May is Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, a time to celebrate the rich cultures, traditions, and contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States. The origins of AAPI Month can be traced back to the late 1970s, when a joint resolution was passed by Congress to commemorate the first 10 days of May as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week. In 1990, President George H.W. Bush expanded the celebration to the entire month of May.

As part of the educational community, it’s crucial to recognize the significance of this month and incorporate it into our teaching and activities. AAPI Month provides an opportunity to teach children about diversity and inclusion, build cultural awareness, and celebrate the many achievements and contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders throughout history. By learning about different cultures and traditions, children develop a greater appreciation for the world around them and gain a deeper understanding of the AAPI community. For children of AAPI descent, AAPI Month can be a powerful tool for fostering positive identity development and building resilience and self-esteem.

To honor AAPI Month, we’ve created this recommended book list for students from Pre-K through 3rd grade.

Pre-Kindergarten (Level PR)

I Am Golden book cover

I Am Golden by Eva Chen


Too Many Mangos book cover
Too Many Mangos by Tammy Paikai

Kindergarten (Level A)

Cora Cooks Pancit Book Cover

Cora Cooks Pancit by Dorina Lazo Gilmore


Juna's Jar book cover

Juna’s Jar by Jane Bahk

First Grade (Level B)

Drawn Together book cover

Drawn Together by Minh Lê


Super Satya Saves the Day book cover

Super Satya Saves the Day by Raakhee Mirchandani

Second Grade (Level C)

Yes We Will: Asian Americans Who Shaped This Country book cover

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


Watercress book cover

Watercress by Andrea Yang

Third Grade (Level D)

The Name Jar book cover

Name Jar by Yangsook Choi


Redwoods book cover

Redwoods by Jason Chin

Please enjoy the additional celebratory book lists that we’ve created.
Black History Month
Native American Heritage Month
Hispanic Heritage Month

If you’re looking for a read-aloud list, we have a new version for 2024.
Read Aloud Book List