Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month

Asian Pacific Heritage Month

Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month is the perfect time to seek out the many accomplishments of Asian people throughout history, as well as learn of the persecution they have faced that is regularly overlooked. This digital display highlights the challenges, successes, and everyday lives of Asian Americans, here and abroad.

All the items on this digital display are available for free online with your library card.


Click on each section below to browse our recommendations. Each title is available through one (or more) of the Naperville Public Library's digital resources.


Priya Dreams of Marigolds & Masala

Meenal Patel
Together with her Babi Ba, Priya makes her Indian heritage live on through the traditions that they infuse into their everyday lives, including baking rotli, wearing saris, and collecting marigolds. Catalog

Paper Wishes

Lois Sepahban
Near the start of World War II, young Manami, her parents, and Grandfather are evacuated from their home and sent to Manzanar, an ugly, dreary internment camp in the desert for Japanese-American citizens Catalog OverDrive

Katie's Noisy Music

Fran Manushkin
Katie Woo wants to learn an instrument, but she is having trouble deciding what kind of music suits her best. Catalog

Dumpling Days

Grace Lin
When Pacy, her two sisters, and their parents go to Taiwan to celebrate Grandma's sixtieth birthday, the girls learn a great deal about their heritage. Catalog OverDrive

Library Buddy

Carol Kim
Shawn and Kat Choi try to find a new activity that a goldendoodle with failing eyesight will love Catalog

Midsummer's Mayhem

Rajani LaRocca
Eleven-year-old Mimi Mackson entangles herself and her family with mischievous fairies when she seeks to win a baking contest. Catalog OverDrive

One Hug

Katrina Moore
A young boy discovers many different kinds of hugs and ways to show love as family members and friends gather to welcome his immigrant relatives from China. Catalog

Love, Love

Victoria Chang
Frances Chin, a 10-year old Chinese-American girl, lives with her immigrant parents and older sister, Clara. At school Frances copes with bullies and the loneliness of not quite fitting in. Catalog OverDrive

My Footprints

Bao Phi
Upset after being bullied, Thuy, a Vietnamese American, pretends she is different creatures, including an especially strong, wonderful being made up of her two mothers and herself. Catalog

Amy Wu and the Perfect Bao

Kat Zhang
Amy is determined to make a perfect dumpling like her parents and grandmother do, but hers are always too empty, too full, or not pinched together properly. Catalog

Write to Me: Letters from Japanese American children to the librarian they left behind

Cynthia Grady
When Executive Order 9066 is enacted after the attack at Pearl Harbor, children's librarian Clara Breed's young Japanese American patrons are to be sent to prison camp. Before they are moved, Breed asks the children to write her letters and gives them books to take with them. Catalog

Danbi Leads the School Parade

Anna Kim
Danbi is thrilled to start her new school in America. Danbi wants to join in the dances and the games, but she doesn't know the rules and just can't get anything right. Luckily, she isn't one to give up. Catalog

Queen of Physics, how Wu Chien Shiung helped unlock the secrets of the atom

Teresa Robeson
When Wu Chien Shiung was born in China, girls did not attend school. But her parents encouraged her love of science. This biography follows Wu as she battles sexism at home and racism in the U.S. Catalog

A Big Bed for Little Snow

Grace Lin
When winter comes, Mommy makes a soft bed for Little Snow to sleep on, but each night he cannot resist jumping on the bed, causing tiny feathers to fly down. Catalog

Stargazing

Jen Wang
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. Catalog OverDrive

Seaglass Summer

Anjalee Banerjee
While spending a month on an island off the coast of Washington helping in her Uncle Sanjay's veterinary clinic, eleven-year-old Poppy Ray soon questions her decision to follow in her uncle's footsteps. Catalog OverDrive Axis360

A Place to Belong

Cynthia Kadohata
Twelve-year-old Hanako and her family, reeling from their confinement in an internment camp, renounce their American citizenship to move to Hiroshima, a city devastated by the atomic bomb dropped by Americans. Catalog OverDrive

The Comeback

E.L. Shen
Twelve-year-old Maxine Chen dreams of being a figure skating champion, but a remarkably talented new girl at the arena and a racist classmate at school test her resolve. Catalog

Count Me In

Varsha Bajaj
Told from two viewpoints, sixth-graders Karina and Chris use social media to stand up to racism in Houston, Texas, after an attack puts Karina's Indian American grandfather in the hospital. Catalog

Eyes that Kiss in the Corners

Joanna Ho
A young Asian girl notices that her eyes look different from her peers'. They have big, round eyes and long lashes. She realizes that her eyes are like her mother's, her grandmother's, and her little sister's. Catalog OverDrive

Front Desk

Kelly Yang
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. Catalog OverDrive

Any Day With You

Mae Respecio
Kaia makes a film with her friends to win a contest and hopefullly prevent her beloved great-grandtather from moving back to the Philippines. Catalog OverDrive

Stand Up, Yumi Chung!

Jessica Kim
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. Catalog OverDrive

Desert Diary: Japanese American Kids Behind Barbed Wire

Michael O. Tunnell
In March 1943, twenty-seven children began third grade in a strange new environment: the Topaz Relocation Center in Utah. Together with their teacher, Miss Yamauchi, these uprooted young Americans began keeping a classroom diary, with a different child illustrating each day's entry. Catalog

Alvin Ho Allergic to Girls, School, and other Scary Things

Lenore Look
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. Catalog Axis360

Inside Out and Back Again

Thanhha Lai
Through a series of poems, a young girl chronicles the life-changing year of 1975, when she, her mother, and her brothers leave Vietnam and resettle in Alabama. Catalog Hoopla OverDrive

The House that Lou Built

Mae Respecio
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. Catalog OverDrive

Mindy Kim and the Yummy Seaweed Business

Lyla Lee
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. Catalog OverDrive

A Different Pond

Bao Phi
Bao and his father fish for food, not recreation. Between hope-filled casts, Bao's father told him about a different pond in their homeland of Vietnam Catalog OverDrive

The Best at It

Maulik Pancholy
Twelve-year-old Rahul Kapoor, an Indian-American boy growing up in small-town Indiana, struggles to come to terms with his identity, including that he may be gay. Catalog Hoopla OverDrive

American Born Chinese

Gene Luen Yang
American Born Chinese tells the story of three apparently unrelated characters: Jin Wang, who moves to a new neighborhood with his family only to discover that he's the only Chinese-American student at his new school; the powerful Monkey King, subject of one of the oldest and greatest Chinese fables; and Chin-Kee, a personification of the ultimate negative Chinese stereotype, who is ruining his cousin Danny's life with his yearly visits. Their lives and stories come together with an unexpected twist in this action-packed modern fable. Catalog OverDrive

I Hope You Get This Message

Farah Naz Rishi
When Earth receives messages from another world, claiming that they created the planet and are planning to destroy it within a week, three teens are forced to confront the mistakes of their past before they run out of time. Catalog Hoopla OverDrive

Girls of Paper & Fire

Natasha Ngan
When Lei, seventeen, is stolen from her home to become one of nine Paper Girls, the Demon King's concubines, she proves to be more fire than paper. Catalog OverDrive

Our Wayward Fate

Gloria Chao
Seventeen-year-old Ali is simultaneously swept up in a whirlwind romance and down a rabbit hole of family secrets when another Taiwanese family moves into tiny, predominantly-white, Plainhart, Indiana. Catalog OverDrive

Frankly In Love

David Yoon
High school senior Frank Li takes a risk to go after a girl his parents would never approve of, but his plans will leave him wondering if he ever really understood love--or himself--at all Catalog OverDrive

Warcross

Marie Lu
When teenage coder Emika Chen hacks her way into the opening tournament of the Warcross Championships, she glitches herself into the game as well as a sinister plot with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire Catalog OverDrive

I'll Be the One

Lyla Lee
Skye Shin has heard it all. Fat girls shouldn't dance. Wear bright colors. Shouldn't call attention to themselves. But Skye dreams of joining the glittering world of K-Pop, and to do that, she's about to break all the rules that society, the media, and even her own mother, have set for girls like her. She'll challenge thousands of other performers in an internationally televised competition looking for the next K-pop star, and she'll do it better than anyone else. Catalog OverDrive

To All the Boys I've Loved Before

Jenny Han
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 Catalog OverDrive

Patron Saints of Nothing

Randy Ribay
When seventeen-year-old Jay Reguero learns his Filipino cousin and former best friend, Jun, was murdered as part of President Duterte's war on drugs, he flies to the Philippines to learn more. Catalog OverDrive Axis360

Rani Patel in Full Effect

Sonia Patel
Rani Patel, almost seventeen and living on remote Moloka'i island, is oppressed by the cultural norms of her Gujarati immigrant parents but when Mark, an older man, draws her into new experiences red flags abound. Catalog Axis360

When Dimple Met Rishi

Sandhya Menon
When Dimple Shah and Rishi Patel meet at a Stanford University summer program, Dimple is avoiding her parents' obsession with "marriage prospects" but Rishi hopes to woo her into accepting an arranged marriage with him. Catalog OverDrive

Love Hate & Other Filters

Samira Ahmed
Maya Aziz, seventeen, is caught between her India-born parents world of college and marrying a suitable Muslim boy and her dream world of film school and dating her classmate, Phil, when a terrorist attack changes her life forever. Catalog OverDrive Axis360

Displacement

Kiki Hughes
On a visit to San Francisco, Kiku finds herself transported in time back to the 1940s Japanese-American internment camp that her late grandmother, Ernestina, was forcibly relocated to during World War II. OverDrive

Almost American Girl

Robin Ha
For as long as she can remember, it's been Robin and her mom against the world. Growing up as the only child of a single mother in Seoul, Korea, wasn't always easy, but it has bonded them fiercely together. So when a vacation to visit friends in Huntsville, Alabama, unexpectedly becomes a permanent relocation—following her mother's announcement that she's getting married—Robin is devastated. Overnight, her life changes. Catalog OverDrive

Everything Sad is Untrue (A True Story)

Daniel Nayeri
At the front of a middle school classroom in Oklahoma, a boy named Khosrou (whom everyone calls "Daniel") stands, trying to tell a story. His story. But no one believes a word he says . . . We bounce between a school bus of kids armed with paper clip missiles and spitballs to the heroines and heroes of Khosrou's family's past, who ate pastries that made people weep and cry "Akh, Tamar!" and touched carpets woven with precious gems. Catalog Hoopla OverDrive

We Are Not Free

Traci Chee
For fourteen-year-old budding artist Minoru Ito, her two brothers, her friends, and the other members of the Japanese-American community in southern California, the three months since Pearl Harbor was attacked have become a waking nightmare: attacked, spat on, and abused with no way to retaliate--and now things are about to get worse, their lives forever changed by the mass incarcerations in the relocation camps. Catalog OverDrive

The Downstairs Girl

Stacey Lee
1890, Atlanta. By day, seventeen-year-old Jo Kuan works as a lady's maid for the cruel Caroline Payne, the daughter of one of the wealthiest men in Atlanta. But by night, Jo moonlights as the pseudonymous author of a newspaper advice column for 'the genteel Southern lady Catalog OverDrive

Summer Bird Blue

Dawn Akemi Bowman
After her sister and songwriting partner, Lee, dies in an automobile accident, seventeen-year-old Rumi is sent to Hawaii with an aunt she barely knows while she and her mother grieve separately. Catalog OverDrive

The Astonishing Color of After

Emily X. R. Pan
After her mother's suicide, grief-stricken Leigh Sanders travels to Taiwan to stay with grandparents she never met, determined to find her mother who she believes turned into a bird. Catalog OverDrive Axis360

Spin the Dawn

Elizabeth Lim
Disguising herself as a boy to compete for the position of imperial tailor, Maia must somehow complete the impossible task of sewing three magic gowns for the emperor's bride-to-be from the sun's laughter, the moon's tears, and the blood of stars. Catalog OverDrive

The Truths We Hold : An American Journey

Kamala Harris
From one of America's most inspiring political leaders, a book about the core truths that unite us, and the long struggle to discern what those truths are and how best to act upon them, in her own life and across the life of our country. Through the arc of her own life, on into the great work of our day, Kamala Harris communicates a vision of shared struggle, shared purpose, and shared values. OverDrive

The Duchess War

Courtney Milan
Miss Minerva Lane is a quiet, bespectacled wallflower, and she wants to keep it that way. After all, the last time she was the center of attention, it ended badly — so badly that she changed her name to escape her scandalous past. Wallflowers may not be the prettiest of blooms, but at least they don't get trampled. So when a handsome duke comes to town, the last thing she wants is his attention. But that is precisely what she gets. Because Robert Blaisdell, the Duke of Clermont, is not fooled. When Minnie figures out what he's up to, he realizes there is more to her than her spectacles and her quiet ways. And he's determined to lay her every secret bare before she can discover his. But this time, one shy miss may prove to be more than his match... OverDrive

Trade Me

Courtney Milan
Tina Chen just wants a degree and a job, so her parents never have to worry about making rent again. She has no time for Blake Reynolds, the sexy billionaire who stands to inherit Cyclone Systems. But when he makes an offhand comment about what it means to be poor, she loses her cool and tells him he couldn't last a month living her life.To her shock, Blake offers her a trade: She'll get his income, his house, his car. In exchange, he'll work her hours and send money home to her family. No expectations; no future obligations. But before long, they're trading not just lives, but secrets, kisses, and heated nights together. No expectations might break Tina's heart...but Blake's secrets could ruin her life. Catalog

Grumpy Fake Boyfriend

Jackie Lau
I'm a pretty simple guy. When I'm not writing a science fiction novel, I'm watching a good movie or reading a book. Alone. I like my reclusive life. That is, until my only friend asks for a favor—pretend to be his baby sister's boyfriend on a couples' getaway. Her ex is going to be there and she needs me as a buffer. OverDrive

Resistance at Tule Lake

Narrated by Hiroshi Kashiwagi
The long-suppressed story of 12,000 Japanese Americans who dared to resist the US government's program of mass incarceration during World War II. Catalog

Mississippi Masala

Sarita Choudhury
In this exotic and erotic interracial love story, an African American businessman falls for a beautiful Indian immigrant, whose family was expelled from Uganda, only to encounter shock and outrage from both families. Catalog

The Wedding Banquet

Directed by Ang Lee
In New York, the Taiwanese half of a gay couple hopes to end his parents' matchmaking by announcing that he's engaged. What he doesn't count on is that they'll fly in to meet the bride and plan the nuptials! Catalog

Asian Americans

Renee Tajima-Pena, S. Leo Chiang, Grace Lee, Geeta Gandbhir
This five-part series traces the story of Asian Americans, spanning 150 years of immigration, racial politics, international relations, and cultural innovation. It is a timely, clear-eyed look at the vital role that Asian Americans have played in defining who we are as a nation. Their stories are a celebration of the grit and resilience of a people that reflects the experience of all Americans. Catalog

Shattered : the Asian American comics anthology : a secret identities book

editor Jeff Yang
Envisons the rich tradition of American comics as an Asian American experience. This second anthology of comics by Asian-American creators focuses on genres from science fiction to fantasy, superhero to historical, slice-of-life and more. Catalog

China Dolls

Lisa See
In 1938, Ruby, Helen and Grace are auditioning for showgirl roles at San Francisco's exclusive "Oriental" nightclub. Helen and Grace are Chinese American, but Ruby is Japanese, trying to pass off as Chinese. Everything changes in a heartbeat with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Suddenly the government is sending innocent Japanese to internment camps under suspicion, and Ruby is one of them. But which of her friends betrayed her? Catalog OverDrive Axis360

Voices of the Asian American and Pacific Islander experience

Sang Chi and Emily Moberg Robinson, editors
This work presents contemporary and historical views on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, conveyed through the voices of the men and women who lived these experiences over more than 150 years. Axis360

Interior Chinatown

Charles Yu
A deeply personal novel about race, pop culture, assimilation, and escaping the roles we are forced to play. Willis Wu is a small time actor, but he dreams of being Kung Fu Guy—the most respected role that anyone who looks like him can attain. Playful but heartfelt, a send-up of Hollywood tropes and Asian stereotypes. Catalog OverDrive

The making of Asian America : a history

Erika Lee
Describes the contributions of Asian immigrants in America and the lasting impact they have had, beginning with sailors who crossed the Pacific in the sixteenth century, through the ordeal of internment during World War II, and to their current status as "model minorities." Catalog Axis360

My Year Abroad

Chang-rae Lee
A wild ride about an American student transformed by a boisterous trip across Asia with a Chinese American entrepreneur. Rich with commentary on Western attitudes, Eastern stereotypes, capitalism, global trade, mental health, and parenthood, My Year Abroad is also an exploration of the surprising effects of cultural immersion—on a young American in Asia, and on a Chinese man in America. OverDrive

Homeland Elegies

Ayad Akhtar
A Pakistani American man and his immigrant father search for belonging — in post-Trump America, and with each other. A deeply personal work about identity and belonging in a nation coming apart at the seams, Homeland Elegies blends fact and fiction to tell an epic story of longing and dispossession in the world that 9/11 made. Catalog OverDrive Axis360

Minor Feelings : An Asian American Reckoning

Cathy Park Hong
As the daughter of Korean immigrants, Cathy Park Hong grew up steeped in shame, suspicion, and melancholy. She would later understand that these "minor feelings" occur when American optimism contradicts your own reality—when you believe the lies you're told about your own racial identity. Vulnerable, humorous, and provocative, Hong's relentless pursuit of vital questions around family, politics, and identity will change the way you think about our world. Catalog OverDrive

The Future is Asian : Commerce, Conflict, and Culture in the 21st Century

Parag Khanna
Asians will determine their own future..the region is experiencing a confident new wave of growth from India to the Philippines.. With America's tech sector dependent on Asian talent and politicians praising Asia's glittering cities and efficient governments, Asia is permanently in our nation's consciousness. We know this will be the Asian century. Catalog OverDrive

The Sympathizer

Viet Thanh Nguyen
The narrator, a communist double agent, is a half-French, half-Vietnamese army captain who arranges to come to America after the Fall of Saigon, and while building a new life with other Vietnamese refugees in Los Angeles, is secretly reporting back to his communist superiors in Vietnam. The Sympathizer is a blistering exploration of identity and America, a gripping espionage novel, and a powerful story of love and friendship. Catalog OverDrive Axis360

The Color of Air : A Novel

Gail Tsukiyama
A gorgeous historical novel about a Japanese-American family set against the backdrop of Hawai'i's sugar plantations. Daniel Abe, a young doctor in Chicago, is finally coming back to Hawai'i. But Daniel's arrival coincides with the awakening of the Mauna Loa volcano, and its dangerous path toward their village stirs both new and old passions in their community. Catalog OverDrive

Asian-American : proudly inauthentic recipes from the Philippines to Brooklyn

Dale Talde
The eagerly awaited cookbook from Dale Talde, Top Chef favorite and owner of the acclaimed Brooklyn restaurant Talde. Born in Chicago to Filipino parents, Dale Talde grew up both steeped in his family's culinary heritage and infatuated with American fast food. His food isn't Asian fusion; it's Asian-American. Catalog Axis360

Girl in Translation

Jean Kwok
When 11-year-old Kimberly Chang and her mother emigrate from Hong Kong to Brooklyn squalor, she quickly begins a secret double life: exceptional schoolgirl during the day, Chinatown sweatshop worker in the evenings. Disguising the more difficult truths of her life, Kimberly learns to constantly translate not just her language but herself back and forth between the worlds she straddles. Catalog Axis360

The Atlas of Reds and Blues : A Novel

Devi S. Laskar
This book grapples with the complexities of being a second-generation American. The narrator discovers that neither the times nor the people have changed since her childhood in a small Southern town. Despite the intervening decades, she is met with the same questions: Where are you from? No, where are you really from? The American-born daughter of Bengali immigrants, she finds that her answer--Here--is never enough. Catalog Hoopla

Simple Asian Meals : Irresistibly Satisfying and Healthy Dishes for the Busy Cook

Nina Simonds
Nina Simonds presents over 100 recipes for Chinese, Japanese, Thai, and Vietnamese specialties--packed with fresh, seasonal ingredients and health-giving benefits from immune support to ease of digestion to cholesterol reduction. Almost all her dishes require only one pot to prepare. Catalog OverDrive

Dear Girls : Intimate Tales, Untold Secrets & Advice for Living Your Best Life

Ali Wong
Ali Wong shares the wisdom she's learned from a life in comedy, the brutal singles life in New York, reconnecting with her roots (and drinking snake blood) in Vietnam, tales of being a wild child growing up in San Francisco, and parenting war stories. Though addressed to her daughters, Wong's letters are absurdly funny, surprisingly moving, and enlightening. Catalog Axis360