15 Quotes for Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Popular | May 3, 2021

15 Quotes for Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month


May is Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month and we’re celebrating by reading AAPI stories. Below are 15 quotes from 5 different books that resonated with us. Which one speaks to you?


Finding Junie Kim by Ellen Oh

“It is easier to run away and pretend that racism doesn’t exist. But some people can never do that.”


“We Koreans have learned to hold in so much suffering. But we also have the ability to love deeply. This country has been so difficult and yet I love it very much. I still believe in the American dream.”


“I look around to see that many of the kids at the bus stop have stepped closer to me, as if to give me silent support. And it feels so good. So maybe the diversity assembly really did make a change. Maybe it reminded people to speak up when they see something that’s wrong. The exact message we’d hoped for. To let those who feel powerless know that they are not alone.”


“It is the best feeling in the world to know that your best friends still love you, no matter what.”



Red, White, and Whole by Rajani LaRocca

“I am expected to focus on my studies,
which I do,
and I like them.
My family did not come to America
to be mediocre.”


“All day long on the radio, people sing about falling in love,
about hearts breaking and mending
and breaking again.
And I wonder what it would be like
to follow mine.”


“Caring for other people is the biggest
difference between a hero and a villain.”



While I Was Away by Waka T. Brown

“No matter what, we—my grandmother, my mother, my family, my friends, and me—were connected by a common thread and we always would be.”


“When my mom made these noodles for us at home, I did slurp them, but I assumed it was because we were family and we could be relaxed around each other like that. It never occurred to me that was how we ate our noodles because that’s how Japanese people eat noodles.”


“Everything was the same . . . but somehow different. I was different.”



A Thousand Questions by Saadia Faruqi

“Who has time for a long, drawn-out chess match, where the goal is to protect the queen and sacrifice the pawns? It seems too close to real life to be any fun.”



Lalani of the Distant Sea by Erin Entrada Kelly

“You watched the boats vanish into the sea. You knew that they wouldn’t come back, but you hoped. Deep down, you hoped.”


“This is what life is. There is joy, there is pain. There is good, there is evil. Such is the way of things.”


“There are stories of extraordinary children who are chosen from birth to complete great quests and conquer evil villains. This is no such story. Sometimes, you are an ordinary child. Sometimes, you choose yourself.”


“Danger lurks in dark places. Danger lurks in beautiful places. You can never escape it.”




More Reading Recommendations:

  1. Measuring Up by Lily LaMotte, illustrated by Ann Xu
  2. The Twelve by Cindy Lin
  3. The Dragon Egg Princess by Ellen Oh
  4. The Tiger’s Apprentice by Laurence Yep
  5. The Best at It by Maulik Pancholy
  6. The Girl and the Ghost by Hanna Alkaf
  7. Frazzled series by Booki Vivat
  8. Listen, Slowly by Thanhhà Lai


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