OCA Reads


Stories that Move: Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (APAHM)  Multi-Media List

Representation is hard! It can be good, bad, ugly, nonexistent, and it is impossible to ‘represent’ the entire AAPI community in any singular piece of media.. OCA interns compiled this list of media with the hope of encouraging y’all to think critically about your identity and your experiences with representation in the media! 

What moves you? What speaks to you? What agitates you? These are our picks- what are yours?

Books For Children 

Picture Books

Description: From New York Times bestselling author Livia Blackburne and illustrator Julia Kuo, here is I Dream of Popo. This delicate, emotionally rich picture book celebrates a special connection that crosses time zones and oceans as Popo and her granddaughter hold each other in their hearts forever.”

Author’s Website: http://liviablackburne.com/i-dream-of-popo/

Description: This lyrical, stunning picture book tells a story about learning to love and celebrate your Asian-shaped eyes, in the spirit of Hair Love by Matthew A. Cherry, and is a celebration of diversity.”

Author’s Website: https://www.joannahowrites.com/eyes-that-kiss

Description: "Zhang’s buoyant, bubbly text is complemented by Chua’s charming, animated characters, who include an equally expressive kitty as sidekick... An extra-tasty book for bao lovers everywhere."

Author’s Website: http://katzhangwriter.com/amy-wu

Description: “I happened upon this book, thought “well, this looks weird”, and set it aside to look at later. It turns out that the entire thing is a brain game, and I love puzzles! It’s clever and unique and totally new to me, and the code even follows a format similar to actual Chinese writing.” 

Author’s Website: http://www.xubing.com/

Description: “A girl retells the story of the legendary female warrior she admires, who long ago fought bravely to protect her people.”

Author’s Website: 

Description: In Sennah Yee’s debut children’s book My Day With Gong Gong, a day in Chinatown takes an unexpected turn when a bored little girl makes a connection with her grandpa.”

Author’s Website: https://sennahyee.com/books

Description: “A beautifully told and illustrated story about a grandson and grandfather struggling to communicate across divides of language, age, and culture.”

Author’s Website:https://minhlebooks.com/drawntogether/

Description: “From exploding red firecrackers to sweet brown peanut puffs, this festive book presents all the delights of the Chinese New Year. It takes a simple approach, aiming to teach children about the holiday as well as about color words in both English and Chinese. . . . but children will enjoy the vivid pictures of dragons, lucky fish, and more.”

Publisher’s Website:https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/chinese

Description: “As the seasons change, so too does a young girl’s world. She moves into a new home with her family and encounters both birth and death. As this curious girl explores life inside her house and beyond, she collects bits of the world. But who are her treasures for?”

Author’s Website: https://kaokaliayang.com/writing/

Description: “In this lively concept book a little girl discovers a rainbow of colors in the world around her. Red is a dragon in the Chinese New Year parade, yellow are the taxis she sees on her street, green are jade bracelets and the crunchy kale growing in her garden. This colorful book will brighten every child's day!”

Author’s Website: http://www.greenfield-thong.com/

Description: “Author Virginia Loh-Hagan (PoPo's Lucky Chinese New Year) gives this retelling of the Nian legend an original twist, while explaining the origins of Chinese New Year traditions.”

Publisher’s Website: https://cherrylakepublishing.com/52265

Description: “Kite Flying celebrates the Chinese tradition of kite making and kite flying and lovingly depicts a family bonded by this ancient and modern pleasure.”

Author’s Website:https://gracelin.com/kite-flying/

Chapter Books

Description: “Sam Wu is NOT a scaredy-cat (except he is). When a trip to the Space Museum goes terrifyingly wrong, Sam begins a mission to prove to the school bully, and all of his friends, that he is a fearless space adventurer. A truly laugh-out-loud, voice-led and madcap story of ghost hunting, snakes and mischievous pet cats called Butterbutt, perfect for fans of Tom Gates, Wilf the Mighty Worrier and Barry Loser, and readers aged six plus.”

Author’s Website: https://katieandkevintsang.com/books/samwu

Description: “This is a wonderous novel with an epic journey and memorable characters in the tradition of The Wizard of Oz. From the beautiful design and the breathtaking full-color illustrations throughout, to the gentle humor and touching prose, this book is truly a gem.”

Author’s Website: https://gracelin.com/where-the-mountain

Description: “This powerful, charming own voices immigration story follows a girl who moves from Karachi, Pakistan to Peachtree City, Georgia, and must find her footing in a new world.”

Author’s Website:https://reemfaruqi.com/author/

Books For Young Adults 

Fiction: Novels

Description: “A retelling of the classic story of Mulan. Lim incorporates Chinese folklore to give the tale an impressive depth and forces Mulan to confront what her friends and family will think of her when they realize her deception in pretending to be Ping. Whether readers are seeking Chinese culture, adventure, or a bold female protagonist, this novel delivers on all counts."

Author’s Website: https://www.elizabethlim.com/reflection

Description: “Equal parts surprising, original, and intelligent, Loveboat, Taipei is an intense rush of rebellion, romance, and complex family dynamics. If you’ve ever wanted to feel as if you’re breaking all the rules without actually breaking any rules then this is the book you need to read.”

Author’s Website:https://www.abigailhingwen.com/

Description: “Set in a horrifying near-future United States, seventeen-year-old Layla Amin and her parents are forced into an internment camp for Muslim American citizens. Layla will begin a journey to fight for freedom. This book is emotional, intense, and heart racing – and it challenges us all to fight complicit silence.”

Author’s Website: https://samiraahmed.com/books/

Fiction: Graphic Novels

Description: "Art features straightforward linework with full-color, often spare backgrounds that focus on characters. ...Hughes centers [Kiku's] powerlessness to create a compelling story about an oft-overlooked period of U.S. aggression against its own citizens."

Publisher’s Website: https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250193544

Description: It's the summer between middle school and high school, and Aiden Navarro is away at camp. Everyone's going through changes―but for Aiden, the stakes feel higher. As he navigates friendships, deals with bullies, and spends time with Elias (a boy he can't stop thinking about), he finds himself on a path of self-discovery and acceptance.

Author’s Website: https://www.mikecurato.com/flamer

Description: “A rousing story of self-acceptance and standing up to hatred, Superman Smashes the Klan reminds us that not all Golden Age enemies have been defeated.”

Author’s Website: https://geneyang.com/superman-smashes-the-klan


Description: “A compelling account of the killing of Vincent Chin, the verdicts that took the Asian American community to the streets in protest, and the groundbreaking civil rights trial that followed.”

Author’s Website: https://paulayoo.com/books/vincent/

Description: “A sprawling, evocative, and groundbreaking autobiographical novel told in the unforgettable and hilarious voice of a young Iranian refugee. It is a powerfully layered novel that poses the questions: Who owns the truth? Who speaks it? Who believes it?”

Author’s Website: https://www.danielnayeri.com/everythingsadisuntrue

Nonfiction: Graphic Novels

Description: In a stunning graphic memoir, Takei revisits his haunting childhood in American concentration camps, as one of over 100,000 Japanese Americans imprisoned by the U.S. government during World War II. Experience the forces that shaped an American icon—and America itself—in this gripping tale of courage, country, loyalty, and love.”

Publisher’s Website: https://www.idwpublishing.com/they-called-us

Books For Adults


Description: “A sharp and prescient novel about women in the workplace, the power of Big Tech, and the looming threat of foreign espionage from Kathy Wang, “a skilled satirist of the northern California dream””

Author’s Website: http://www.bykathywang.com/

Description: From New York Times bestselling author Mary H.K. Choi comes up with a funny and emotional story about two estranged sisters and how far they’ll go to save one of their lives—even if it means swapping identities.”

Author’s Website: http://www.choitotheworld.com/

Description: “From the award-winning author of Native Speaker and On Such a Full Sea, an exuberant, provocative story about a young American life transformed by an unusual Asian adventure – and about the human capacities for pleasure, pain, and connection.”  

Author’s Website: https://changraelee.com/

Description: Following two families from Pakistan and Iraq in the 1990s to San Francisco in 2016, The Bad Muslim Discount is an inclusive, comic novel about Muslim immigrants finding their way in modern America.

Author’s Website: https://www.syed-masood.com/books

Description: “A woman reclaims her own story in this taut and wholly original literary tale from one of China’s literary superstars.”

Publisher’s Website: https://www.harpercollins.com/the-secret-talker-geling-yan

Description: Lee’s stunning novel, her second, chronicles four generations of an ethnic Korean family, first in Japanese-occupied Korea in the early 20th century, then in Japan itself from the years before World War II to the late 1980s. Exploring central concerns of identity, homeland and belonging, the book announces its ambitions right from the opening sentence: “History has failed us, but no matter.” Lee suggests that behind the facades of wildly different people lie countless private desires, hopes and miseries, if we have the patience and compassion to look and listen.”

Author’s Website: https://www.minjinlee.com/

Description: “From author and filmmaker Sandi Tan, director of the acclaimed documentary Shirkers, comes a novel about a neighborhood of immigrants, seekers, lovers, and lurkers.”

Publisher’s Website: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/lurkers/

Description: “Poet Ocean Vuong’s debut novel is a shattering portrait of a family, a first love, and the redemptive power of storytelling.”

Author’s Website: https://www.oceanvuong.com/

Description: “From the infinitely inventive author of How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe, a deeply personal novel about race, pop culture, immigration, assimilation, and escaping the roles we are forced to play.”

Author’s Website: https://www.charlesyuauthor.com/interior-

Description: A riveting debut novel set in contemporary Seoul, Korea, about four young women making their way in a world defined by impossible standards of beauty, after-hours room salons catering to wealthy men, ruthless social hierarchies, and K-pop mania.

Author’s Website:https://francescha.com/

Description: From debut author Asha Lemmie, “a lovely, heartrending story about love and loss, prejudice and pain, and the sometimes dangerous, always durable ties that link a family together.” —Kristin Hannah, #1 New York Times–bestselling author of The Nightingale

Author’s Website:https://ashalemmie.com/

Description: “The Sympathizer is a sweeping epic of love and betrayal. The narrator, a communist double agent, is a "man of two minds," a half-French, half-Vietnamese army captain who comes to America after the Fall of Saigon, and while building a new life with other Vietnamese refugees in Los Angeles is secretly reporting back to his communist superiors in Vietnam. The Sympathizer is a blistering exploration of identity and America, a gripping spy novel, and a powerful story of love and friendship.”

Author’s Website:https://vietnguyen.info/2014/sympathizer


Description: “From the indie rockstar of Japanese Breakfast fame, and author of the viral 2018 New Yorker essay that shares the title of this book, an unflinching, powerful memoir about growing up Korean American, losing her mother, and forging her own identity.”

Author’s Website: https://www.cryinginhmart.com/

Description: “A searing, deeply candid memoir about a young woman's journey to understanding her complicated parents—her mother an Okinawan war bride, her father a Vietnam veteran—and her own, fraught cultural heritage.”

Publisher’s Website: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/speak-

Description: “Cathy Park Hong's voice is urgent and raw as she unpacks what it’s like to experience prejudice that doesn’t fit into the exact mold of oppression faced by other minorities in the U.S...Hong is brutally self-aware and embraces her anger as she captures how she’s struggled to make sense of her identity.” 

Author’s Website: https://www.cathyparkhong.com/

Description: “This beloved memoir "is an extraordinary, honest, nuanced and compassionate look at adoption, race in America and families in general" (Jasmine Guillory, Code Switch, NPR).”

Author’s Website: https://nicolechung.net/

Description:  “First-generation immigrant's "intimate, passionate look at race in America" (Viet Thanh Nguyen), an American's journey into the heart of not-whiteness.”

Publisher’s Website: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/not-

Description: “This compelling collection offers the first full-length examination of Okada's development as an artist, placing recently discovered writing by Okada alongside essays that reassess his lasting legacy. Meticulously researched biographical details, insight from friends and relatives, and a trove of intimate photographs illuminate Okada's early life in Seattle, military service, and careers as a public librarian and a technical writer in the aerospace industry. This volume is an essential companion to No-No Boy.”

Publisher’s Website: https://uwapress.uw.edu/john-okada/

Poetry/Essay Collections

Description: “In this timely, assured collection, Tina Chang confronts the complexities of raising a mixed-race child during an era of political upheaval in the United States. She ruminates on the relationship between her son’s blackness and his safety, exploring the dangers of childhood in a post–Trayvon Martin era and invoking racialized roles in fairy tales. Against the stark urban landscapes of threat and surveillance, Chang returns to the language of mothers.”

Author’s Website: https://www.tinachang.com/books

Description: “Pidgin Eye features thirty-five years of poetry by acclaimed author Joe Balaz. Writing in Pidgin (Hawaiʻi Creole English), he honors the beauty, strength, and complexity of Hawaiʻi and the voices of its peoples. Balaz’s philosophical lyricism tightly weaves history and humor, aloha ʻāina and protest, the spiritual and the everyday. Together, these poems envision a world in which—like Pidgin—“everything deserves to fly.”

Can Be Purchased At: https://bookshop.org/pidgin-eye/

Description: “From the author of The Queen of the Night, an essay collection exploring his education as a man, writer, and activist—and how we form our identities in life and in art.”

Author’s Website: https://www.alexanderchee.net/autobiographical


Lilo & Stitch

Description: “A tale of a young girl's close encounter with the galaxy's most wanted extraterrestrial. Lilo is a lonely Hawaiian girl who adopts a small ugly "dog," whom she names Stitch. Stitch would be the perfect pet if he weren't in reality a genetic experiment who has escaped from an alien planet and crash-landed on Earth. Through her love, faith and unwavering belief in ohana, the Hawaiian concept of family, Lilo helps unlock Stitch's heart and gives him the ability to care for someone else.”

Where to Watch: Disney +, YouTube, Amazon Prime

The Farewell

Description: “Billi's family returns to China under the guise of a fake wedding to stealthily say goodbye to their beloved matriarch -- the only person that doesn't know she only has a few weeks to live.”

Where to Watch: Amazon Prime, YouTube

The Half of It 

Description: “When smart but cash-strapped teen Ellie Chu agrees to write a love letter for a jock, she doesn’t expect to become his friend - or fall for his crush.”

Where to Watch: Netflix

Crazy Rich Asians

Description: “Rachel Chu is happy to accompany her longtime boyfriend, Nick, to his best friend's wedding in Singapore. She's also surprised to learn that Nick's family is extremely wealthy and he's considered one of the country's most eligible bachelors. Thrust into the spotlight, Rachel must now contend with jealous socialites, quirky relatives and something far, far worse -- Nick's disapproving mother.”

Where to Watch: HBO Max, Amazon Prime, YouTube

Always Be My Maybe

Description: “Childhood sweethearts have a falling out and don't speak for 15 years, only reconnecting as adults when Sasha runs into Marcus in San Francisco. Although the old sparks are still there, the couple live in different worlds.”

Where to Watch: Netflix


The Delano Manongs

Description: “The story of farm labor organizer Larry Itliong and a group of Filipino farm workers who instigated one of the American farm labor movement’s finest hours – The Delano Grape Strike of 1965 that brought about the creation of the United Farm Workers Union (UFW).”

Where to Watch: Link - PBS

I’m Gay - Eugene Lee Yang

Description: “ Original video and behind the scenes of Eugene Lee Yang's coming out video, "I'm Gay:" a never-before-seen look inside the mind of a young artist and his complex, dark struggles with his identity, his work, his public persona, and his private life.”

Where to Watch: Original Video and Behind the Scenes

American Revolutionary

Description: “Grace Lee Boggs, 98, is a Chinese American philosopher, writer, and activist in Detroit with a thick FBI file and a surprising vision of what an American revolution can be. Rooted for 75 years in the labor, civil rights and Black Power movements, she challenges a new generation to throw off old assumptions, think creatively and redefine revolution for our times.”

Where to Watch: Link - PBS

Call Her Ganda

Description: “When a transgender Filipina woman is found dead in a motel room and the leading suspect is a U.S. Marine, grassroots activists demand accountability. The ensuing case lays bare political tensions between the United States and the Philippines.”

Where to Watch: Amazon Prime, YouTube

Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision 

Description: “The film tells the gripping story behind the Vietnam Memorial and explores a decade of her creative work. Maya Lin's design of the Civil Rights Memorial, the Yale Women's Table, and the Juniata Peace Chapel reveals her ability to address major issues of our times through the healing power of art.”

Where to Watch: Link - Vimeo

Leitis in Waiting

Description: “A portrait of Joey Mataele, the leader of an intrepid group of leitis, or indigenous transgender women, that is fighting a rising tide of religious fundamentalism and intolerance in the South Pacific kingdom of Tonga.”

Where to Watch: YouTube, Amazon Prime

Minding The Gap

Description: “Three young men bond through skateboarding to escape their volatile family life in their Rust Belt home town. As they face their adult responsibilities, some unexpected revelations threaten their decade-long friendship.”

Where to Watch: Hulu


Description: “9-MAN uncovers an isolated and unique streetball tournament played by Chinese-Americans in the heart of Chinatowns across the USA and Canada. Today it’s a lasting connection to Chinatown for a dynamic community of men who know a different, more integrated world, but still fight to maintain autonomy and tradition.”

Where to Watch: Documentary Website

Asian Americans PBS Film Series

Description: “Asian Americans is a five-hour film series that delivers a bold, fresh perspective on a history that matters today, more than ever. As America becomes more diverse, and more divided, while facing unimaginable challenges, how do we move forward together? Told through intimate and personal lives, the series will cast a new lens on U.S. history and the ongoing role that Asian Americans have played in shaping the nation’s story.”

Where to Watch: PBS Website


Asian Not Asian 

Description: “Asian Not Asian is a weekly comedy podcast with hosts Fumi Abe (Comedy Central) and Michael Nguyen (McSweeney's). Our elevator pitch is this: Two Asian guys not from Asia talking about American issues no American cares about.”

Where to Listen: YouTube, Spotify, Apple Podcasts 

Feeling Asian with Young Mi Mayer & Brian Park 

Description: After a lifetime of holding in their emotions (shoutout to Korean moms!), comedians Youngmi Mayer and Brian Park are ready to let them all out. Each week, Youngmi and Brian dive into topics that range from sex/dating to umm...not sex/dating stuff, and invite their interesting friends along the way. Who knew catharsis could look so Asian?”

Where to Listen: Spotify, Apple Podcasts

Love, Discovery, & Dim Sum

Description: “An enlightening podcast that helps people discover more history and an Asian American perspective on race and culture. Hosted by husband-wife team of Baldwin "Only Won" Chiu & Larissa Lam.”

Where to Listen: Spotify, Apple Podcasts

2 Khmerican Sisters 

Description: “2 Khemerican Sisters was started to discuss meaningful topics and issues from the lens of two Khmerican (Cambodian-American) sisters and other diverse community leaders.”

Where to Listen: Spotify

Asian Boss Girl

Description: “A podcast for the modern day Asian American woman hosted by Melody Cheng, Helen Wu, & Janet Wang. It's no secret that Asian women are lacking in almost all media outlets, and those who are present mostly represent the fashion, beauty, or blogging industries.”

Where to Listen: Spotify, Apple Podcasts



“aye wassup FAHM”- Link

Description: Spotify Playlist created by Angela Uy and the University of Texas - Filipino Student Association interns in commemoration of Filipino American Heritage Month

AAPI Singers, Rappers, and Musicians

  • Jeremy Passion

  • AJ Rafael

  • Jeff Bernat

  • JR Aquino

  • Joseph Vincent

  • H.E.R.

  • Bruno Mars

  • Olivia Rodrigo

  • Jocelyn Enriquez

  • Jessica Sanchez

  • Karencitta

  • Eric Nam

  • Tiffany Young

  • Japanese Breakfast (Michelle Zauner)

  • Jay Park

  • Jessi

  • Ailee

  • Anderson Paak

  • Mitski

  • Jhené Aiko

  • Steve Aoki

  • Raveena Aurora

  • Norah Jones

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