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A Reading List of books focusing on the Asian American & Pacific Islander diaspora

 

 

 

While there are many books written by American writers about various ethnic cultures abroad, this list aims to provide a list of books representing the Asian American & Pacific Islander experience in the U.S. specifically. This list does not include a list of authors of Asian descent or books about Asians outside of USA unless it is relevant to the American experience, such as the Amerasian children of U.S. soldiers who were abandoned in Korea and Vietnam.

 

This is a living document. The list is meant to evolve and grow over time with the contributions of community members. Please share this list. If you see books missing on the list, please add them! Books are not listed in order of importance as they are all valuable in their contribution.

 

Books are categorized by ethnic groups because Americans of Asian descent represent a wide number of ethnicities and while the AAPI share many common social challenges, each of their historical experiences in the U.S. are unique. To group all AAPI books into one lump would essentially minimize those unique stories and minimize AAPI voices.

 

Another goal of this list is to identify the gaps of historical AAPI books not yet written. Many books have yet to be written about important Asian figures in American history such as Filipino American, Augustin Feliciano, who fought in the War of 1812 and Chinese American, John Tomney, who joined the New York Infantry and died serving in the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863.

 

Please support initiatives like Mia Wen Jen’s to write stories of important AAPI figures in American history. Her kickstarter can be found here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/miawenjen/changing-the-game-asian-pacific-american-female-athletes

 

Many winners of the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature are books about the AAPI experience in America. As this list continues to expand, please explore APALA website at https://www.apalaweb.org/awards/literature-awards/

 

AAPI stories were long neglected from American school systems. With this list, the hope is that forgotten stories of Asian American and Pacific Islanders are incorporated into the academic programs across the country and the missing pieces of AAPI identity are restored as part of the U.S. identity.

 

Fictional books in this list are primarily books that share a fictional story based on real historical events in America, where authors aim to reveal a more accurate picture of an ethnic culture in America or are books with Americans of Asian descent as main characters in the story - because representation matters.

 

 

Table of Contents

Children’s Non-Fiction Picture Books (Ages 3 & Up)................ 3

Children’s Fiction Picture Books (Ages 3 & Up)......................... 3

Youth Non-Fiction Books (Ages 8 & Up)...................................... 5

Youth Fiction Books (Ages 8 & Up)............................................... 7

Adult Non-Fiction Books................................................................. 9

Adult Fiction Books........................................................................ 13

Biracial AAPI Books....................................................................... 14

Books on Asian American Adoption........................................... 15

LGBT Asian Americans.................................................................. 16

Eastern Religions and Cults in America..................................... 17

Other Notable Books and Media.................................................. 18

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