Celebrate Asian American Pacific Islander Month with Graphic Novels for Teens & Tweens

Pashmina by Nidhi Chanani (Fiction: grades 4-8) Magic and mystery collide in this debut graphic novel by Indian-American illustrator Nidhi Chanani.  Priyanka Das has so many unanswered questions: Why did her mother abandon her home in India years ago? What was it like there? Most importantly, who is her father, and why did her mom leave him behind? But Pri’s mom avoids these questions—the topic of India is permanently closed. For Pri, her mother’s homeland can only exist in her imagination. That is, until she finds a mysterious pashmina scarf tucked away in a forgotten suitcase. When she wraps herself in it, she is transported to a place more vivid and magical than any Bollywood film. Pri knows this world can’t be the real India, but perhaps it can help her discover the truth.  Almost American Girl by Robin Ha (Memoir: grades 7 and up) Robin Ha was born in Korea and moved to the United States as a teen. She has also written Cook Korean!, a comic book with recipes.  Growing up as the only child of a single mother in Seoul, Korea, wasn’t always easy, but it has bonded Robin and her mother fiercely together. So when a vacation to visit friends in the United States unexpectedly becomes a permanent relocation, following her mother’s announcement that she’s getting married, Robin is devastated. Overnight, her life changes. She is dropped into a new school where she doesn’t understand the language. She is completely cut off from her friends in Seoul, and has no access to her beloved comics. At home, she doesn’t fit in with her new stepfamily, and worst of all, she is furious with the one person who means the most to her: her mother. The Magic Fish by Trung Le Nguyen (Fiction: grades 7 and up) Fairy tales and family relationships come to life in this beautifully drawn debut graphic novel by Vietnamese American cartoonist, Trung Le Nguyen.  Tien enjoys reading fairy tales to his parents, who are struggling to learn English. He also loves hearing the Vietnamese tales his mother tells him.  But when it comes to sharing information about his real life,Tien struggles. His parents don’t understand. He can’t seem to find the words in Vietnamese to tell his parentshe is gay. If only real life was more like a fairy tale.  Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me by Mariko Tamaki (Fiction, grades 9 and up)Mariko Tamaki is the author of the award-winning graphic novel This One Summer, and numerous DC titles, including Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass.  Laura Dean, the most popular girl in high school, is Frederica Riley’s dream girl: charming, confident, and SO cute. There’s just one problem: Laura Dean is maybe not the greatest girlfriend. Freddy decides to get relationship advice from the Seek-Her, a medium who leaves Freddy with these parting words: Break up with her. But Laura Dean keeps coming back. As their relationship spirals further out of her control, Freddy wonders if it’s really Laura Dean that’s the problem. Maybe it’s time for Freddy to embrace the relationships she needs, rather than the one she craves.  Dragon Hoops by Gene Luen Yang  (Memoir: grades 8 and up)Gene Luen Yang’s groundbreaking memoir, American Born Chinese won the Printz Award and the Eisner Award. But before he was an award winning author, Yang was a math teacher at a school obsessed with basketball. He revisits that time in his latest graphic memoir.   Gene doesn’t get sports. He lost interest in basketball long ago. But at the high school where he now teaches, it’s all anyone can talk about. The men’s varsity team, the Dragons, is having a phenomenal season. Each victory brings them closer to their ultimate goal: the California State Championships. Once Gene gets to know these young all-stars, he realizes that their story is just as thrilling as anything he’s seen on a comic book page. He knows he must follow this epic season to its end. What he doesn’t know yet is that this season is not only going to change the players’ lives, but his own life as well. Karen deWilde, Teen Services Librarian Annotations are from the publishers. 

Hotel Stories: Real & Imagined

Some fiction writers choose to set their romantic trysts, exciting adventures, and murderous plots in a world revolving around a hotel, inn, or motel.  And of course there are some very engaging nonfiction reads about real hotels with illustrious pasts and glamorous histories. Even if you do not feel ready to indulge in a getaway right now, you can freely escape to the atmosphere and ambience of a hotel or motel by way of these fiction and nonfiction titles available with your Library card in book or ebook formats. Nonfiction The Barbizon : The Hotel That Set Women Free by Paulina Bren This book tells the story of New York’s most glamorous women-only hotel, and the women-both famous and ordinary-who passed through its doors. World War I had liberated women from home and hearth, setting them on the path to political enfranchisement and gainful employment. Arriving in New York to work in the dazzling new skyscrapers, they did not want to stay in uncomfortable boarding houses; they wanted what men already had-exclusive residential hotels that catered to their needs, with daily maid service, cultural programs, workout rooms, and private dining. The Barbizon would become the most famous residential hotel of them all, welcoming everyone from aspiring actresses, dancers, and fashion models to seamstresses, secretaries, and nurses. The Barbizon’s residents read like a who’s who: Titanic survivor Molly Brown; actresses Rita Hayworth, Joan Crawford, Grace Kelly, Tippi Hedron, Liza Minelli, Ali McGraw, Jaclyn Smith, and Phylicia Rashad; writers Sylvia Plath, Joan Didion, Diane Johnson, Gael Greene, and Meg Wolitzer; and so many more.  The Castle on Sunset : Life, Death, Love, Art, and Scandal at Hollywood’s Chateau Marmont by Shawn Levy Since 1929, Hollywood’s brightest stars have flocked to the Chateau Marmont as if it were a second home. An apartment building-turned-hotel, the Chateau has been the backdrop for generations of gossip and folklore: where director Nicholas Ray slept with his sixteen-year-old Rebel Without a Cause star Natalie Wood; Jim Morrison swung from the balconies; John Belushi suffered a fatal overdose; and Lindsay Lohan got the boot after racking up nearly $50,000 in charges in less than two months. But despite its mythic reputation, much of what has happened inside the Chateau’s walls has eluded the public eye–until now. With wit and insight, Levy recounts the wild revelries and scandalous liaisons, the creative breakthroughs and marital breakdowns, the births and deaths to which the hotel has been a party. The Hotel on Place Vendôme : Life, Death, and Betrayal at the Hotel Ritz in Paris by Tilar J. Mazzeo Set against the backdrop of the Nazi occupation of World War II, this is the captivating history of Paris’s world-famous Hôtel Ritz–a breathtaking tale of glamour, opulence, and celebrity; dangerous liaisons, espionage, and resistance. Inside the Dream Palace : The Life and Times of New York’s Legendary Chelsea Hotel by Sherill Tippins Since its founding by a utopian-minded French architect in 1884, New York’s Chelsea Hotel has been a hotbed of artistic invention and inspiration. Cultural luminaries from Sid Vicious to Thomas Wolfe, Edith Piaf to Patti Smith, Jean-Paul Sartre to Dee Dee Ramone—all made the Chelsea the largest and longest-lived artist community in the world. This is the hotel’s story, from its earliest days as a cooperative community, through its pop art, rock-and-roll, and punk periods, to its later transformations under new ownership. The Plaza : The Secret Life of America’s Most Famous Hotel by Julie Satow This is journalist Satow’s thrilling, unforgettable history of how one illustrious hotel has defined our understanding of money and glamour, from the Gilded Age to the Go-Go Eighties to today’s Billionaire Row. Satow not only pulls back the curtain on Truman Capote’s Black and White Ball and The Beatles’ first stateside visit-she also follows the money trail. This account reveals how a handful of rich, dowager widows were the financial lifeline that saved the hotel during the Great Depression, and how, today, foreign money and anonymous shell companies have transformed iconic guest rooms into condominiums that shield ill-gotten gains-hollowing out parts of the hotel as well as the city around it. Fiction All the Ways We Said Goodbye : A Novel of the Ritz Paris by Beatriz Williams A glorious historical adventure that moves from the dark days of two World Wars to the turbulent years of the 1960s, in which three women with bruised hearts find refuge at Paris’ legendary Ritz hotel. The Chelsea Girls : A Novel by Fiona Davis From the dramatic red brick facade to the sweeping staircase dripping with art, the Chelsea Hotel has long been New York City’s creative oasis for the many artists, writers, musicians, actors, filmmakers, and poets who have called it home–a scene playwright Hazel Riley and actress Maxine Mead are determined to use to their advantage. Yet they soon discover that the greatest obstacle to putting up a show on Broadway has nothing to do with their art, and everything to do with politics. A Red scare is sweeping across America, and Senator Joseph McCarthy has started a witch hunt for Communists, with those in the entertainment industry in the crosshairs. As the pressure builds to name names, it is more than Hazel and Maxine’s Broadway dreams that may suffer as they grapple with the terrible consequences, but also their livelihood, their friendship, and even their freedom. The Dollhouse by Fiona Davis Davis’s stunning debut novel pulls readers into the lush world of New York City’s glamorous Barbizon Hotel for Women, where a generation of aspiring models, secretaries, and editors lived side-by-side while attempting to claw their way to fairy-tale success in the 1950s, and where a present-day journalist becomes consumed with uncovering a dark secret buried deep within the Barbizon’s glitzy past. The Glass Hotel : A Novel by Emily St. John Mandel Vincent is a bartender at the Hotel Caiette, a five-star lodging on the northernmost tip of Vancouver Island. On the night she meets Jonathan Alkaitis, a hooded figure scrawls