Books for Asian Pacific Heritage Month

May 21st, 2011 by

Did you know that May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month? Unfortunately, Karen and I were a bit busy with our Poetry & Verse, Book Starring Guys and Wacky, Gross, Weird & Real! themes so we didn’t get to cover Asian Pacific American books this month!

(Side note: Perhaps we should abbreviate “Wacky, Gross, Weird & Real!” to WGWR!,which should always be shouted out loud due to the exclamation mark. As in, I read a WGWR! book today about honey badgers.)

But just because we didn’t get to do a full theme for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, that doesn’t mean we forgot about it! For those of you who want to celebrate, check out these books:

Project Mulberry by Linda Sue Park
Julia Song is a 7th-grader who moves to Plainfield, Illinois — and her family is the only Korean-American family in the neighborhood. What happens when her mom suggests that Julia and her new friend, Patrick, raise silkworms for the state fair?

Suki’s Kimono by Chieri Uegaki
On her first day of 1st grade, spunky Suki decides to wear her Japanese kimono, because it reminds her of the wonderful summer she spent with her grandmother. Her older sisters protest and her classmates snicker, but Suki dances her way into their hearts!

Farewell to Manzanar: A True Story of Japanese American Experience During and After the World War II Internment by Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston and James D. Houston
Even though this was “assigned reading” for school, it has always been one of my favorite books. Jeanne Wakatsuki was only 7 when her family was uprooted and sent to the Manzanar internment camp; it’s fascinating and heart-wrenching to read about her experience there.

Random Kidsmomo Connection: Karen went to the same high school as co-author James D. Houston! Not at the same time, though. Obviously.

Kimchi & Calamari
by Rose Kent

14-year-old Joseph Calderaro doesn’t look like a typical Italian-American kid, because he’s ethnically Korean. He was abandoned as a baby in Korea and the Calderaros adopted and raised him in New Jersey. His adopted dad doesn’t get why Joseph is having an identity crisis — or why he would pretend a famous Korean marathon runner is his grandfather.


Even More Books for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month:

  • Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata, winner of the 2005 Newbery Award!
  • Dragonwings by Laurence Yep
  • Rice Without Rain by Minfong Ho
  • The Alvin Ho and Ruby Lu series by Lenore Look
  • In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson by Bette Bao Lord and Marc Simont

And last but not least, a few different ways to say “I LOVE READING!” (Click on the image to hear it read out loud)

Wǒ ài dúshū (Mandarin Chinese)

Watashi wa dokusho ga daisuki (Japanese)

naneun dogseo leul salang (Korean)

Have you read any of these books? Send in your review or leave a comment below on how you celebrated Asian Pacific Heritage Month!

— Nancy

Kimchi & Calamari caught Nancy’s eye because of its delicious title.

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