17 Books for Chinese New Year

This February 8th is Chinese New Year. As we ring in the year of the monkey, why not take some time to celebrate Chinese culture? Here are a few books that feature Chinese or Chinese-American customs, cultures, and experiences:

The  Money Dragon – Pam Chun

A Chinese girl living in Hawaii tells about her controlling father-in-law and his wives.

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The Joy Luck Club – Amy Tanjoy luck club

Four Chinese-American girls talk about their experiences – good and bad – growing up with Chinese mothers.

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Everything I Never Told You – Celeste Ngeverything i never told you

The Lee family is a Chinese family living in Ohio. When Lydia, the favorite child, is found dead in the lake, the family must find a way to pick up the pieces.

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Snow Flower and the Secret Fan – Lisa Seesnow flower and the secret fan

Lily and Snow Flower, two Chinese girls, send fans to one another with letters and poems written on them in nu shu, a secret language created by Chinese women. Over time, they begin to share their greatest joys, sorrows, and pains with one another.

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The Misadventures of Sulliver Pong – Leland Cheukthe misadventures of sulliver pong

The story of a Chinese-American family slowly falling into dysfunction. Sulliver Pong is slowly pulled into the corruption of his extended family when his father comes to visit, and ends up knee-deep in political corruption and pursuing a married woman.

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Thousand Pieces of Gold – Ruthanne Lumm McCunnthousand pieces of gold

Based on the life of Polly Bemis, this story tells of a Chinese woman who is sold to pay her father’s debts and ends up in the American West.

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Waiting – Ha Jinwaiting

The story of a Chinese man who must wait 18 years to divorce his wife so he can marry the woman he loves.

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Tripmaster Monkey: His Fake Book – Maxine Hong KingstonTripmasterMonkey

The story of a Chinese-American struggling with his racial identity. While Wittman Ah Sing looks down on Chinese immigrants, he is also fed-up with racist treatment toward Chinese Americans, and turns to the arts to explore and express his confusion.

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Saving Fish from Drowning – Amy TanSavingFishFromDrowning

A group of American tourists travel through China and Burma and are kidnapped, although they don’t even realize it.

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The Barbarians Are Coming – David Wong Louiethe barbarians are coming

A Chinese-American man tells about being caught between his immigrant parents’ expectations for him and his own ambitions.

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The Great Wall of Lucy Wu – Wendy Wan-Long Shangthe great wall of lucy wu

Sixth-grader Lucy Wu wants to be a basketball player and an interior designer. She has her year planned out perfectly, but her aunt Yi Po is coming to visit, and a bully at school is trying to get her off the basketball team. This story tells about common tweenage difficulties, as well as multicultural challenges.

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The Last Empress – Anchee Minthe last empress

A historical account telling about the life of Empress Dowager Cixi, commonly called Empress Orchid.

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Chinatown Family – Lin YutangChinatown_Family_-_Lin_Yutang

The Fong family, living in New York’s Chinatown in the 1920s and 1930s, gradually become successful in a less-than-friendly America.

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The Tiger’s Apprentice – Laurence Yepthe tiger's apprentice

A fantasy novel that blends modern-day San Francisco with ancient Chinese mythology.

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Revolution is Not a Dinner Party – Ying Chang Compestinerevolution is not a dinner party

This is the story of Ling Chang, a nine-year-old facing persecution during the Cultural Revolution in China.

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Eat a Bowl of Tea – Louis ChoEat_a_Bowl_of_Tea_(Louis_Chu_novel)

A Chinese-American classic. Cho focuses on a married couple and their fathers to show the differences between Chinese ideals and American realities.

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In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson – Betty Bao LordIn-the-Year-of-the-Boar-and-Jackie-Robinson

Shirley Temple Wong and her parents leave China to come to America, where Shirley’s father has a job as an engineer. While her family keeps many of their Chinese traditions, they also embrace many new American traditions, including Shirley’s passion for baseball.