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Books by Asian American Authors to Read this Lunar New Year

Celebrate the Year of the Rabbit! Lunar New Year is upon us! Check out these stories by Asian American Authors to celebrate family and culture this holiday!

The Joy Luck Club is a story about four Chinese American families and follows four mothers and four daughters and their intergenerational relationships. The mothers moved to California in 1949 and started playing Mahjong together in a group called The Joy Luck Club where they share stories of loss from the past and seeds of hope for the future. Shifting perspectives, the daughters live different, more Americanized lives. Through masterful storytelling, Amy Tan weaves their lives together to create a mosaic of experiences that explore mother-daughter relationships, cultural shifts, family secrets, and strained or repaired relationships.

take you on a wild adventure.

The Astonishing Color of After by X. R. Pan

After Leigh Chen Sanders’ mom dies by suicide, she believes her mother is free and has been transformed into a bird. As Leigh grieves she is wrapped in guilt, that at the time her mother was taking her life, Leigh was finally kissing her longtime friend and crush. She travels to Taiwan to meet her grandparents for the first time to get to know her mother’s family and perhaps find the ghost she’s been chasing. This magical realism story weaves in and out of magic and intertwines the past and present to reveal Leigh’s family history and secrets and answers to her burning questions.

This story follows Frida Liu, a Chinese American mother struggling in her family life and career. Frida has a young child and split custody with her ex husband who left her for his mistress. In this dystopian world, the state monitors mothers and any poor judgements can land them in a re-education institution and face potentially losing her daughter, Harriet. Frida must attend the school for a year to learn how to be a good parent in the eyes of the state. The School for Good Mothers covers themes of surveillance states, government overreach, and patriarchal structures.

American Born Chinese is a graphic novel that creates three converging stories. It starts off with Jin Wang’s struggles as the only Chinese American kid in his new school where he struggles to make friends and falls in love with a white American girl. The next story tells an old fable about a Monkey King meant to rule over all the monkeys, but instead of being the Monkey King, he wants to be a god. The third story follows the life of Chin-Kee who his cousin thinks is ruining his life by being a walking stereotype. Together, these tales find each other and explore identity, culture, stereotypes, and adversity.

This graphic memoir is beautifully illustrated and its pictures and pages create great movement and wonderfully reflect the mood of the situations. Laura Gao spent her early childhood in Wuhan, China, and then her family moved to Texas to start a new life. Messy Roots tells the coming of age story of a child of immigrants growing up, trying to fit into what it means to be American, finding her own intersectional and queer identity, and facing the complexities of culture and individuality.

Check out Children's stories about Lunar & Chinese New Year in this post. Ask your librarians for more reading recommendations! Or Request a Book Bundle, a hand-picked selection of items your librarians think you would like!

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