Happy Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month! In the past, I have shared #AAPIkitlidreads books daily – something I’ve loved doing. I am on a super tight deadline so I will be unable to share books daily, but I look forward to checking in semi-regularly to share AAPI books that I have recently read and loved and books I am looking forward to reading.
In honor of Everywhere Book Fest #EverywhereBookFest (virtual book festival starting today through tomorrow) and in honor of my co-panelists for tomorrow’s Middle Grade Lunch Bunch, I’d like to highly recommend two MG novels today:
STAND UP, YUMI CHUNG! by Jessica Kim
From the publisher: One lie snowballs into a full-blown double life in this irresistible story about an aspiring stand-up comedian.
On the outside, Yumi Chung suffers from #shygirlproblems, a perm-gone-wrong, and kids calling her “Yu-MEAT” because she smells like her family’s Korean barbecue restaurant. On the inside, Yumi is ready for her Netflix stand-up special. Her notebook is filled with mortifying memories that she’s reworked into comedy gold. All she needs is a stage and courage.
Instead of spending the summer studying her favorite YouTube comedians, Yumi is enrolled in test-prep tutoring to qualify for a private school scholarship, which will help in a time of hardship at the restaurant. One day after class, Yumi stumbles on an opportunity that will change her life: a comedy camp for kids taught by one of her favorite YouTube stars. The only problem is that the instructor and all the students think she’s a girl named Kay Nakamura–and Yumi doesn’t correct them.
As this case of mistaken identity unravels, Yumi must decide to stand up and reveal the truth or risk losing her dreams and disappointing everyone she cares about.
ANY DAY WITH YOU by Mae Respicio.
From the Publisher: A warm, tender story about a creative girl who hopes that by winning a filmmaking contest, she’ll convince her great-grandfather not to move back home to the Philippines. For fans of Erin Entrada Kelly and Kelly Yang.
Kaia and her family live near the beach in California, where the fun of moviemaking is all around them. Kaia loves playing with makeup and creating special effects, turning her friends into merfolk and other magical creatures.
This summer, Kaia and her friends are part of a creative arts camp, where they’re working on a short movie to enter in a contest. The movie is inspired by the Filipino folktales that her beloved Tatang, her great-grandfather, tells. Tatang lives with her family and is like the sparkle of her special-effects makeup. When Tatang decides that it is time to return to his homeland in the Philippines, Kaia will do anything to convince him not to go.