April 9, 2021 | View as Webpage
Dear Cary Library Community,

My name is Eunice Hong. I’m a daughter of Korean immigrants, lifelong resident of the Metrowest area, reader of romance books, and a library associate in the Children’s Room at Cary, among other things. My heart is heavy with grief from the shooting in Atlanta, the violence against AAPI elders, but also from how the pandemic and current political climate have unearthed these injustices that are wholly embedded in the framework of this country. And I know I’m not alone in this feeling. While none of this is new, it doesn’t make it any less important. The fact that there are many who do identify as Asian/Asian American in this community makes this letter even more necessary. Therefore, as imperfect as this is, I wanted to show solidarity and share what has resonated with me in this time.

Hello, my name is Justin Wang. I am a first generation Taiwanese American, and I have never been a stranger to racist attacks in the AAPI community. There has been an uptick of racist attacks, many of which go unreported or ignored. These attacks manifest in different ways, from being mocked and having your name purposely pronounced wrong, to constantly being asked “Where are you from?” (I was born in New Jersey), but then being told “You know what I mean.” This was my experience growing up in America, feeling invisible and unheard so many times that I tacitly accepted it for much of my life. But my experience doesn’t have to happen. Seeing and hearing us will have a profound impact for Asian American communities. Everything from the outpouring of support on social media, to seeing “Stop Asian Hate” lawn signs everywhere has made me feel optimistic for the future of the AAPI community. We have better representation than I could have hoped for when I was younger, and I truly believe that seeing ourselves and having others see us in the media and pop culture we consume goes a long way. Although we have so much more work to do, I’m asking everyone to please keep seeing us.

Both of us wanted to send out this newsletter to highlight the Asian experience in America. This is an immense task as the blanket term Asian casts a wide net while simultaneously erases so much of our lived experience. It’s an identity that is at times set by the dominant white culture to pit minorities against one another and one that is silenced when our histories are not taught in schools or when we are forced to assimilate and take on a different culture and history as our own. So we believe that it is important to amplify these voices especially when the narrative has been that of invisibility. To acknowledge the existence of and celebrate our lives. To educate ourselves and others. To show the diversity of our stories. To name the identities that make up the AAPI community.

In Solidarity,
Eunice Hong & Justin Wang
For Kids
V.T. Bidania

Hmong American twins Astrid and Apollo face fears on a family camping trip in this new early chapter book series opener.
Saadia Faruqi

A creative thinker and curious explorer, Yasmin and her multi-generational Pakistani American family will delight and inspire readers.
Debbie Michiko Florence

Eager to do something her big sister has not done first, Jasmine Toguchi, eight, decides to pound mochi with the men and boys when her family gets together for New Year's.
Joanna Ho

This lyrical, stunning picture book tells a story about learning to love and celebrate your Asian-shaped eyes and is a celebration of diversity.
Cynthia Kadohata

To help his dog through cancer treatment, Conor gives up hockey and finds himself considering who he is without the sport that has defined him, and connecting more with his family and best friend.
Maulik Pancholy

Rahul Kapoor struggles to deal with increasing anxiety by following his grandfather’s advice to find one thing he’s really good at and become the BEST at it.
Erin Entrada Kelly

Two sisters from the Philippines, abandoned by their father and living in impoverished circumstances in Louisiana, fight to make their lives better.
Hena Khan

A Pakistani American Muslim girl struggles to stay true to her family's vibrant culture while simultaneously blending in at school after tragedy strikes her community in this sweet and moving middle grade novel.
Anna Kim

Danbi learns to navigate her two cultures and realizes that when you open your world to others, their world opens up to you.

When eleven-year-old Yumi Chung stumbles into a kids' comedy camp she is mistaken for another student, so she decides to play the part.

Through a series of poems, a young girl chronicles the life-changing year of 1975, when she, her mother, and her brothers leave Vietnam and resettle in Alabama.
Lenore Look

A young boy in Concord, Massachusetts, who loves superheroes and comes from a long line of brave Chinese farmer-warriors, wants to make friends, but first he must overcome his fear of everything.
Mitali Perkins

Immigrating to America, a young girl navigates between her family's Bengali traditions and her new country's culture.
Bao Phi

As a young boy, Bao Phi awoke early, hours before his father's long workday began, to fish on the shores of a small pond in Minneapolis and hear about a different pond in their homeland of Vietnam.
Kelly Yang

Recent immigrants from China and desperate for work and money, ten-year-old Mia Tang's parents take a job managing a rundown motel in Southern California.
For Teens
Samira Ahmed

Maya Aziz, seventeen, is caught between her India-born parents' world of college and marrying a suitable Muslim boy and her dream world of film school and dating her classmate, Phil, when a terrorist attack changes her life forever.

In this sparkling and romantic YA debut, a reserved Bangladeshi teenager has twenty-eight days to make the biggest decision of her life after agreeing to fake date her school's resident bad boy.
David Yoon

When new-girl Cirrus mistakes self-described nerd Sunny Dae as the lead in a rock band, Sunny rolls with it forming a fake band with his friends, but as the lies continue he risks losing both Cirrus and his friends.
Pintip Dunn

Orrawin’s (aka 'Winnie') traditional Thai parents insist that their youngest daughter must practice fake dating in high school. The first candidate? The son of their longtime friends. Mat Songsomboon. If only he weren't her sworn enemy.
Kelly Loy Gilbert

Knowing that the friendships she depends on will change when her parents split up, Beth witnesses a private act of violence in her crush's home before forging a pact with her friends to offer support in the face of a life-altering decision.

A powerful and moving teen graphic novel memoir about immigration, belonging, and how arts can save a life.
Julie C. Dao

Beautiful eighteen-year-old Xifeng, raised by a cruel aunt who says the stars destine her to be Empress of Feng Lu, chooses to spurn the man who loves her and exploit the dark magic that can make her dream real.
Malinda Lo

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 Hu. 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.
Syed Massod

When self-proclaimed 'not very bright' nineteen-year-old Danyal Jilani is chosen for a prestigious academic contest, he hopes to impress a potential arranged marriage match, only to begin falling for the girl helping him study instead.

When seventeen-year-old Jay Reguero learns his Filipino cousin and former best friend, Jun, was murdered as part of President Duterte's war on drugs, he flies to the Philippines to learn more.

When her mom decides to sell the family’s flower shop -- to the family who swindled CJ's grandparents when thousands of Japanese Americans were sent to internment camps during WWII, a rift threatens to splinter CJ's entire community.

A stunning graphic memoir recounting actor/author/activist George Takei's childhood imprisoned within American concentration camps during World War II.
For Adults

Chung investigates the mysteries and complexities of her transracial adoption in this chronicle of unexpected family for anyone who has struggled to figure out where they belong.
Sonali Dev

Sonali Dev launches a new series about the Rajes, an immigrant Indian family descended from royalty, who have built their lives in San Francisco.

Malaka Gharib's illustrations, infused with teenage antics and earnest questions about identity and culture, provide thoughtful insight into the lives of modern immigrants and the generation of millennial children they raised.
Cathy Park Hong

Part memoir and part cultural criticism, this collection is vulnerable, humorous, and provocative--and its relentless and riveting pursuit of vital questions around family and friendship, art and politics, identity and individuality, will change the way you think about our world.
Mira Jacob

In trying to answer her six-year-old’s increasingly complicated questions honestly, Mira has to think back to where she's gotten her own answers: her most formative conversations about race, color, sexuality, and, of course, love. 
R.O. Kwon

When a religious group bombs several buildings in the name of faith, killing five people, Phoebe disappears. Will devotes himself to finding her, tilting into obsession himself, seeking answers to what happened and if she could have been responsible.
Erika Lee

The Making of Asian America tells the little-known history of Asian Americans and their role in American life, from the arrival of the first Asians in the Americas to the present-day.
The Duke Who Didn't Courtney Milan

The Duke of Lansing has returned to woo his childhood sweetheart... then disclose that in all the years they've known each other, he's failed to mention his real name, his title, and the minor fact that he owns her entire village.
Ocean Vuong

Poet Ocean Vuong's debut novel is a shattering portrait of a family, a first love, and the redemptive power of storytelling.
Charles Yu

A deeply personal novel about race, pop culture, immigration, assimilation, and escaping the roles we are forced to play.
Michelle Zauner

An unflinching, powerful memoir about growing up Korean American, losing her mother, and forging her own identity.
Jenny Zhang

A sly debut story collection that conjures the experience of adolescence through the eyes of Chinese American girls growing up in New York City.
Other Resources