A selected list of notable fiction, nonfiction, and graphic novels for young adults by and about Asian Americans, chosen by LAPL librarians. More books for young adults are at LAPL Teen Web.
This book explores different facets of Chinese American identity with pop culture and alternating points of view and style.
Exploring the anguish of immigration and the lasting effects that displacement has on a child and her family, Bui documents the story of her family's daring escape after the fall of South Vietnam in the 1970s, and the difficulties they faced building new lives for themselves.
The first of two companion graphic novels about the Boxer Rebellion in China. Boxers tells the story of Little Bao, a farmer's son who joins the rebellion, while Saints is told from the point of view of Four-Girl, a young Chinese girl who has visions of Joan of Arc and converts to Christianity. The difference in perspectives adds a greater depth to the story and makes for a very compelling read.
In 2150, when genetic manipulation has been outlawed, seventeen-year-old Zelia must rescue her kidnapped sister with the help of a band of outcasts with mutated genes.
Thirteen-year-old Mina Tagawa and her Japanese-American family are forced to evacuate their Seattle home and are relocated to an internment camp in Idaho in this novel in verse.
This slender debut novel is deceptively quiet and elegantly restrained on the surface, but packs a knock-out punch. The story of how and why teenager Lydia Lee, the beautiful, brilliant, best-loved child of a 1970's mixed-race Ohio family, meets her shocking death is much more than just a Midwestern mystery. Within her very specific rendering of one family's tragedy, author Celeste Ng illuminates America's poisonous history of racism, sexism, and homophobia, but never at the expense of a suspenseful plot and a compellingly original cast of characters.
Learn the story of the youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner ever, who risked her life to fight for the rights of girls in Pakistan to attend school. Malala was a young girl who would not be denied an education, despite being threatened by the Taliban, who shot her in the head. She lives in exile and continues to speak out for justice and human rights. In 2014, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
Seventeen-year-old Sahar has been in love with her best friend, Nasrin, since they were six. They’ve shared stolen kisses and romantic promises. But Iran is a dangerous place for two girls in love—Sahar and Nasrin could be beaten, imprisoned, even executed if their relationship came to light.
When Japanese American Claire Takata finds out that her deceased father was once a member of the yakuza, a Japanese crime syndicate, danger enters her life that could end up killing someone. (2016 Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association Literature Award - Honor Titles in Young Adult Category)
Maika Halfwolf is used to being called a monster. As an Arcanic, creatures who can sometimes pass as human, she and her kind are hunted and enslaved by humans, led by the Cumea, a sisterhood of sorceresses who consume Arcanics in order to steal their supernatural abilities. But Maika Halfwolf isn’t just any monster. An ancient evil is living in her skin, fighting to get out. Maika must discover what this creature inside of her is and how it relates to the murder of her mother. Set in a lush, art-deco steampunk alternate of 1900s Asia, this beautiful but brutal world from Liu and Takeda is not to be missed.
Kamala Khan is like every other nerdy 16-year-old Muslim girl from Jersey City. That is, until she sneaks out to a party one night and gets caught in a green mist, giving her superpowers that once belonged to Carol Danvers, the original Ms. Marvel! The series follows Kamala as she comes to terms with her powers and the responsibilities that they bring, all the while trying to balance her undercover superhero life with school, her family, and life as a teenager in general.
After the fall of South Vietnam, fourteen-year-old Mai is forced to flee to a refugee camp on an island off the coast of Malaysia, where she must navigate numerous hardships while waiting to find out if her uncle will sponsor her for entry into the United States.
Fifteen-year-old Mercy Wong is determined to break from poverty in Chinatown, and she gains admittance to a prestigious finishing school through a mix of cunning and bribery. She soon discovers that getting in was the easiest part, and must carve a niche among the spoiled heiresses. When the earthquake strikes on April 18, Mercy and her classmates are forced to a survivor encampment, but her quick-witted leadership rallies them to help in the tragedy's aftermath.
Prince Sebastian likes to wear dresses. He hires a seamstress, Frances, to make them for him in secret, but no one else knows that he likes to go out at night as Lady Crystallia, fashion icon. But how long can they contain their secret before the world finds out and/or Frances leaves to pursue her own dreams?
Skybright, a foundling taken in by a wealthy family, makes startling discoveries about her origins in this story inspired by Chinese mythology.
When fifteen-year-old Holly Kim’s snarky article is accidentally published in the school newspaper, she lands a weekly column and rants her way through the school year. But can she manage mean girls, jocks, being a normal teenager, and her parents’ old-school Korean values without going completely insane? This smart, insightful debut will have you laughing so hard you cry.
Leila’s managed to get all the way to junior year without letting romance complicate her life, but when a beautiful new girl starts attending her school, Leila finds herself taking chances - and figuring out how to come out to her friends and family.
In India, a girl who excels at Bharatanatyam dance refuses to give up after losing a leg in an accident.
Lara Jean writes love letters to all the boys she has loved and then hides them in a hatbox until one day those letters are accidentally sent. Don’t miss the sequel, P.S. I Still Love You either, which was the winner of the Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association Literature Award - Winner of the Young Adult Category.
Two teenage girls - one of them Chinese American, the other African American - on the run from the law disguise themselves as boys and set out on the Oregon Trail in this tale of adventure and friendship set during the Gold Rush.
In this reimagining of The Arabian Nights, Shahrzad volunteers to marry the vicious Khalid, but she has a plan to outlast him and to avenge the women he’s killed. However, once she is inside the palace, Shahrzad realizes that things are not what they seem. The sequel, The Rose and the Dagger was released in April 2016.
Adelina Amouteru survives a deadly illness only to be cast out of society for the strange markings that set her apart. With nowhere else to turn, Adelina joins The Dagger Society and learns that she may have supernatural gifts as well. The sequel, The Rose Society, was published in 2015.