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This list has been pre-screened. Books in this color were highly recommended by KAAN conference attendees. Contact Us with additions or corrections.
A Busy Day at Mr. Kang's Grocery Store by Alice Flanagan Full of photographs; describes Mr. Kang's daily work at his grocery store.
A Cab Called Reliable by Patti Kim Ahn Joo Cho emigrated from Korea to Virginia when she was seven. Two years later, a cab called reliable takes away her mother and infant brother forever. Over the years, Ahn Joo excels at writing while her home life with her old-fashioned father deteriorates. A heart-breaking secret finally sets her free to create her own heritage.
A Euro-American on a Korean Tour at a Thai Restaurant in China by Chris Winston Part memoir, part parenting guide, this book shares how a mother worked to meet her children's needs and, in doing so, birthed a new kind of community.
A Gesture Life by Chang-Rae Lee As he did in his debut (Native Speaker), the author explores the dilemma of being an outsider. First, as a native-born Korean, protagonist Franklin Hata bends over backwards to fit into Japanese culture, circa 1944. Then he attempts a similar bit of environmental adaptation in postwar America--more specifically, in the slumbering New York suburb of Bedley Run. But in neither case does he quite succeed, which gives the novel its peculiar, faltering sense of tragedy.
A Ghost at Heart's Edge by Susan Ito and Tina Cervin (editors) Fifty short stories and poems reveal the sometimes heartbreaking, often affirming tales of adoption. Written from the point of view of birth parents, adoptive parents, and adoptees, this unique anthology spans nations and cultures. Includes authors Alison Lurie, Isabel Allende, Sandra McPherson, Jacquelyn Mitchard, Louise Erdrich, Chitra Divakaruni, and Lynna Williams.
A Person of Interest by Susan Choi An Asian-American professor is suspected of terrorism and murder when a colleague is killed. He receives a letter leading him to suspect the true culprit is an old nemesis seeking revenge.
A Ricepaper Airplane by Gary Pak A dying man envisions a ricepaper airplane that would carry him back to his Korean homeland and to his wife and children.
A Single Square Picture: A Korean Adoptee's Search for Her Roots by Katy Robinson What a beautifully shared story! Kim Ji-yun (Katy) left Korea to be adopted in the United States at the age of seven, and returns as a married 28-year-old to rediscover the family and roots she can hardly remember.
A Step from Heaven by Ah Na A young Korean girl and her family find it difficult to learn English and adjust to life in America. Winner of the Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in Literature.
A Suitcase of Seaweed and Other Poems by Janet S. Wong Perceptive, touching, and often amusing poems about the author's Korean, Chinese, and American heritage and her family.
Adopted from Asia: How It Feels to Grow Up in America by Frances M. Koh Collection of rich personal stories of eleven adopted Korean-born children.
Aekyung's Dream by Min Paek A girl (whose family recently emigrated from Korea) is able to adjust to her new life after learning of the dream of a Korean cultural figure.
After the Morning Calm: Reflections of Korean Adoptees by Dr. Sook Wilkinson and Nancy Fox, editors Essays written by Korean adoptees that include photos and brief bios of each writer.
Allison by Allen Say A red kimono triggers realization that Allison does not look like her parents. She is upset but works through her feelings with the help of a stray cat.
American Eyes: New Asian-American Short Stories for Young Adults by Lori M. Chrison
Are These Kids Yours? American Families with Children Adopted from Other Countries by Cheri Register Author discusses issues related to parenting an adoptive child in a caring, thorough manner. If you read only one or two adoption books, make this one a priority.
Asian American Dreams: The Emergence of an American People by Helen Zia Discusses the transformation of Asian Americans from a few, small, disconnected ethnic groups into a self-identified racial group that is influencing every aspect of American society.
Because I Loved You: A Birthmother's View of Open Adoption by Patricia Dischler Memoir written by a birthmother who chose open adoption for her son in 1985.
Behind the Mask by Yangsook Choi A Korean-American boy goes through a trunk of his grandfather's things in search of a good Halloween costume idea, uncovering a valuable piece of family and cultural history.
Bravo Your Life by Mi Soon Burzlaff Collection of nonfiction vignettes about life, family, and friendship in contemporary South Korea told by an adoptee who is slowly acculturating herself into her birth family and society at large.