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Books to Combat Xenophobia During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Unfortunately, examples of xenophobia abound in our society but are especially rampant amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, with even elected officials referring to the disease as a "Chinese virus." The New York Times reports: "As the coronavirus upends American life, Chinese-Americans face a double threat. Not only are they grappling like everyone else with how to avoid the virus itself, they are also contending with growing racism in the form of verbal and physical attacks. Other Asian-Americans — with families from Korea, Vietnam, the Philippines, Myanmar and other places — are facing threats, too, lumped together with Chinese-Americans by a bigotry that does not know the difference."
One of the best ways to combat this hatred and ignorance is through education and especially by reading. We've collected some of our favorite books for young readers by and about people of Chinese and, more broadly, East Asian descent to honor and celebrate the history, culture, and experiences of our Asian and Asian-American friends and neighbors.
Titles are listed roughly from youngest to oldest intended audiences, although we recommend that young readers be allowed to read whatever interests them, even if they don't fall into the stated range for age or reading level. Ttles that have not been released yet can be preordered now.
We share book recommendations with our community with the understanding that if you choose to buy new books from this list, you will do so from us. Book sales are an important part of our revenue, allowing us to pay the people who use their expertise to thoughtfully curate these lists. Without book sales, we don't have a bookstore and therefore can't provide recommendations. Thank you for acknowledging the labor that produced this list by purchasing books we recommend from us. Your money will recirculate throughout the Bronx, and you'll be supporting people, not corporate algorithms.