5 People to Read About for Asian-Pacific Heritage Month in May
May is Asian-Pacific Heritage Month, a time to celebrate and recognize the contributions and achievements of Asian and Pacific Islander Americans. If you’ve been following me over the years, you know how much I believe in the power of reading to my students every day.
With that in mind, I just had to bring you a May edition for Asian-Pacific Islander American Heritage Month. While there are so many books I could have added, I focused on narrative nonfiction so that my students can “meet” people who acheived great things.
Here are five picture books that you can read aloud with your class to learn about incredible people who have made a difference in the world.
“Maya Lin: Artist Architect of Light and Lines” by Jeanne Walker Harvey
This beautifully illustrated picture book tells the story of Maya Lin, an artist and architect who designed the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. It explores her inspiration, creative process, and the challenges she faced in creating one of the most iconic memorials in the United States.
“You Should Meet Duke Kahanamoku” by Laurie Calkhoven
Duke Kahanamoku was a legendary Hawaiian surfer and swimmer who won multiple Olympic medals and helped popularize surfing around the world. This book introduces young readers to Duke’s life, accomplishments, and the important role he played in promoting Hawaiian culture and sports.
This heartwarming true story takes readers on a journey to Japan, where a young entrepreneur named Momofuku Ando invented instant ramen noodles during a time of food shortages. The book highlights the importance of perseverance, innovation, and how a simple idea can change the world.
“Malala’s Magic Pencil” by Malala Yousafzai
This autobiographical picture book tells the story of her childhood in Pakistan and her dreams of using a magic pencil to change the world. The book celebrates the power of imagination and the importance of education for all children.
“Sakamoto’s Swim Club: How a Teacher Led an Unlikely Team to Victory” by Julie Abery
This inspiring true story is about Soichi Sakamoto, a teacher in Hawaii who started a swim club for Japanese-American children during a time of segregation and discrimination. Through his leadership and dedication, he taught his students the value of hard work, perseverance, and the importance of overcoming obstacles.
Reading these picture books with your class is a great way to explore the diversity of Asian and Pacific Islander American cultures and learn about the inspiring achievements of these incredible people. It’s also an opportunity to celebrate the importance of diversity, inclusion, and understanding in our classrooms and communities.