6 Titles that Celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage

Stories that celebrate the rich histories, traditions, cultures, and peoples of Asian American and Pacific Islander heritage.
Celebrate the heritage of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders with Novel Effect!
We’re having a hard time narrowing down just a few books to highlight for Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month because there are so many books that reflect so many different experiences. Our goal at Novel Effect is to celebrate and amplify the voices and stories of Asian American and Pacific Islander authors and communities all year long. The power of literature fosters understanding, empathy, and connection, and we’re committed to providing a library that honors the heritage and contributions of every culture.

Titles that Celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Stories

Grace Lin is a paragon of children’s literature that explores Chinese American culture. This beloved classic is set in a dim sum restaurant and is a feast for the eyes! Readers will have rumbly tummies after experiencing the immersive look into sharing meals as a family.

2022’s Caldecott winner is a sweet, poignant story centered around first-generation Chinese immigrants and their children. When the family stops to collect watercress out of a ditch on the side of the road. Their daughter is embarrassed, but that embarrassment turns to appreciation after her parents share what the watercress means to them and their past struggles.

Watch a community go to work, harvesting taro to make poi for their family’s luau. Gentle yet lush, this soundscape centers the book and gives it a strong sense of place. Find a Hawaii beyond the vacation destination and delve into the culture and environment of those who call it home.

Jumpstart Read for the Record’s 2021 title is an explosion of creativity. When her class makes their own dragon figures, Amy struggles to create a dragon that feels right to her. With some help from her parents, Amy Wu does things all her own way.

Daal is one of Bilal’s favorite foods. He’s eager to share the experience of making and eating daal with his friends — but will they like it? Our sound designer recorded her own lentils to bring Bilal’s busy kitchen to life! Share this soundscape with your own loved ones — and the daal recipe in the back of the book.

Gear up for this upcoming release! Magic Ramen pairs Momofuku’s tale of determination, endurance, and creativity with an anime-inspired soundtrack. This biography follows the inventor of instant ramen, tracing his inspiration in the aftermath of World War II and desire to feed the impoverished.

Find even more titles in our AAPI collection on the app, and follow us for newer titles year-round! Find all of our educator-created Asian American and Pacific Islander Activities.

Download the Novel Effect app to bring stories to life with music and sound that respond to your voice. 

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