It's that time of the year when we clear up our bookshelves (ok, not really, we just have really high piles of books) and make room for new titles coming our way! Every year sees a new and growing crop of South Asian books and here is a list of titles we are looking forward to in 2019!
Bilal cooks Daal: Young Bilal is excited about introducing his friends to his favorite dish - daal! As it simmers and bubbles on the stove, Bilal wonders if his friends will like it as much as he does! Picture books on food - sign us up!
Brave with Beauty: A Story of Afghanistan: Queen Gwahar Shad from Afghanistan was the ruler of Herat, Afghanistan in the 15th century. A designer and architect herself, under her rule, all things of beauty such as poetry, music and calligraphy flourished and were celebrated. Definitely an inspiring woman!
From Pancakes to Parathas: Breakfast around the world: More food books! And this one looks at breakfast foods from all over the world to see how kids begin their packed day with a power packed meal!
Gandhi (Little People, Big Dreams): A new picture book on the life of Mahatma Gandhi examines his rebellious teenage ways and his transformation to a man who's beliefs shaped an entire nation.
Related: See books on Gandhi for all ages
My Grandma and Me: Mina shares Ramadan, late nights, stories, friendships and a strong bond of love with her Grandma. This warm telling of their story will resonate with one and all. This selection has more fun tales with grandparents.
Leila in Saffron: On her weekly visit to her grandmother's home for dinner, Leila discovers food, family, friends and herself reflected in all these parts that make her whole.
Priya Dreams of Marigolds & Masala: Priya learns about her Indian heritage through conversations with Ba- her grandmother. Together they weave magic through memory and tantalize their five senses to discover a land far away and yet so near.
Ritu weds Chandni: Ayesha is excited about her cousin's upcoming wedding to her girlfriend. With a distinctive take on tradition and same-sex marriage, this book provides a way to have thoughtful conversations around ideas of love and family.
The Boy who Grew a Forest: The True Story of Jadav Payeng: This inspiring story has a lesson for us all! Concerned with the loss of trees in on his island, Payeng began planting trees. This small wood grew to be a forest and a home for flora and fauna.
The Proudest Blue: Olympic medalist and fencing champion Ibtihaj Muhammad joins hands with SK Ali to tell the story of two sisters and two firsts - one's first day of school and the others' first day wearing her hijab.
The Yellow Suitcase: With her grandmother's passing, Asha doesn't know how to deal with her confused feelings of grief and anger. Her yellow suitcase lies empty of the gifts usually filled by her grandmother, but her grandmother's memory finds a place in her heart after all.
What do you Celebrate: Festivals Around the World: Discover 14 special festivals all over the world and the traditions, presents, foods and fun that join people young and old in celebration.
Under My Hijab: A picture book that shows many different women and girls in different walks of life and how the hijab is an extension of their personalities!
Aru Shah and the Song of Death: The second in the Aru Shah series, a stolen bow and arrow has thrown the Otherworld into a panic. When Aru is suspected as the thief, her team of friends have to help her find the real thief or face the consequences.
Count Me In: Karina and Chris live next door to each other but only get to know one another when Karina's grandfather begins tutoring Chris. One day when her grandfather is the victim of a hate crime, both Karina and Chris vow to bring the community together instead of letting hate tear it apart.
The Battle: In a sequel to her book The Gauntlet, Karuna Riazi brings us a revenge saga targeting the Mirza clan in a rebuilt but equally frightening Paheli world where nothing is as it seems. With a high tech board game and upping the stakes, this book is sure to be a bumpy ride! Also flying rickshaws!
The Bridge Home: Padma Venkatraman's middle grade debut takes on issues of homeless children, poverty and resilience in Chennai, India. Two run away sisters find shelter and work as rag pickers in the city but situations arise to put their friendship to the test.
Midsummer’s Mayhem: Young Mimi is looking to prove herself in the town's baking contest. With help from a stranger her baked treats seem to be creating circumstances beyond her control. Rajani LaRocco's fun retelling of A Midnight Summer's Dream is excitingly re-imagined in her debut middle grade novel.
A Match Made in Mehendi: Discovering her skill for match making, Simran brings together the ancient art form on finding love with 21st century technology to help highschoolers find love. When she matches the school introvert with the most popular guy in school, she may have taken on more than she can handle.
Forward Me Back to You: Mitali Perkins's latest novel explore the under belly of human trafficking and adoption through two teenagers Katina and Robin who meet on a trip to India. Will both of them be able to fight the secrets of their past and develop their friendship into the future?
Internment: Samira Ahmed's dystopian novel is set in the near future where Layla Amin and her parents are forced into an internment camp for Muslim American citizens. A scary look at how silence leads to complicity.
Related: See books on Counter Islamophobia Through Stories
Love from A to Z: Adam and Zayneb meet in unusual circumstances over spring break. Adam suffers from multiple sclerosis and is grieving the loss of his mother while trying to keep his family together. Zayneb hopes to change her ways and turn over a new leaf to compensate for her earlier behaviour at school. What would happen if their inner thoughts all jotted in their journals were to be revealed?
There's Something about Sweetie: Sandhya Menon's new book pits two headstrong protagonists against each other. Ashish challenges his parents to set him up which they gladly accept - with conditions. Sweetie wants to challenge her parents' notion of who she is and how she can prove herself to the world and to herself.
The Candle and the Flame: Nafiza Azad's debut novel takes place along the Silk Road. Noor, where Fatima lives is recovering from a recent invasion and attack form the djinn. When the Ifrit that protects her dies, Fatima's world is shaken to the core.
The Tiger at Midnight: Esha, the rebel faces her most difficult challenge to date to fight General Hotha. Kunal as the General's soldier longs to get out of the General's shadow. When their paths cross, both have to examine their choices and the consequences of their dreams.
Check out the top picks for Holi