Krista is an almost-12-year-old living in Vancouver, Canada. Her best friend since kindergarten is a redheaded boy named Jason. Jason enjoys Korean food, even kimchi, which has a strong smell. Although both of her parents are Korean, Krista’s mom does not cook a lot of Korean food. Her paternal grandmother though, always makes and brings them Korean food. Sadly, however, it seems that Grandma prefers Krista’s teen sister Tori to her. Tori is interested in fashion and makeup, and isn’t the biggest fan of Korean food. Krista on the other hand, prefers her worn jeans and sneakers, which Grandma does not like.
E.L. Shen’s The Comeback follows 12-year-old figure skater, Maxine Chen. Maxine loves figure skating and is pretty good at it too. Her parents are extra supportive and make financial sacrifices so that Maxine can pursue her passion. Still, they’re balanced and never pressure her to do anything she doesn’t. They also always ensure that she prioritizes school work and is not too hard on herself.
Maxine is a confident skater and feels sure that she’s got at least third place in the bag during her contest, but things start to get complicated when a new skater named Holly shows up. Holly is better trained and more experienced on the ice and Maxine begins to feel jealousy and other negative emotions. Maxine is also struggling with a bully at school who makes racial jokes about Maxine, such as about her monolid.
Lupe Wong Won’t Dance is Donna Barba Higuera’s debut middle-grade novel. Her protagonist Lupe is a Mexican-Chinese girl who loves baseball. Her Chinese father died several years ago, so she lives with her Mexican mom and her brother Paolo. However, both her abuela and her Chinese grandparents are very present in their lives. Lupe is excited to get all A’s this year because her uncle has promised her a meeting with baseball star Fu Li Hernandez, who’s Chinacan/Mexinese like her if she does. But all of a sudden, there’s a new development in her gym class: Coach wants them to do square dancing instead of like, actual sports. And guess what? Lupe does not dance.
63 of the best middle-grade books by authors of Asian descent, including chapter books and graphic novels.