Asian and Pacific Islander Books

Looking for children’s books with Asian characters or experiences? We have compiled a list of titles from The Good and the Beautiful Library and Book List which either feature characters from or take place in these beautiful areas of the world.

Join us in celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, recognized in the United States each May. We honor those who have brought such a beautiful array of Asian and Pacific Islander culture, food, tradition, and love to our lives.

Enjoy the meaningful stories and exciting discoveries your family will make throughout the pages of these good and beautiful titles! 

Download the full list today!

              From The Good and the Beautiful Library

Books with Asian or Pacific Islander characters only

Anne Marie’s Reading Adventures: by Shannen Yauger
(An Asian American author with illustrations reflecting her daughter’s likeness)

“This is a wonderful introduction to chapter books for littles. We always love TGTB books as they teach wonderful morals, respect and kindness.”

Dive! Explore Coral Reefs Around the World: by Sue Battel and Kelley Williams

Join Pacifico, an avid ocean explorer from the Philippines, on his adventures to some of the most magnificent coral reefs in the world.

Zip, Zap, Zoom: by Ashlin Awerkamp

Jax loves to run, and he runs everywhere! He zip, zap, zooms at home, at the dock, even at the zoo. In this exciting adventure picture book, Jax learns that there’s a time and a place to . . . ZIP, ZAP, ZOOM!

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Books based in Asian or Pacific Island locations

Foo and Ching: by Phillis Ayer Sowers

This delightful story, set in mid-1800s China, sweeps readers along on a memorable journey through geography, culture, tradition, kindness, and the bonds of kinship.

Jade Dragons: by Florence Wightman Rowland

“I’ve never read a book quite like this one before. I enjoyed learning about the culture of the Chinese river people, and the story of Wong Ting’s family is an interesting one with splashes of excitement.”

Ning’s Pony & Other Stories: by Various Authors 

Learn valuable lessons of honesty and hard work while traveling across the globe! Visit Filipino jungles, Japanese mountains, and more in this diverse collection of short books. 

The Golden Hawks of Genghis Khan: by Rita Ritchie

When Jalair escapes to the land of the Mongols in search of his father’s hawks, he has no idea how much he will learn from the adventures that await him.

The Good and the Beautiful Short Story Collection: Stories by Matsuo Basho and James Baldwin 

From locations such as medieval Asian and pastoral Russian villages, these tales celebrate character values such as love, gratitude, and charity, emphasize the power of forgiveness and redemption, and explore the challenges of mankind’s mortality in a manner that offers hope.

The Journey of Ching Lai: by Eleanor Frances Lattimore 

“This charming Chinese tale is the kind of worthy book I want my children reading. Books like this one help form strong hearts and minds. As children are taken to a beautiful land, they not only gain knowledge but are also exposed to beautiful writing and gentle messages.”

The Lost Kingdom: by Chester Bryant

Set against the backdrop of a lush Indian rainforest, join 13-year-old Rodmika in a thrilling tale that resonates with readers who have a love for exploration and excitement.

Tiger on the Mountain: by Shirley L. Arora

An unexpected turn of events gives Raman hope and sends him into the hills of southern India. Beautiful description and exciting plot are combined with profound messages about family, education, hard work, persistence, honesty, and sacrifice. 

Tino and the Typhoon: by Alice Geer Kelsey

“We learned so much about the Philippines, its people and their lifestyle and history. We were captivated by the story of Tino, a boy who conquered his fears and saved his village in a terrible storm. This book is filled with many wonderful messages including respect, a love of learning, family love, and courage.”

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From The Good and the Beautiful Book List

Level 2

  • It Began with a Page–How Gyo Fujikawa Drew the Way
  • White Sails to China

Level 3

  • A Grain of Rice
  • Dear Juno
  • Four Feet, Two Sandals
  • Johnny Hong of Chinatown
  • Ten Ways to Hear Snow
  • The Boy Who Dreamed of Infinity–A Tale of the Genius Ramanujan
  • The Boy Who Grew a Forest–The True Story of Jadav Payeng

Level 4

  • Climbing Everest
  • Free as a Bird–The Story of Malala
  • Li Lun–Lad of Courage
  • Little Pear
  • Malala–A Hero for All
  • The Name Jar
  • The Year of the Panda
The Big Wave by Pearl S. Buck
A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park
The Vine Basket by Josanne La Valley

Call It Courage

Level 5

  • Rickshaw Girl
  • SeeSaw Girl
  • Sixteen Years in Sixteen Seconds–The Sammy Lee Story
  • The Big Wave
  • The Golden Bull—A Mesopotamian Adventure

Level 6

  • Boys without Names
  • Call It Courage
  • Heart of a Samurai
  • No Mountain Too High
  • Starry River of the Sky (Chinese Folk Tales)
  • The Empty Tower
  • The House of Sixty Fathers
  • The Samurai’s Tale
  • The Story of Malala Yousafzai
  • Where the Mountain Meets the Moon
Red Berries, White Clouds, Blue Sky by Sandra Dallas
In Search of the Source by Neil Anderson & Hyatt Moore
Li Lun, Lad of Courage, Carolyn Treffinger

The Empty Tower by Jean Bothwell

Level 7

  • A Single Shard
  • Daughter of the Mountains
  • Something Greater Than Gold
  • Himalayan Adventures
  • Red Berries, White Clouds, Blue Sky
  • Sylvia and Aki
  • Tiger on the Mountain
  • Young Fu of the Upper Yangtze

Level 8

  • The Vine Basket

Level 9

  • In Search of the Source
  • The Swiss Family Robinson
  • There Really is a Santa Claus
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Download our recommended list of Asian and Pacific Islander books today! 

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Choose Good Books!

To find more clean books with no profanity or inappropriate behaviors, browse our one-of-kind library on The Good and the Beautiful Library site. Each book is an original title or a clean version of a classic reprint, suitable and enjoyable for young readers.  

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