Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Teen Recommendations

Ahmed, Samira

In Paris, seventeen-year-old Khayyam, a part-Indian, part-French Muslim American, is at a crossroads when a chance encounter plunges her into research about Leila, a girl much like Khayyam who inspired Eugène Delacroix.

Alameda, Courtney

Seventeen-year-old Kira Fujikawa has never had it easy. She's bullied by the popular girls in school. Her parents ignore her. And she's also plagued with a secret: she can see yokai, the ghosts and demons that haunt the streets of Kyoto. But things accelerate from bad to worse when she learns that Shuten-doji, the demon king, will rise at the next blood moon to hunt down an ancient relic and bring the world to a catastrophic end. Not exactly skilled at fighting anything, much less the dead, Kira enlists the aid of seven powerful death gods to help her slay Shuten-doji. They include Shiro, a kitsune with boy-band looks who is more flirtatious than helpful, and O-bei, a regal demon courtier with reasons of her own for getting involved. As the confrontation with Shuten-doji draws nearer, the fate of Japan hangs in the balance. Can Kira save humankind? Or will the demon king succeed in bringing eternal darkness upon the world?

Bui, Thi

The author describes her experiences as a young Vietnamese immigrant, highlighting her family's move from their war-torn home to the United States in graphic novel format.

Chao, Gloria

A romantic comedy about a college student who hires a fake boyfriend to appease her traditional Taiwanese parents, to disastrous results.

Cho, Kat

After eighteen-year-old Gu Miyoung, a nine-tailed fox surviving in modern-day Seoul by eating the souls of evil men, kills a murderous goblin to save Jihoon, she is forced to choose between her immortal life and his.

Curato, Mike

It's the summer between middle school and high school, and Aiden Navarro is away at camp. Everyone's going through changes--but for Aiden, the stakes feel higher. As he navigates friendships, deals with bullies, and spends time with Elias (a boy he can't stop thinking about), he finds himself on a path of self-discovery and acceptance

Gilbert, Kelly Loy

Danny Cheng, a Chinese-American teen, grapples with a dangerous revelation about his parents' past, his plans for the future, and his feelings for his best friend Harry, and his discovery of a family secret that could shatter everything.

Goo, Maurene

Told from two viewpoints, teens Lucky, a very famous K-pop star, and Jack, a part-time paparazzo who is trying to find himself, fall for each other against the odds through the course of one stolen day.

Gregorio, I. W.

Rising high school juniors Jocelyn Wu and Will Domenici fall in love while trying to save the Wu family restaurant, A-Plus Chinese Garden.

Ha, Robin

A powerful and moving teen graphic novel memoir about immigration, belonging, and how arts can save a life--perfect for fans of American Born Chinese and Hey, Kiddo. 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. She is dropped into a new school where she doesn't understand the language and struggles to keep up. She is completely cut off from her friends in Seoul and has no access to her beloved comics. At home, she doesn't fit in with her new stepfamily, and worst of all, she is furious with the one person she is closest to--her mother. Then one day Robin's mother enrolls her in a local comic drawing class, which opens the window to a future Robin could never have imagined

He, Joan

Princess Hesina of Yan is thrust into power when her beloved father is murdered, and she's determined to find his killer--whatever the cost.

Heilig, Heidi

Jetta, a teen who possesses secret, forbidden powers, must gain access to a hidden spring and negotiate a world roiling with intrigue and the beginnings of war.

Kanakia, Naomi

Nandan's got a plan to make his junior year perfect, but hooking up with his friend Dave isn't part of it -- especially because Nandan has never been into guys. Still, Nandan's willing to give a relationship with him a shot. But the more his anxiety grows about what his sexuality means for himself, his friends, and his social life, the more he wonders whether he can just take it all back. Is breaking up with Dave -- the only person who's ever really gotten him -- worth feeling "normal" again?

Karim, Sheba

Three Pakistani-American teenagers, on a trip through the land of pork ribs, mechanical bulls, and Confederate flags. It's going to be quite an adventure. The summer after her freshman year of college, Mariam is looking forward to working and hanging out with her best friends: irrepressible and beautiful Ghazala, and religious but closeted Umar. But when a scandalous photo of Ghaz appears on a billboard in Times Square, Mariam and Umar come up with a plan to rescue her from her furious parents. And what could be a better escape than a spontaneous road trip down to New Orleans? With the heartbreaking honesty of Julie Murphy's Dumplin' mixed with with the cultural growing pains and smart snark of When Dimple Met Rishi, this wry, remarkable road-trip story is about questioning where you come from--and choosing the family that chooses you back.

Khan, Sabina

Seventeen-year-old Pakistani immigrant Zara Hossain has been leading a fairly typical life in Corpus Christi, Texas, since her family moved there for her father to work as a pediatrician. While dealing with the Islamophobia that she faces at school, Zara has to lay low, trying not to stir up any trouble and jeopardize their family's dependent visa status while they await their green card approval, which has been in process for almost nine years. But one day her tormentor, star football player Tyler Benson, takes things too far--[defacing her locker with a racist message]--and gets suspended.

Lai, Thanhha

In the final days of the Việt Nam War, Hà̆ng takes her little brother, Linh, to the airport, determined to find a way to safety in America. When Linh is ripped from her arms, Hà̆ng is left behind in the war-torn country. Six years later, Hà̆ng is now in Texas as a refugee. She doesn't know how she will find the little brother until she meets LeeRoy, a city boy with big rodeo dreams, who decides to help her. Reunited with Linh, she realizes he doesn't remember her, their family, or Việt Nam. Her heart is crushed, but she will do anything to bridge the gap.

Le, Loan

High school seniors Bảo and Linh, whose feuding families own competing Vietnamese restaurants, conceal their budding romance, as well as Linh's desire to become an artist.

Lee, Lyla

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.

Lo, Malinda

Seventeen-year-old Lily Hu can't remember exactly when the question took root, but the answer was in full bloom the moment she and Kathleen Miller walked under the flashing neon sign of a lesbian bar called the Telegraph Club. America in 1954 is not a safe place for two girls to fall in love, especially not in Chinatown. Red-Scare paranoia threatens everyone, including Chinese Americans like Lily. With deportation looming over her father--despite his hard-won citizenship--Lily and Kath risk everything to let their love see the light of day.

Lu, Marie

Talin is a Striker, a member of an elite fighting force that stands as the last defense for the only free nation in the world: Mara. A refugee, Talin knows firsthand the horrors of the Federation, a world-dominating war machine responsible for destroying nation after nation with its terrifying army of mutant beasts known only as Ghosts. But when a mysterious prisoner is brought from the front to Mara's capital, Talin senses there's more to him than meets the eye. Is he a spy from the Federation? What secrets is he hiding? Only one thing is clear: Talin is ready to fight to the death alongside her fellow Strikers for the only homeland she has left... with or without the boy who might just be the weapon to save--or destroy--them all.

Masood, Syed M.

When self-proclaimed 'not very bright' nineteen-year-old Danyal Jilani is chosen for a prestigious academic contest, he hopes to impress a potential arranged marriage match, only to begin falling for the girl helping him study instead.

Menon, Sandhya

Told in alternating perspectives, this heartfelt YA romantic comedy is about two Indian-American teens whose parents have arranged for them to be married.

Nguyen, Trung Le

Real life isn't a fairytale. But Tié̂n still enjoys reading his favorite stories with his parents from the books he borrows from the local library. It's hard enough trying to communicate with your parents as a kid, but for Tié̂n, he doesn't even have the right words because his parents are struggling with their English. Is there a Vietnamese word for what he's going through? Is there a way to tell them he's gay?

Pan, Emily X. R.

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.

Patel, Sonia

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.

Pon, Cindy

Jason Zhou is trying to survive in Taipei, a city plagued by pollution and viruses, but when he discovers the elite are using their wealth to evade the deadly effects, he knows he must do whatever is necessary to fight the corruption and save his city.

Rajurkar, Anuradha D.

Eighteen-year-old Rani, a budding photographer, grapples with first love, family boundaries, and the complications of a cross-cultural relationship.

Ribay, Randy

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.

Sugiura, Misa

When Nozomi Nagai pictured the ideal summer romance, a fake one wasn't what she had in mind. That was before she met the perfect girl. Willow is gorgeous, glamorous, and...heartbroken? And when she enlists Nozomi to pose as her new girlfriend to make her ex jealous, Nozomi is a willing volunteer. Because Nozomi has a master plan of her own: one to show Willow she's better than a stand-in, and turn their fauxmance into something real. But as the lies pile up, it's not long before Nozomi's schemes take a turn toward disaster...and maybe a chance at love she didn't plan for.

Sutanto, Jesse Q.

After freeing her mother from an abusive relationship, Delilah Wong refuses to play a part in Logan's delusional romance--but how can she convince him to let her go?

Takei, George

Graphic novel memoir of George Takei's childhood imprisoned in American concentration camps for people of Japanese descent during World War II.

Teerdhala, Swati

Esha lost everything in the royal coup--and as the legendary rebel known as the Viper, she's made the guilty pay. Now she's been tasked with her most important mission to date: taking down the ruthless General Hotha. Kunal has been a soldier since childhood. His uncle, the general, has ensured that Kunal never strays from the path-even as a part of Kunal longs to join the outside world, which has only been growing more volatile. When Esha and Kunal's paths cross one fated night, an impossible chain of events unfolds. Both the Viper and the soldier think they're calling the shots, but they're not the only players moving the pieces. As the bonds that hold their land in order break down and the sins of the past meet the promise of a new future, both the soldier and the rebel must decide where their loyalties lie: with the lives they've killed to hold on to or with the love that's made them dream of something more.

Wen, Abigail Hing

When eighteen-year-old Ever Wong’s parents send her from Ohio to Taiwan to study Mandarin for the summer, she finds herself thrust among the very over-achieving kids her parents have always wanted her to be, including Rick Woo, the Yale-bound prodigy profiled in the Chinese newspapers since they were nine—and her parents’ yardstick for her never-measuring-up life. Unbeknownst to her parents, however, the program is actually an infamous teen meet-market nicknamed Loveboat, where the kids are more into clubbing than calligraphy and drinking snake-blood sake than touring sacred shrines. Free for the first time, Ever sets out to break all her parents’ uber-strict rules—but how far can she go before she breaks her own heart?

Yang, Gene Luen

Gene understands stories - comic book stories, in particular. Big action. Bigger thrills. And the hero always wins. But Gene doesn't get sports. As a kid, his friends called him 'Stick' and every basketball game he played ended in pain. He lost interest in basketball long ago, but at the high school where he now teaches, it's all anyone can talk about. The men's varsity team, the Dragons, is having a phenomenal season that's been decades in the making. Each victory brings them closer to their ultimate goal: the California State Championships. Once Gene gets to know these young all-stars, he realizes that their story is just as thrilling as anything he's seen on a comic book page. He knows he has to follow this epic to its end. What he doesn't know yet is that this season is not only going to change the Dragons's lives, but his own life as well.

Yang, Kelly

A wealthy Chinese teen is sent to America on her own to attend private school. Claire is a rich 11th grader in Shanghai; Dani is a scholarship student at a private school in Southern California who helps her mother clean houses. When Claire is parachuted into America to finish high school and Dani's mother needs the income from a boarder, they become unlikely housemates.

Yoon, David

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.

Yoon, David

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.

Summaries provided by DPL's catalog unless otherwise noted. Click on each title to view more information.