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Middle School | Asian American Voices
Almost American Girl by
Graphic novel in which a South Korean girl named Chun and her single mother leave for America on vacation and end up staying after her mother announces she's getting married. Chun changes her name to Robin and tries to fit in at her local high school where she doesn't know the language. When her mother enrolls her in a comics drawing class, she begins to feel more at home in the United States.
American Born Chinese by
A graphic novel which examines issues of self-image, cultural identity, transformation, and self acceptance as Jin Wang moves with his family from Chinatown to an upper class suburb in San Francisco.
Any Day with You by
A warm, tender story about a creative girl who hopes that by winning a filmmaking contest, she’ll convince her great-grandfather not to move back home to the Philippines.
Blackbird Fly by
Apple has always felt a little different from her classmates. She and her mother moved to Louisiana from the Philippines when she was little, and her mother still cooks Filipino foods and chastises Apple for becoming “too American.” When Apple’s friends turn on her and everything about her life starts to seem weird and embarrassing, Apple turns to music. If she can just save enough to buy a guitar and learn to play, maybe she can change herself. It might be the music that saves her… or it might be her two new friends, who show her how special she really is.
Bamboo People by
Two Burmese boys, one a Karenni refugee and the other the son of an imprisoned Burmese doctor, meet in the jungle and in order to survive they must learn to trust each other.
The Best at It by
Twelve-year-old Rahul Kapoor heads into seventh grade armed with advice his grandfather gave him--to find a thing he's good at and become the best at it. But Rahul struggles with his identity, including his confusing attraction to classmate Justin Emery. Rahul joins the Mathletes but it doesn't go as planned, and when Jenny asks him to a dance, Rahul spirals into depression and anxiety. With the help of his best friend Chelsea, Rahul confronts who he actually is.
Bone Talk by
In a remote village in the Philippines at the end of the nineteenth century, ten-year-old Samkad must deal with a separation from his best friend before unknown American enemies bring war and destruction.
The Bridge Home by
"Readers will be captivated by this beautifully written novel about young people who must use their instincts and grit to survive. Padma shares with us an unflinching peek into the reality millions of homeless children live every day but also infuses her story with hope and bravery that will inspire readers and stay with them long after turning the final page."--Aisha Saeed, author of the New York Times Bestselling Amal UnboundFour determined homeless children make a life for themselves in Padma Venkatraman's stirring middle-grade debut.Life is harsh in Chennai's teeming streets, so when runaway sisters Viji and Rukku arrive, their prospects look grim. Very quickly, eleven-year-old Viji discovers how vulnerable they are in this uncaring, dangerous world. Fortunately, the girls find shelter--and friendship--on an abandoned bridge. With two homeless boys, Muthi and Arul, the group forms a family of sorts. And while making a living scavenging the city's trash heaps is the pits, the kids find plenty to laugh about and take pride in too. After all, they are now the bosses of themselves and no longer dependent on untrustworthy adults. But when illness strikes, Viji must decide whether to risk seeking help from strangers or to keep holding on to their fragile, hard-fought freedom. Nancy Paulsen Books.
Cast Away by
Collection of eighty-four poems by the author that explore stories of discarded rubbish, ignored persons, and trashy talk.
While on vacation in San Francisco, sixteen-year-old Kiku finds herself displaced to the Japanese-American internment camp that her late grandmother was forcibly relocated to during World War II. After finding herself "stuck" in the 1940s, Kiku adjusts to the harsh life of the camp and experiences how the internees managed to create a community and commit small acts of resistance in order to survive. When she eventually returns back to her time, she realizes that the lessons she learned in camp about racism and civil liberties are still relevant.
Dragon Hoops by
Gene understands stories - comic book stories, in particular. Big action. Bigger thrills. And the hero always wins.
But Gene doesn’t get sports. As a kid, his friends called him “Stick” and every basketball game he played ended in pain. He lost interest in basketball long ago, but at the high school where he now teaches, it’s all anyone can talk about. 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. He knows he has to follow this epic to its end. What he doesn’t know yet is that this season is not only going to change the Dragons’s lives, but his own life as well.
The Downstairs Girl by
Seventeen-year-old Jo Kuan's day job is doing maid work for the spoiled daughter of one of Atlanta's wealthiest men; by night, Jo writes as Miss Sweetie for a news paper advice column. When Jo's "Dear Miss Sweetie" articles become popular, she begins to use her pen-power to address society's ills, particularly challenging ideas about gender and race, drawing a backlash and attempts to uncover her real identity. Then, Atlanta's most notorious criminal gets on Jo's trail, and she will have to decide on standing up for her beliefs or remaining in the shadows of anonymity.
Farewell to Manzanar by
During World War II a community called Manzanar was hastily created in the high mountain desert country of California, east of the Sierras. Its purpose was to house thousands of Japanese American internees. One of the first families to arrive was the Wakatsukis, who were ordered to leave their fishing business in Long Beach and take with them only the belongings they could carry. For Jeanne Wakatsuki, a seven-year-old child, Manzanar became a way of life in which she struggled and adapted, observed and grew. For her father it was essentially the end of his life.
At age thirty-seven, Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston recalls life at Manzanar through the eyes of the child she was. She tells of her fear, confusion, and bewilderment as well as the dignity and great resourcefulness of people in oppressive and demeaning circumstances. Written with her husband, Jeanne delivers a powerful first-person account that reveals her search for the meaning of Manzanar.
During the summer before high school, Aiden Navarro spends time at Boy Scout camp learning how to deal with bullies, changing friendships, and his new feelings for Elias.
From Twinkle, with Love by
Aspiring teen filmmaker Twinkle Mehra is asked by fellow film geek Sahil Roy to direct a movie for a summer arts festival. Twinkle is thrilled to show off her talent and get close to Sahil's twin brother, Neil. Then a mystery man begins emailing her, causing Twinkle to rethink who and want she wants. And before she knows it, she finds herself falling for Sahil instead. Told through text messages, emails, blog posts, and letters, Twinkle writes to her favorite female filmmakers, trying to express herself while deciphering what her heart is telling her.
Fred Korematsu Speaks Up by
Fred Korematsu liked listening to music on the radio, playing tennis, and hanging around with his friends - just like lots of other Americans. But everything changed when the United States went to war with Japan in 1941 and the government forced all people of Japanese ancestry to leave their homes on the West Coast and move to distant prison camps. This included Fred, whose parents had immigrated to the United States from Japan many years before. But Fred refused to go. He knew that what the government was doing was unfair. And when he got put in jail for resisting, he knew he couldn’t give up.
Inspired by the award-winning book for adults Wherever There’s a Fight, the Fighting for Justice series introduces young readers to real-life heroes and heroines of social progress. The story of Fred Korematsu’s fight against discrimination explores the life of one courageous person who made the United States a fairer place for all Americans, and it encourages all of us to speak up for justice.
Front Desk by
Mia Tang and her immigrant parents are not exactly living the American dream since moving here from China--they live in the Calivista Motel, and Mia must tend to its guests. Her parents, meanwhile, have been hiding illegal immigrants in the motel's empty rooms, risking the wrath of the owner, Mr. Yao. On the personal life front, Mia wants to become a writer, but her mother is being very discouraging because she is better at math and English is not her first language. No matter what, however, Mia vows to follow her dreams.
The House That Lou Built by
Longing for an escape from her extended Filipino family, Lou plans to build a tiny house on land she inherited from her father, but difficulties quickly arise.
I'm Ok by
Ok Lee, a twelve-year-old Korean American boy, tries a get rich quick scheme of starting a hair-braiding business and winning the school talent competition to hide the fact that he is struggling with the loss of his father and the financial hardships he and his mother must now bear.
Inside Out and Back Again by
Through a series of poems, a young girl chronicles the life-changing year of 1975, when she, her mother, and her brothers leave Vietnam and resettle in Alabama.
It Ain't So Awful, Falafel by
Iranian American Zomorod "Cindy" Yousefzadeh hopes that California's Newport Beach can be her last time being the new kid, at least for awhile. Unfortunately it is the 1970s, and with Iran bad in the headlines of American newspapers, being the new kid is the least of her worries.
The Land of Forgotten Girls by
Abandoned by their father and living in poverty with their heartless stepmother in Louisiana, two sisters from the Philippines, twelve-year-old Sol and six-year-old Ming, learn the true meaning of family.
Lalani of the Distant Sea by
When Lalani Sarita’s mother falls gravely ill, twelve-year-old Lalani faces an impossible task - she must leave Sanlagita and find the riches of the legendary Mount Isa, which towers on an island to the north. But generations of men and boys have died on the same quest - how can an ordinary girl survive the epic tests of the archipelago? And how will she manage without Veyda, her best friend?
Listen, Slowly by
After a back-breaking straight-A school year filled with too many extracurricular activities to count, twelve-year-old Mai's parents "reward" her by sending her to Vietnam, so she can get in touch with her roots. At first miserable, not knowing the language or customs, Mai spends time with her grandmother and learns to love her heritage, and even discovers secrets about her family's past, such as what happened to her grandfather during the war.
The Magic Fish by
Tien, the son of two Vietnamese refugees, is struggling with the right way to come out to his parents. With a language barrier, Tien wonders how he will ever tell his parents the truth. As he helps them with their English, Tien realizes he may be able to use fairy tales to get his message across.
The Night Diary by
Shy twelve-year-old Nisha, forced to flee her home with her Hindu family during the 1947 partition of India, tries to find her voice and make sense of the world falling apart around her by writing to her deceased Muslim mother in the pages of her diary.
Outrun the Moon by
San Francisco, 1906: Fifteen-year-old Mercy Wong is determined to break from the poverty of Chinatown, and an education at St. Clare’s School for Girls is her best hope. Although St. Clare’s is off-limits to all but the wealthiest white girls, Mercy gains admittance through a mix of cunning and a little bribery, only to discover that getting in was the easiest part. Not to be undone by a bunch of spoiled heiresses, Mercy stands strong - until disaster strikes.
Priyanka Das, an Indian girl living in America, has always wondered why her mother abandoned her home in India years ago, taking Priyanka with her, and still refuses to tell Pri anything about India or her father. One day, Pri finds one of her mother's pashminas in a forgotten suitcase, and, putting it on, finds herself transported to a place that very much resembles India--however, it may be another world altogether, and there is danger.
Pie in the Sky by
Knowing very little English, eleven-year-old Jingwen feels like an alien when his family immigrates to Australia, but copes with loneliness and the loss of his father by baking elaborate cakes.
A Place to Belong by
Twelve-year-old Hanako and her family, reeling from their confinement in an internment camp, renounce their American citizenship to move to Hiroshima, a city devastated by the atomic bomb dropped by Americans.
Red Scarf Girl by
The author tells about the happy life she led in China up until she was twelve-years-old when her family became a target of the Cultural Revolution, and discusses the choice she had to make between denouncing her father and breaking with her family, or refusing to speak against him and losing her future in the Communist Party.
Red, White, and Whole by
A heartbreakingly hopeful novel in verse about an Indian American girl whose life is turned upside down when her mother is diagnosed with leukemia.
Stand up, Yumi Chung! by
On the outside, Yumi Chung suffers from #shygirlproblems, a perm-gone-wrong, and kids call her “Yu-MEAT” because she smells like her family’s Korean barbecue restaurant. On the inside, Yumi is ready for her Netflix stand-up special. Her notebook is filled with mortifying memories that she’s reworked into comedy gold. All she needs is a stage and courage.
Instead of spending the summer studying her favorite YouTube comedians, Yumi is enrolled in test-prep tutoring to qualify for a private school scholarship, which will help in a time of hardship at the restaurant. One day after class, Yumi stumbles on an opportunity that will change her life: a comedy camp for kids taught by one of her favorite YouTube stars. The only problem is that the instructor and all the students think she’s a girl named Kay Nakamura - and Yumi doesn’t correct them.
As this case of mistaken identity unravels, Yumi must decide to stand up and reveal the truth or risk losing her dreams and disappointing everyone she cares about.
Growing up in the same Chinese-American suburb, perfectionist Christine and artistic, confident, impulsive Moon become unlikely best friends, whose friendship is tested by jealousy, social expectations, and illness.
Tara and the Towering Wave by
While vacationing in Thailand for the holidays, Tara and her mother are thrown into survival mode when a massive tsunami sweeps through Phuket.
They Called Us Enemy by
Japanese American actor and gay activist George Takei offer a graphic memoir describing his years as a child in Japanese internment camps during World War II and how they impacted him, his parents, and the country.
A Thousand Beginnings and Endings by
Presents a collection of East and South Asian mythic tales retold and re-imagined by fifteen authors from their respective cultures, including classic epics, fantasy tales, science fiction, and contemporary tales involving star-crossed lovers, meddling gods and goddesses, a ghost town, and a night of dancing, not all with happy endings.
The Way to Bea by
Recently estranged from her best friend and weeks away from shifting from only child to big sister, seventh grader Beatrix Lee consoles herself by writing haiku in invisible ink and hiding the poems, but one day she finds a reply--is it the librarian with all the answers, the editor of the school paper who admits to admiring her poetry, an old friend feeling remorse, or the boy obsessed with visiting the local labyrinth?
We Belong by
Stella and Luna know that their mama, Elsie, came from the Philippines when she was a child, but they don’t know much else. So one night they ask her to tell them her story. As they get ready for bed, their mama spins two tales: that of her youth as a strong-willed middle child and refugee; and that of the young life of Mayari, the mythical daughter of a god. Both are tales of sisterhood and motherhood, and of the difficult experience of trying to fit into a new culture, and having to fight for a home and acceptance. Glorious and layered, this is a portrait of family and strength for the ages.
When You Trap a Tiger by
When Lily, her sister Sam, and their mother move in with her sick grandmother, Lily traps a tiger and makes a deal with him to heal Halmoni.
A Wish in the Dark by
All of the light in Chattana is made by one man, the Governor. The magical lights represent freedom for Pong, who was born in Namwon Prison and he dreams of walking among them. But when Pong escapes from Namwon, he discovers that the outside world is just as unfair as life in the prison. Nok, the prison warden's daughter, searches for Pong in order to restore her family's good name, but she uncovers secrets that make her question everything she's believed. When Nok and Pong find each other, they set out to make things right.
You Go First by
Charlotte, twelve, and Ben, eleven, are highly-skilled competitors at online Scrabble and that connection helps both as they face family issues and the turmoil of middle school.