AAPI Educational Content Guide for Kids

AAPI educational content for kids (Photo Credit: Bookshop, Amazon, Right To Be, Kelly Yang, Joanna Ho)

This year marks the 30th anniversary of Congress designating the month of May as Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (APAHM), an expansion of Asian Pacific American Heritage Week as established in 1979.

Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders have a long and rich history in the United States, yet many of these stories are often overlooked in the classroom and beyond. The precipitous rise in hate incidents against Asian Americans during the past two years has demonstrated how pernicious stereotypes, bias, and prejudice can proliferate when left unaddressed. Like many within our community, Asian Americans Advancing Justice — AAJC believes that education and exposure from an early age are the most effective ways to disrupt harmful stereotypes and bias that perpetuate racism.

There is growing interest from students and families to have more diverse and inclusive teaching about the histories of all communities in our country, including Asian American history. Advocacy efforts by civil rights groups and community organizations have brought about historic legislation in states like Illinois and New Jersey, where Asian American history is mandated in the K-12 curricula. Thanks to these efforts and changes, more parents, educators, and students around the country will learn more about Asian American history and communities.

To celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage month this year, Advancing Justice — AAJC has compiled a list of educational content for little (and big) readers to read, watch, listen, and learn about the stories and contributions of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders.

For Early Childhood

BOOKS:

A Place Where Sunflowers Grow by Amy Lee-Tai

Always Anjali by Sheetal Sheth

  • Read-aloud Storytime: Always Anjali by Sheetal Sheth and Illustrated by Jessica Blank, Read by Padma Lakshmi

And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell, Justin Richardson and Henry Cole

Bilal Cooks Daal by Aisha Saeed

Building Zaha: The Story of Architect Zaha Hadid

Building Zaha: The Story of Architect Zaha Hadid by Victoria Tentler-Krylov

Drawn Together by Minh Le, Dan Santat

Eyes that Kiss in the Corners

Eyes that Kiss in the Corners by Joanna Ho

  • Readaloud Storytime: Eyes That Kiss in the Corners by Joanna Ho and Illustrated by Dung Ho, Read by Ming-Na Wen
Ho’onani: Hula Warrior

Ho’onani: Hula Warrior by Heather Gale and Illustrated by Mika Song

The Gift of Ramadan by Rabiah York Lumbard

The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi

Too Many Mangos by Tammy Paikai

Young, Proud and Sung-jee: A Children’s Book Fighting Anti-Asian Racism During Covid-19 by Joyce Y. Lee and Emily Ku and Illustrated by Maggie Chen

VIDEOS:

PC: Right To Be

Be a Super Ally with the 5Ds — Bystander Intervention for Kids

PC: Sesame Street

Sesame Street:

Who am I? What’s on my Head? by LittleSikhs.com

Read-Aloud Storytime:

For Upper Elementary

BOOKS:

A Different Pond by Bao Phi, Thi Bui

Amina’s Voice by Hena Khan

Baseball Saved Us

Baseball Saved Us by Ken Mochizuki and Illustrated by Dom Lee

Island of the Invisible Being: Benjua’s Story: A Legend from the Marshall Islands

Island of the Invisible Being: Benjua’s Story: A Legend from the Marshall Islands by Madelain Westermann, Illustrated by Erin Johnson

Pele and Poli`ahu: A Tale of Fire and Ice

Pele and Poli`ahu: A Tale of Fire and Ice Retold by Malia Collins and Illustrated by Kathleen Peterson

Yes We Will: Asian Americans Who Shaped This Country by Kelly Yang

VIDEOS:

Be a History Detective with the JANM Education Unit

For Pre-Teen to Young Adults (6th — 12th)

BOOKS:

American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang

Frankly in Love

Frankly in Love by David Yoon

Only What We Could Carry: The Japanese American Internment Experience by Lawson Fusao Inada, Patricia Wakida and William Hohri

America is in the Heart

America is in the Heart by Carlos Bulosan

VIDEOS:

Filipino American History by Duty to Country

Asian Americans by PBS

We Need to Talk About Anti-Asian Hate (Trigger Warning) by The Try Guys

The Remix with Theater Mu

Asian American Experience by Smithsonian:

AAPI Civil Rights Heroes:

AAPI Civil Rights Groups:

Additional Resources

FOR LEARNING:

BOOK LISTS:

This content guide is compiled by our Anti-Asian Hate program and Education Advocacy program at Advancing Justice — AAJC. Learn more by visiting our website at advancingjustice-aajc.org.

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