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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.

Hot Pot Night! Cover Image
By Vincent Chen, Vincent Chen (Illustrator)
$16.99
ISBN: 9781623541200
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Charlesbridge - September 8th, 2020

When the Cousins Came Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780823434572
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Holiday House - July 3rd, 2018

Norman and the Nom Nom Factory Cover Image
By Bridgette Zou, Bridgette Zou (Illustrator)
$18.99
ISBN: 9781635920321
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Starberry Books - January 1st, 2018

In-Between Things Cover Image
By Priscilla Tey, Priscilla Tey (Illustrator)
$16.99
ISBN: 9780763689834
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Candlewick - May 22nd, 2018

How to Solve a Problem: The Rise (and Falls) of a Rock-Climbing Champion Cover Image
By Ashima Shiraishi, Yao Xiao (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9781524773274
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Make Me a World - April 7th, 2020

Inside Out and Back Again Cover Image
$8.99
ISBN: 9780061962790
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: HarperCollins - January 2nd, 2013

Stand Up, Yumi Chung! Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780525554974
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Kokila - March 17th, 2020

The Boy Who Became a Dragon: A Bruce Lee Story Cover Image
By Jim Di Bartolo, Jim Di Bartolo (Illustrator)
$14.99
ISBN: 9781338134117
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Graphix - February 4th, 2020

Pie in the Sky Cover Image
By Remy Lai, Remy Lai (Illustrator)
$12.99
ISBN: 9781250314109
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Henry Holt and Co. BYR Paperbacks - May 14th, 2019

Prairie Lotus Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781328781505
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Clarion Books - March 3rd, 2020

Dragon Hoops Cover Image
$24.99
ISBN: 9781626720794
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: First Second - March 17th, 2020

Frankly in Love Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781984812209
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers - September 10th, 2019

Patron Saints of Nothing Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780525554912
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Kokila - June 18th, 2019