May is Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month – a celebration of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States.
The month of May was chosen to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States on May 7, 1843, and to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. The majority of the workers who laid the tracks were Chinese immigrants.
Let’s celebrate and honor the generations of Asian and Pacific Islanders who have enriched and shaped America’s history and add to the richness and diversity of American culture today.
Our collections staff have curated lists of suggested reading for Adults, Young Adults, and Children.
Ramen for Everyone by Patricia Tanumihardja
A young boy aspires to make a bowl of ramen as delicious as his dad’s, and runs into some surprises — both delightful and disastrous — on his first attempt.
Punky Aloha by Shar Tuiasoa
Punky loves to do a lot of things — except meeting new friends. She doesn’t feel brave enough. So when her grandmother asks her to go out and grab butter for her famous banana bread, Punky is hesitant. But with the help of her grandmother’s magical sunglasses, and with a lot of aloha in her heart, Punky sets off on a big adventure for the very first time.
Home is in Between by Mitali Perkins
Immigrating to America, a young girl navigates between her family’s Bengali traditions and her new country’s culture. She in Indian. She is also American. How should she define home?
Almost American Girl: An Illustrated Memoir by Robin Ha
A powerful and moving teen graphic novel memoir about immigration, belonging and how arts can save a life. When Robin is forced to move unexpectedly from Seoul, South Korea, to Alabama, her life changes dramatically. A new school, new language, new stepfamily, and leaving all her friends behind leaves her angry and isolated. Then her mother enrolls her in a comic drawing class, which opens a window to the future that Robin could never have imagined.
You Bring the Distant Near by Mitali Perkins
This award-winning novel captures the immigrant experience for one Indian-American family with humor and heart. Told in alternating teen voices across three generations, You Bring the Distant Near explores sisterhood, first loves, friendship, and the inheritance of culture — for better or worse.
A Scatter of Light by Malinda Lo
Aria Tang West was looking forward to a summer on Martha’s Vineyard with her best friend. But after a graduation party goes wrong, Aria’s parents exile her to California to stay with her grandmother, artist Joan West. Aria expects boredom, but what she finds is Steph Nichols, her grandmother’s gardener. Soon, Aria is second-guessing who she is and what she wants to be, and a summer that once seemed lost becomes unforgettable—for Aria, her family, and the working-class queer community Steph introduces her to. And almost sixty years after the end of Last Night at the Telegraph Club, A Scatter of Light also offers a glimpse into Lily and Kath’s lives since 1955.