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May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month and we recommend the following books for adults and children that center and honor the stories and histories of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. In response to the continuing escalation in xenophobia and bigotry resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is even more necessary to lift up these stories and reckon with this nation's anti-Asian racism.

by Catherine Ceniza Choy

Original and expansive, Asian American Histories of the United States is a nearly 200-year history of Asian migration, labor, and community formation in the US. Reckoning with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and the surge in anti-Asian hate and violence, award-winning historian Catherine Ceniza Choy presents an urgent social history of the fastest growing group of Americans. The book features the lived experiences and diverse voices of immigrants, refugees, US-born Asian Americans, multiracial Americans, and workers from industries spanning agriculture to healthcare.

In Chinese culture, the tiger is deeply revered for its confidence, passion, ambition, and ferocity. That same fighting spirit resides in Alice Wong. Drawing on a collection of original essays, previously published work, conversations, graphics, photos, commissioned art by disabled and Asian American artists, and more, Wong uses her unique talent to share an impressionistic scrapbook of her life as an Asian American disabled activist, community organizer, media maker, and dreamer.

Common Grace: Poems
by Aaron Caycedo-Kimura

The first major poetry collection from award-winning poet Aaron Caycedo-Kimura, Common Grace explores the poet's inherited trauma within his Japanese American family, his life as an artist, and his bond with his wife. Ranging in scope from private moments to the sweep of familial heritage, Caycedo-Kimura’s poems are artful, subtle, but never quiet. Part of the Raised Voices Series from Beacon Press, a poetry series established in 2021 to raise marginalized voices and perspectives,

by Joanna Ho and illustrated by Dung Ho

A young Asian girl notices that her eyes look different from her peers'. They have big, round eyes. But she realizes that her eyes are like her mother’s, her grandmother's, and her little sister's. They have eyes that kiss in the corners and glow like warm tea, crinkle into crescent moons, and are filled with stories of the past and hope for the future. Drawing from the strength of these women in her life, she recognizes her own beauty and discovers a path to self-love and empowerment. Ages 4–8.

by Jyoti Rajan Gopal and illustrated by Art Twink

Another exciting day with Paati begins with a host of fun activities done in preparation for tonight’s party; threading flowers into garlands for decoration, going to the market, and helping her in the kitchen with the scent of sambar in the air. Through it all our young narrator finds comfort in Paati’s sari, whether he’s wrapped in it for dress-up or for comfort. Each sari holds a story. A commemoration of how clothing can convey tradition and individuality, and connect us to both our families and ourselves. Ages 4–8.

This Is Not My Home
by Eugenia Yoh and Vivienne Chang

When Lily’s mom announces their family must move back to Taiwan to take care of her elderly Ah Ma, Lily is devastated to leave behind her whole life for a place that is most definitely not her home. But Lily soon realizes, through the help of her family and friends, what home means to them. And perhaps someday—maybe not today, but someday—it might become her home too. A humorous and heartfelt story that will resonate across cultures. Ages 4–8.

The work of the Unitarian Universalist Association is made possible by the generosity of member congregations and individual donors.

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