Livingston Public Library: Celebrate Asian-American Pacific Island Month with Graphic Novels for Teens and Tweens

May 19, 2021

Pashmina by Nidhi Chanani (Fiction: Grades 4 to 8) Magic and mystery meet in this first graphic novel by Native American illustrator Nidhi Chanani.

Priyanka Das has so many unanswered questions: Why did her mother abandon her home in India years ago? What was it like there? More importantly, who is his father and why did his mother leave him behind? But Pri’s mom avoids these questions – the subject of India is definitely closed.

For Pri, his mother’s homeland can only exist in his imagination. In other words, until she finds a mysterious pashmina scarf hidden in a forgotten suitcase. When wrapped in it, it is transported to a place more alive and magical than any Bollywood movie. Pri knows that this world cannot be the real India, but maybe it can help him find out the truth.

Almost american girl by Robin Ha (Thesis: Grade 7 and up) Robin Ha was born in Korea and moved to the United States as a teenager. She also wrote Cook Korean!, a comic with recipes.

Growing up as the only child of a single mother in Seoul, Korea hasn’t always been easy, but it bonded Robin and her mother fiercely together.

So when a vacation to visit friends in the United States unexpectedly turns into a permanent relocation, after her mother announces that she is getting married, Robin is devastated.

Overnight, his life changes. She is sent to a new school where she does not understand the language. She is completely cut off from her friends in Seoul and does not have access to her beloved comics. At home, she does not fit in with her new blended family and, worst of all, she is furious with the person who matters most to her: her mother.

The magic fish by Trung Le Nguyen (Fiction: Grade 7 and up) Fairy tales and family relationships come to life in this beautifully drawn first graphic novel by Vietnamese American cartoonist Trung Le Nguyen.

Tien enjoys reading fairy tales to her parents, who have difficulty learning English. He also loves to hear Vietnamese tales told to him by his mother.

But when it comes to sharing information about his real life, Tien has a hard time. His parents don’t understand. He can’t seem to find the Vietnamese words to tell his parents he’s gay. If only real life looked more like a fairy tale.

Laura Dean keeps breaking up with me by Mariko Tamaki (Fiction, grade 9 and up)Mariko Tamaki is the author of the award-winning graphic novel This summer, and many DC titles, including Harley Quinn: broken glass.

Laura Dean, the most popular girl in high school, is Frederica Riley’s dream girl: charming, confident and so cute. There’s just one problem: Laura Dean might not be the best girlfriend.

Freddy decides to seek advice from Seek-Her, a medium who leaves Freddy with these farewell words: Break up with her. But Laura Dean keeps coming back. As their relationship grows more and more out of control, Freddy wonders if it’s really Laura Dean who is the problem. Maybe it’s time for Freddy to embrace the relationships she needs, rather than the one she needs.

Dragon hoops by Gene Luen Yang (Thesis: 8th grade and above) Revolutionary thesis by Gene Luen Yang, Chinese born American won the Printz Award and the Eisner Award. But before being an award-winning author, Yang was a math teacher at a basketball-obsessed school. He revisits this period in his last graphic memories.

Gene doesn’t play sports. He lost interest in basketball for a long time. But in high school where he teaches now, that’s all anyone can talk about. The men’s varsity team, the Dragons, are having a phenomenal season. Each victory brings them closer to their ultimate goal: the California State Championships.

Once Gene gets to know these young 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 season to its end. What he doesn’t know yet is that this season will not only change the lives of the players, but his own life as well.

Karen deWilde, Adolescent Services Librarian

The annotations come from the editors.

This press release was produced by the Livingston Public Library. The opinions expressed here are those of the author.

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