Celebrating Asian Heritage and Asian American Stories

By Megan Ciskowski, Assistant Publicist

During this difficult time, it’s more important than ever to listen to and learn from diverse stories. Empathy, joy, and education are powerful forces we can use to stand up to hate. Celebrate stories of Asian and Asian American experiences with these picture books, young adult fiction, and graphic novels.

Read on to find titles that raise Asian and Asian American voices and support their work. Nonfiction titles about racial violence and inequality are also listed below to help begin crucial conversations.

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Rissy No Kissies: An Interview with Author Katey Howes

A lovebird who doesn’t like kisses? Rissy’s friends and family wonder if she’s sick, confused, or rude. But kisses make Rissy uncomfortable. Can one little lovebird show everyone that there’s no one right way to show you care?

Rissy No Kissies carries the message that “your body and your heart are yours, and you choose how to share.” A note at the end provides further information for kids, parents, and educators about body autonomy, consent, and different ways to show affection.

Today author Katey Howes joins us to discuss her inspiration, creative choices, and why it’s important to introduce consent to young readers.

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My Ex-Imaginary Friend: An Interview with author Jimmy Matejek-Morris

In the middle-grade novel My Ex-Imaginary Friend, eleven-year old Jack thought he’d outgrown his imaginary friend, George. But when his family hits a crisis, Jack decides that George may hold the key to putting his life back together. Meanwhile, the imaginary George—half-walrus, half-human, all magic—has a problem of his own: with nobody to believe in him, he is slowly disappearing. This humorous and heartrending adventure is about being there for friends in need, believing in yourself as well as others, and redefining what “growing up” looks like.

Today we welcome Jimmy Matejek-Morris, author extraordinaire of My Ex-Imaginary Friend, to answer a few questions. Read on to discover Jimmy’s inspiration for the story, thoughts on imaginary friends, and most challenging moments of writing the novel.

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