classmates that she only got the part because it's an Asian play with Asian characters. Is this all people see when they see her? Is this the only kind of success they'll let her have -- one that they can tear down or use race to belittle? Disheartened but determined, Annie channels her hurt into a new dream: showing everyone what she's made of.

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Krista Kim-Bap

Krista Kim-Bap

Ahn, Angela, author
2018


Kung fu master

Kung fu master

Chan, Marty, author
2019


The last mapmaker

The last mapmaker

Soontornvat, Christina, author
2022

Joining an expedition to chart the southern seas, twelve-year-old mapmaker's assistant Sai, posing as a well-bred young lady with a glittering future, realizes she's not the only one on board harboring secrets when she discovers the ship's true destination.

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Marshmallow & Jordan

Marshmallow & Jordan

Chau, Alina, author
2021

Jordan's days as star player for her school's basketball team ended when an accident left her paralyzed from the waist down. Now, she's still the team captain, but her competition days seem to be behind her...until an encounter with a mysterious elephant, who she names Marshmallow, helps Jordan discover a brand new sport. Will water polo be the way for Jordan to continue her athletic dreams--or will it just come between Jordan and her best friends on the basketball team? And with the big tournament right around the corner, what secret is Marshmallow hiding?

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Mindy Kim and the yummy seaweed business

Mindy Kim and the yummy seaweed business

Lee, Lyla, author
2020

Mindy Kim wants to fit in at her new school, but her favorite lunch leads to scorn, then a thriving business, and finally big trouble.

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Much ado about baseball

Much ado about baseball

LaRocca, Rajani, author.
2021

Loosely based on Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing," twelve-year-olds Trish and Ben should be automatic friends because they both play baseball on a Little League team in Comity, Massachusetts, and they both love solving math puzzles, but obstacles stand in their way.

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The Not-So-Uniform Life of Holly-Mei

The Not-So-Uniform Life of Holly-Mei

Matula, Christina.
2022

-- Packed with humor and heart, this debut middle grade series follows a girl finding her place in a brand-new world of private school and frenemies when her family moves to Hong Kong. Holly-Mei Jones couldn’t be more excited about moving to Hong Kong for her mother’s job. Her new school is right on the beach and her family’s apartment is beyond beautiful. Everything is going to be perfect . . . right? Maybe not. It feels like everywhere she turns, there are new rules to follow and expectations to meet. On top of that, the most popular girl in her grade is quickly becoming a frenemy. And without the guidance of her loving Ah-ma, who stayed behind in Toronto, Holly-Mei just can’t seem to get it right. It will take all of Holly-Mei’s determination and sparkle (and maybe even a tiny bit of stubbornness) to get through seventh grade and turn her life in Hong Kong into the ultimate adventure!

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Nura and the immortal palace

Nura and the immortal palace

Khan, M. T. (Maeeda Tariq), author
2022

Searching for her buried friend after the mines collapse, twelve-year-old Pakistani mica miner Nura finds herself at the Sijj Palace, a luxury hotel for the dangerous and deceitful jinn, where she must discover the truth beneath the glitter or be trapped forever.

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The paper boat

The paper boat

Lam, Thao, author, illustrator
2020

Thao Lam's family came to Canada as refugees during the Vietnam War. When Thao started thinking about how to tell this story, she couldn't stop thinking about ants: small, seemingly insignificant creatures who are able to travel amazingly long distances overwater, work hard, and thrive on almost every continent on the planet. Boat People starts with a story inspired by Thao's mother's life: a young girl watches as a bowl of sugar water is put out to attract (and get rid of) some pesky aunts. As the adults around her frantically make plans for escape, she dips her chopstick into the bowl to save the drowning insects. When the army arrives, the family must flee, and in the chaos, the girl and her mother become separated from the others, and get lost in the jungle. The mother gives the hungry girl a bun wrapped in paper, which she then folds into a paper boat. After they eat, the girl spots a trail of ants in the moonlight. They follow the insects to water and manage to meet up with the boat that will take them to safety. The story switches to the perspective of a family of ants who have boarded the paper boat. Their journey is full of peril. The sun is relentless, the ants are attacked by seagulls, they starve, a storm capsizes their boat, and many ants are lost. The survivors, however, cling to each other, creating a raft of their own bodies, eventually making it to shore. One ant ends up on a kitchen table, surrounded by food, much like the table from the first scene. But the family members around this table aren't quite the same. The grandmother is no longer there, the little girl has grown, and she's been joined by a baby sister. But they seem happy, and most importantly, they are safe. As the story ends, the reader zooms out to see that they are but one family in an apartment building full of families, in a busy city full of apartment buildings full of tiny, seemingly insignificant creatures, working hard and thriving. With this picture book, Thao is returning to an earlier format: the wordless picture book of sequential art. But she has pushed herself again with the artwork--and this story is a collage of simple shapes, clean geometry, and impressionistic washes of colour. Its simplicity belies its great depth of feeling. This is a heartfelt, one-of-a-kind book on every level.

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Pashmina

Pashmina

Chanani, Nidhi, author, artist
2017


Righting Canada's wrongs : Japanese Canadian internment in the Second World War

Righting Canada's wrongs : Japanese Canadian internment in the Second World War

Hickman, Pamela, author
2011

This book is an illustrated history of the wartime internment of Japanese Canadian residents of British Columbia. At the time when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, Japanese Canadians numbered well over 20,000. From the first arrivals in the late nineteenth century, they had taken up work in many parts of BC, established communities, and become part of the Canadian society even though they faced racism and prejudice in many forms. With war came wartime hysteria. Japanese Canadian residents of BC were rounded up, their homes and property seized, and forced to move to internment camps with inadequate housing, water, and food. Men and older boys went to road camps while some families ended up on farms where they were essentially slave labour. Eventually, after years of pressure, the Canadian government admitted that the internment was wrong and apologized for it. This book uses a wide range of historical photographs, documents, and images of museum artefacts to tell the story of the internment. The impact of these events is underscored by first-person narrative from five Japanese Canadians who were themselves youths at the time their families were forced to move to the camps

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That thing about Bollywood

That thing about Bollywood

Kelkar, Supriya, 1980-
2021

Middle-schooler Sonali cannot bring herself to share her feelings, but when she wakes up one day and begins to involuntarily burst into Bollywood song and dance routines that showcase her emotions, she realizes she has to find her voice and share her feelings.

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The tryout : making the squad means risking it all

The tryout : making the squad means risking it all

Soontornvat, Christina, author
2022

As one of the only Asian Americans in her school, Christina confronts both well-meaning ignorance and cruel racism, but in middle school fitting in is important, which is why she and her best friend Megan are both excited and nervous to try out for the popular cheerleading squad.

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Zachary Ying and the Dragon Emperor

Zachary Ying and the Dragon Emperor

Zhao, Xiran Jay, author
2022

After his augmented reality gaming headset is possessed by the spirit of the First Emperor of China, twelve-year-old Chinese American Zack Ying is compelled to travel across China to steal an ancient artifact, fight figures from Chinese history and myth, and seal a portal to prevent malicious spirits from destroying the human realm.

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