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Books are mirrors and windows for kids. While it’s important for Asian American kids to see themselves in books, it’s equally important for all families to read books with characters of all colors. 30% of the world’s land and 60% of the people live in the area we call Asia. With such varied cultures, religions, languages, and traditions, it’s impossible to represent everyone in a short list. Here are a few recent books by Asian American authors with Asian American characters. We will continue to refine and expand our lists. Look here for kids’ books about activism if you want make a change for #stopasianhate and #blacklivesmatter.

PICTURE BOOKS
A Morning with Grandpa

Curious and energetic Mei Mei attempts some tai chi forms as her grandfather demonstrates them, then tries to teach him basic yoga poses. Includes introductions to t'ai chi and yoga, as well as instructions for the exercises described in the text.

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Amy is Famous

Amy loves being famous. When a new girl threatens her spotlight, Amy gets jealous--until she discovers that friendship can be better than fame -- adapted from cover description.

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Crouching Tiger

When Ming Da's Chinese grandpa comes to visit, he overcomes his initial embarrassment at his grandfather's traditions and begins to appreciate him.

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Hot, Hot Roti for Dada-ji

Aneel and his grandfather, Dada-ji, tell stories, use their imaginations, and make delicious roti, a traditional Indian flatbread.

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Hush! A Thai Lullaby

A lullaby which asks animals such as a lizard, monkey, and water-buffalo to be quiet and not disturb the sleeping baby.

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King for a Day

Khan, Rukhsana, 1962-

Even though he is confined to a wheelchair, a Pakistani boy tries to capture the most kites during Basant, the annual spring kite festival, and become "king" for the day. Includes an afterword about the Basant festival.

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Leila in Saffron

Shy and unsure of herself, Leila discovers all the things that make her special with the loving help of her Naani.

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Puddle

A mother and son use their imagination to have fun on a rainy day.

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The Many Colors of Harpreet Singh

Harpreet Singh has a different color for every mood and occasion, from pink for dancing to bhangra beats to red for courage. He especially takes care with his patka--his turban--smoothing it out and making sure it always matches his outfit. But when Harpreet's mom finds a new job in a snowy city and they have to move, all he wants is to be invisible. Will he ever feel a happy sunny yellow again?

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The Wheels on the Tuk Tuk

Sehgal, Surishtha author.

In this twist on the classic song "The Wheels on the Bus," the wheels on the tuk tuk go round and round all over the city in India.

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YOUTH BOOKS
Accidental Trouble Magnet

Imaginative Omar goes through the ups and downs of starting a new school and making new friends with the help of his wonderful (and silly) Muslim family.

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Alvin Ho Series

A young boy in Concord, Massachusetts, who loves superheroes and comes from a long line of brave Chinese farmer-warriors, wants to make friends, but first he must overcome his fear of everything. Read all six Alvin Ho books!

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Amina’s Voice

Khan, Hena author.

A Pakistani-American Muslim girl struggles to stay true to her family's vibrant culture while simultaneously blending in at school after tragedy strikes her community.

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Aru Shah and the end of time

Twelve-year-old Aru stretches the truth to fit in at her private school, but when she is dared to prove an ancient lamp is cursed, she inadvertently frees an ancient demon.

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Frazzled : everyday disasters and impending doom

Nervous about middle school because her family does not get her and her friends know exactly what they want to do, Abbie Wu searches for her own passion before discovering a knack for leadership when injustices in the cafeteria come to light.

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Front Desk

Recent immigrants from China and desperate for work and money, ten-year-old Mia Tang's parents take a job managing a rundown motel in Southern California, even though the owner, Mr. Yao is a nasty skinflint who exploits them; while her mother (who was an engineer in China) does the cleaning, Mia works the front desk and tries to cope with demanding customers and other recent immigrants--not to mention being only one of two Chinese in her fifth grade class, the other being Mr. Yao's son, Jason.

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Jasmine Toguchi

Florence, Debbi Michiko, author.

Eight-year-old Jasmine Toguchi is a flamingo fan, tree climber, and top-notch mess-maker! She's also tired of her big sister, Sophie, always getting to do things first. For once, Jasmine wishes SHE could do something before Sophie―something special, something different. The New Year approaches, and as the Toguchi family gathers in Los Angeles to celebrate, Jasmine is jealous that her sister gets to help roll mochi balls by hand with the women. Her mom says that Jasmine is still too young to join in, so she hatches a plan to help the men pound the mochi rice instead.

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Lalani of the Distant Sea

Twelve-year-old Lalani Sarita takes on the impossible task of traveling to the legendary Mount Isa, towering on an island to the north. Generations of men and boys have died on the same quest--how can a timid young girl in a tiny boat survive the epic tests of the archipelago?

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Mindy Kim and the Yummy Seaweed Business

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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More to the story

As features editor of her school newspaper, thirteen-year-old Jameela Mirza wants to impress her father by writing a spectacular story about the new student, but a misunderstanding and family illness complicate matters.

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Stand Up, Yumi Chung!

When eleven-year-old Yumi Chung stumbles into a kids' comedy camp she is mistaken for another student, so she decides to play the part.

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Stargazing

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 in this graphic novel.

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The House that Lou Built

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.

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The Turtle of Oman

Nye, Naomi Shihab

This accessible, exquisite novel shines with gentle humor and explores themes of moving, family, nature, and immigration. It tells the story of Aref Al-Amri, who must say good-bye to everything and everyone he loves in his hometown of Muscat, Oman, as his family prepares to move to Ann Arbor, Michigan. This is acclaimed poet and National Book Award Finalist Naomi Shihab Nye's first novel set in the Middle East since her acclaimed Habibi.

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