With every passing year, it is heart-warming to see a growing number of South Asian titles published in the diaspora. From board books celebrating festivals to a variety of picture books tackling ideas of flexibility, adventures and values. Genre-bending chapter books on history, fantasy and the daily business of living have sprouted and so have many young adult novels that range from sweet romances to hard hitting lived experiences. Here are our South Asian favorites for 2018!
BEST SOUTH ASIAN BOOKS OF 2018
Perfect for little hands, with real life pictures and simple words, this book combines a rainbow of colors through photographs and rhyme to showcase the fun and frolic of Holi.
Ramadan (Celebrate the World):
Bright colorful illustrations liven up Ramadan traditions from around the world that celebrate values and the spirit of giving in the month of Ramadan.
Amma Tell me about Raksha Bandhan:
Bhakti Mathur's latest sparkling rhyming book on the celebration of the bonds of love between a brother and sister is another winner.
Nimesh the Adventurer
: Follow young Nimesh on his adventurous journey from school to home and be ready to spark your imagination!
Room in your heart:
A simple story based on Bhutan's traditions of hospitality, which conveys the importance of kindness and generosity - much needed values that we all could help nurture .
Super Satya Saves the Day:
While Satya is ready to have a super day, things get in the way. A story about learning about yourself, being flexible and helping community all in a lively power packed punch.
The Truth About Tooth:
When Tashi keeps forgetting his mother request for a memento from his travels, he makes up a story about a tooth he picks up on the way. But the power of love and faith changes even his heart.
Thread of Love:
A fun singalong about the joys and traditions of Raksha Bandhan sung on the tune of Frere Jacques.
You are Safe with Me:
Stunning illustrations and simple text come together to convey the power of nature even though it may seem fearful at times, especially for young animals.
Middle Grade Books
Aru Shah and the End of time:
Aru's tall tales get her embroiled in adventure where she must use her knowledge of Hindu mythology to save her mother and friends. Fast paced and laced with humor, this one makes a great read.
Peppered with facts, myths, legends and the history of the most climbed mountain the in the world, Everest makes a perfect introduction to this gem of nature.
Spunky Yasmin is at the helm of many adventures, big and small. Using her creative thinking to problem solve, this chapter book is spirited reading for all!
Zayd Saleem's trials and tribulations to get onto the basket ball team while meeting his parents expectations and navigating his quirky family feature in this warm story of family and reaching for your dreams.
The Night Diary:
Examining the scars of the Partition of the South Asian subcontinent through the story of a young girl who must leave her home is poignant yet hopeful. Through the difficult journey, Nisha comes to an understanding of herself and hopes for a better future.
A Girl Like That:
An assured debut novel and a heartbreaking tale about a Parsi teenager in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The unconventional beginning story and the unveiling of intertwined lives of teenagers in Saudi Arabia is an honest account of all the pains and pleasures of growing up.
Damselfly: A group of teenagers, including two South Asians, are stranded on a remote island after a plane crash. As they oscillate between hope and despair, they need to survive both the jungle and themselves.
From Twinkle With Love:
A light, breezy romance! Twinkle Mehra is excited to co-direct a movie for the upcoming Summer Festival and the opportunity for increased interaction with her longtime crush. Fate, as they say has other plans and she finds herself being irresistibly drawn to someone quite unlikely.
Love, Hate and Other Filters: Maya Aziz is torn between trying to appease her parents wishes with her own aspirations. A crime hundreds of miles away shakes the foundations of her life, and forces her to forge her own path.
My So-Called Bollywood Life:
Another debut novel that hits the spot! Steeped with pop culture references, plot twists, land drama all round Winnie Mehta discovers her destiny.
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