Hellooo, I’m here bringing a part two to Asian books you should pick up! I’ve been reading more Asian books recently and I’m excited to see part of myself represented in books, and excited for other people to see themselves in books. You can also use these books to contribute last minute to #Asianreadathon or #AsianLitBingo.
I also realised that there are so many amazing books I have to recommend, so this may be a long post. Now onto the lovely books that I think you should definitely consider:
- Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee: This is a heartwarming and adventure-filled middle grade novel, set in space and inspired by Korean mythology. It follows Min, who runs away from home in search of her brother to prove his innocence as he had been accused of leaving his post in search of the Dragon Pearl. She uses fox-magic and her wits to overcame each obstacle, and she meets many different people across the universe, including gamblers, pirates, the Space Force and ghosts who are intent on revenge. It’s such as fun middle grade and I would highly recommend this one!
- The Weight of Our Sky by Hanna Alkaf: Another 2019 release that captured my heart and soul. It focuses on the racial tensions within Malaysia during 1969 between the Chinese and Malays, and has a focus on grief and doing the right thing. This book made me shed a couple of tears, and my description does not do it justice. Please read it, it’s such an important book, (there is also rep for OCD as the protagonist has OCD). Trigger warning for: racism, graphic violence, on-page death, OCD and anxiety triggers
- The Astonshing Colour of After by Emily X. R. Pan: This lovely book centres around grief and family and it’s beautifully written. There are elements of magical realism which helps make the story more meaningful and magical. I have a review for this which you can find here.
- Aru Shah and The End of Time by Roshani Chokshi: Aru Shah is a retelling of Indian mythology, in which Aru Shah accidentally released an ancient demon who would awaken the God of Destruction, thus bringing an end to the world. Therefore, it is up to Aru Shah to save the world by reuniting the reincarnations of the five legendary Pandava brothers, protagonists of the Hindu epic poem, the Mahabharata. This is honestly such a fun and quick read.
- Want by Cindy Pon: This story is about a city that is plagued with a disease, however only the rich are able to afford suits to protect them. Zhou, the main character is determined to change the situation after losing his mother, and so many secrets are discovered and wow, it’s such a good book. Would recommend this lovely one!
- Seven Tears At High Tide by C. B. Lee: This is honestly one of my favourite books ever, and it speaks to my soul so much. I honestly sometimes just grab this off the shelf and reread my favourite sections. Kevin, is bisexual, and desires a summer where he is in love and the Sea answers him, granting his wish. It has Selkies and magic and though the world-building isn’t the best, I just adore the story for what it is and what it means to me. Can you tell C. B. Lee is a favourite author of mine? I will read whatever she writes at this point tbh.
- Freedom Swimmer by Wai Chim: I haven’t read this book for years now, but it is an important one. It’s set during China’s “Great Leap Forward” and it’s a story about grief, growing up, friendships and freedom. I loved it when I read, and I’m sure if I read it again, I would still love it. Freedom Swimmer definitely deserves more love and appreciation.
And that’s a wrap. I decided to do a quick honourable mention to American Panda, which I didn’t love but has great rep and is a story that really hits home and is relatable to many Asian children, including myself.
What do you think of any of these books? Have you read any of them? I’d love to know your thoughts on these books, or any Asian books you’ve read or are currently reading. Are there any type of recommendations you’d like to see in the future?