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The goal of the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature is to honor and recognize individual work about Asian/Pacific Americans and their heritage, based on literary and artistic merit.
The Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA) was founded in 1980 by librarians of diverse Asian/Pacific ancestries committed to working together toward a common goal: to create an organization that would address the needs of Asian/Pacific American librarians and those who serve Asian/Pacific American communities.
Winner of the Asian/Pacific American Award for Children's Literature In the companion novel to the beloved and award-winning Amina's Voice, Amina once again uses her voice to bridge the places, people, and communities she loves--this time across continents. It's the last few days of an amazing trip to Pakistan, and Amina finds it hard to leave the sights, the shops, and, most of all, her family. As she heads back to Greendale to start seventh grade, the experience has changed her, and she's eager to share it with her friends. At home, though, Amina discovers her friends don't seem interested in hearing about her trip. With everyone growing in different directions, Amina wonders where she belongs--especially after her school presentation on Malala goes sideways, leaving her feeling like nobody understands both her worlds. When Amina turns to songwriting, a boy named Nico who shares Amina's love for music becomes a welcome new friend. Will Amina find a way to remain true to herself, and to honor everyone and everything that make her who she is?
Current APAAL Winner for Youth Literature
Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo
Winner of the National Book Award A New York Times Bestseller "The queer romance we've been waiting for."--Ms. Magazine Seventeen-year-old Lily Hu can't remember exactly when the feeling took root--that desire to look, to move closer, to touch. Whenever it started growing, it definitely bloomed the moment she and Kathleen Miller walked under the flashing neon sign of a lesbian bar called the Telegraph Club. Suddenly everything seemed possible. But 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. (Cover image may vary.)
Current APAAL Winner for Picture Books
Watercress by Andrea Wang; Jason Chin (Illustrator)
Driving through Ohio in an old Pontiac, a young girl's parents stop suddenly when they spot watercress growing wild in a ditch by the side of the road. Grabbing an old paper bag and some rusty scissors, the whole family wades into the muck to collect as much of the muddy, snail covered watercress as they can. At first, she's embarrassed. Why can't her family get food from the grocery store? But when her mother shares a story of her family's time in China, the girl learns to appreciate the fresh food they foraged. Together, they make a new memory of watercress. Andrea Wang tells a moving autobiographical story of a child of immigrants discovering and connecting with her heritage, illustrated by award winning author and artist Jason Chin, working in an entirely new style, inspired by Chinese painting techniques. An author's note in the back shares Andrea's childhood experience with her parents.
Current APAAL Honor Book for Picture Books
Children's Literature Honor Book
Finding Junie Kim by Ellen OhFor fans of Inside Out and Back Again and Amina's Voice comes a breathtaking story of family, hope, and survival from Ellen Oh, cofounder of We Need Diverse Books. When Junie Kim is faced with middle school racism, she learns of her grandparents' extraordinary strength and finds her voice. Inspired by her mother's real-life experiences during the Korean War, Oh's characters are real and riveting. "Both unique and universal, timely and timeless." --Padma Venkatraman, Walter Award-winning author of The Bridge Home "A moving story that highlights how to find courage in the face of unspeakable hardship." --Hena Khan, award-winning author of Amina's Voice "Junie discovers where she comes from and gains the courage to make a difference in the future." --Wendy Wan-Long Shang, award-winning author of The Great Wall of Lucy Wu Junie Kim just wants to fit in. So she keeps her head down and tries not to draw attention to herself. But when racist graffiti appears at her middle school, Junie must decide between staying silent or speaking out. Then Junie's history teacher assigns a project and Junie decides to interview her grandparents, learning about their unbelievable experiences as kids during the Korean War. Junie comes to admire her grandma's fierce determination to overcome impossible odds, and her grandpa's unwavering compassion during wartime. And as racism becomes more pervasive at school, Junie taps into the strength of her ancestors and finds the courage to do what is right. Finding Junie Kim is a reminder that within all of us lies the power to overcome hardship and emerge triumphant. Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature Honor Book A Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year Included in NPR's 2021 Books We Love List 2021 Nerdy Award Winner
Honor Picture Book
A Boy Named Isamu by James YangAwarded an Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature Picture Book Honor, this stunning picture book brings to life the imagination of Japanese American artist, Isamu Noguchi. (Cover image may vary.) If you are Isamu, stones are the most special of all. How can they be so heavy? Would they float if they had no weight? Winner of the Theordor Seuss Geisel Award in 2020 for Stop! Bot!, James Yang imagines a day in the boyhood of Japanese American artist, Isamu Noguchi. Wandering through an outdoor market, through the forest, and then by the ocean, Isamu sees things through the eyes of a young artist . . .but also in a way that many children will relate. Stones look like birds. And birds look like stones. Through colorful artwork and exquisite text, Yang translates the essence of Noguchi so that we can all begin to see as an artist sees.
Youth Literature Honor Book
We Are Not Free by Traci Chee* NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST * PRINTZ HONOR BOOK * WALTER HONOR BOOK * ASIAN/PACIFIC AMERICAN AWARD FOR LITERATURE HONOR BOOK * From New York Times best-selling and acclaimed author Traci Chee comes We Are Not Free, the collective account of a tight-knit group of young Nisei, second-generation Japanese American citizens, whose lives are irrevocably changed by the mass U.S. incarcerations of World War II. Fourteen teens who have grown up together in Japantown, San Francisco. Fourteen teens who form a community and a family, as interconnected as they are conflicted. Fourteen teens whose lives are turned upside down when over 100,000 people of Japanese ancestry are removed from their homes and forced into desolate incarceration camps. In a world that seems determined to hate them, these young Nisei must rally together as racism and injustice threaten to pull them apart.
Previous APAAL Winners
When You Trap a Tiger by Tae KellerWINNER OF THE NEWBERY MEDAL * NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER WINNER OF THE ASIAN/PACIFIC AMERICAN AWARD FOR CHILDREN'S LITERATURE Would you make a deal with a magical tiger? This uplifting story brings Korean folklore to life as a girl goes on a quest to unlock the power of stories and save her grandmother. Some stories refuse to stay bottled up... When Lily and her family move in with her sick grandmother, a magical tiger straight out of her halmoni's Korean folktales arrives, prompting Lily to unravel a secret family history. Long, long ago, Halmoni stole something from the tigers. Now they want it back. And when one of the tigers approaches Lily with a deal--return what her grandmother stole in exchange for Halmoni's health--Lily is tempted to agree. But deals with tigers are never what they seem! With the help of her sister and her new friend Ricky, Lily must find her voice...and the courage to face a tiger. Tae Keller, the award-winning author of The Science of Breakable Things, shares a sparkling tale about the power of stories and the magic of family. Think Walk Two Moons meets Where the Mountain Meets the Moon! "If stories were written in the stars ... this wondrous tale would be one of the brightest." --Booklist, Starred Review
Paper Son: the Inspiring Story of Tyrus Wong, Immigrant and Artist by Julie Leung; Chris Sasaki (Illustrator)An inspiring picture-book biography of animator Tyrus Wong, the Chinese American immigrant responsible for bringing Disney's Bambi to life. Winner of the American Library Association's 2021 Asian/Pacific American Award for Best Picture Book! An inspiring picture-book biography of animator Tyrus Wong, the Chinese American immigrant responsible for bringing Disney's Bambi to life. Before he became an artist named Tyrus Wong, he was a boy named Wong Geng Yeo. He traveled across a vast ocean from China to America with only a suitcase and a few papers. Not papers for drawing--which he loved to do--but immigration papers to start a new life. Once in America, Tyrus seized every opportunity to make art, eventually enrolling at an art institute in Los Angeles. Working as a janitor at night, his mop twirled like a paintbrush in his hands. Eventually, he was given the opportunity of a lifetime--and using sparse brushstrokes and soft watercolors, Tyrus created the iconic backgrounds of Bambi. Julie Leung and Chris Sasaki perfectly capture the beautiful life and work of a painter who came to this country with dreams and talent--and who changed the world of animation forever.
This Light Between Us: a Novel of World War II by Andrew Fukuda"I remember visiting Manzanar and standing in the windswept plains where over ten thousand internees were once imprisoned, their voices cut off. I remember how much I wanted to write a story that did right by them. Hopefully this book delivers."--Andrew Fukuda In 1935, ten - year - old Alex Maki, from Bainbridge Island, Washington, is disgusted when he's forced to become pen pals with Charlie Lévy of Paris, France--a girl. He thought she was a boy. In spite of Alex's reluctance, their letters continue to fly across the Atlantic, along with the shared hopes and dreams of friendship. Until the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the growing Nazi persecution of Jews force both young people to confront the darkest aspects of human nature. From the desolation of an internment camp on the plains of Manzanar to the horrors of Auschwitz and the devastation of European battlefields, the only thing they can hold onto are the memories of their letters. But nothing can dispel the light between them.