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Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature 2013–2020

The Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA), is an affiliate of the American Library Association. The awards promote Asian/Pacific American culture and heritage and are awarded to titles based on their literary and artistic merit.

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      Stargazing

      by Jen Wang

      Feb 2020

      Graphic Novels Elementary Plus

      2020 Winner, Children's Literature
      Moon is everything Christine isn't. She’s confident, impulsive, artistic …and though they both grew up in the same Chinese American suburb, Moon is somehow unlike anyone Christine has ever known. But after Moon moves in next door, these unlikely friends are soon best friends, sharing their favorite music videos and painting their toenails when Christine's strict parents aren't around. Moon even tells Christine her deepest secret: that she has visions, sometimes, of celestial beings who speak to her from the stars. Who reassure her that Earth isn't where she really belongs.

      Moon's visions have an all-too-earthly root, however, and soon Christine's best friend is in the hospital, fighting for her life. Can Christine be the friend Moon needs, now, when the sky is falling?

      Afterword with photographs. Full-color illustrations done with pencil, pen, and Photoshop.

      Frankly in Love

      by David Yoon

      Dec 2019

      High-Interest High Plus

      2020 Honoree, Young Adult Literature
      High school senior Frank Li is a Limbo—his term for Korean-American kids who find themselves caught between their parents’ traditional expectations and their own Southern California upbringing. His parents have one rule when it comes to romance—“Date Korean”—which proves complicated when Frank falls for Brit Means, who is smart, beautiful—and white. Fellow Limbo Joy Song is in a similar predicament, and so they make a pact: they’ll pretend to date each other in order to gain their freedom. Frank thinks it’s the perfect plan, but in the end, Frank and Joy’s fake-dating maneuver leaves him wondering if he ever really understood love—or himself—at all.

      I'm Ok

      by Patti Kim

      Feb 2019

      Upper Elementary & Junior High Plus

      2020 Honoree, Children's Literature
      Ok Lee knows it’s his responsibility to help pay the bills. With his father gone and his mother working three jobs and still barely making ends meet, there’s really no other choice. If only he could win the cash prize at the school talent contest! But he can’t sing or dance, and has no magic up his sleeves, so he tries the next best thing: a hair braiding business.
      It’s too bad the girls at school can’t pay him much, and he’s being befriended against his will by Mickey McDonald, the unusual girl with a larger-than-life personality. Who needs friends? They’d only distract from his mission, and Ok believes life is better on his own. Then there’s Asa Banks, the most popular boy in their grade, who’s got it out for Ok.
      But when the pushy deacon at their Korean church starts wooing Ok’s mom, it’s the last straw. Ok has to come up with an exit strategy—fast.

      Darius the Great Is Not Okay

      by Adib Khorram

      Nov 2018

      Young Adults

      2019 Young Adult Winner
      Afterword with resources. Darius, who’s half Persian, has never fit in at home in Oregon. He’s sure things will be the same in Iran; but then he meets Sohrab and everything changes.

      Step Up to the Plate, Maria Singh

      by Uma Krishnaswami

      Oct 2017

      Sports Elementary Plus

      2018 Winner, Children’s Literature
      Nine-year-old Maria Singh learns to play softball just like her heroes in the All-American Girls' League, while her parents and neighbors are struggling through World War II. Index of poems. Black-and-white illustrations. "The History Behind Maria's Story."
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