Mirrors and Windows and Bridges

Hapa Day was created as a symbol of love for multiracial/multiethnic individuals around the world. For the last several years, I've put my own spin on this celebration by putting out a list of YA titles that feature a hapa Main Character and/or a hapa Love Interest. Why? Because the two kids to the left (a.k.a. my now teen-aged kids) essentially gave up on American YA books because they didn't see themselves represented at all. They turned to anime and manga instead to see teens who look like themselves. So, whether you are hapa yourself (mirrors), want to understand the bicultural teen experience (windows), or are an adult looking for titles for both of these groups (bridges), please enjoy the list below. 

**Want to buy one of these books? Click on the book, and it will take you to its sale page on Indiebound.org.**

Riptide Summer Lisa Freeman
Lissa Price
Everything Everything
Legend Marie Lu
Nothing but the Truth (and a few white lies) Justina Chen

According to EverythingHapa

ha•pa (hä’pä)

adj. 1. slang. Of mixed racial heritage with partial roots in Asian and/or Pacific Islander ancestry.
n. 2. slang. A person of such ancestry. [der./hawaiian: hapa haole. (half white)]

Hapa, literally “half” in Hawaiian, was originally used as a derogatory term to describe people of biracial ancestry. Today, many multiracial individuals of Asian or Pacific Islander descent have embraced the word as a term of prideful self-identification. Although some object to the term’s appropriation and perceived misuse outside of its traditional Hawaiian context, “Hapa” has been widely adopted by the Asian and Pacific Islander multiracial communities.

**Though Japan often uses haafu ​to describe biracial individuals, my teens prefer the Hawaiian term hapa.**

Cat Girl's Day Off Kimberly Pauley
A Dangerous Game Madeline Dyer
Gadget Girl Suzanne Kamata
The Girl at the Center of the World Austin Aslan
Orchards Holly Thompson

BONUS: Hapa Day is also Pi Day. So feel free to make your favorite pie (pecan pie for me, thanks!) and schedule a Family Movie Night celebrating my favorite pair of hapa brothers, Hiro and Tadashi Hamada.

Did you know that the actors Ryan Potter (Hiro) and Daniel Henney (Tadashi) are hapa, too? If you did, you get an extra slice of pie! 

Or you can watch Jenny Han's TO ALL THE BOYS I'VE LOVED BEFORE.

And don't forget about AQUAMAN, including hapa actor Jason Momoa.

To All the Boys I've Loved Before Jenny Han
P.S. I Still Love You Jenny Han
Always and Forever Laura Jean Jenny Han

Sara Fujimura

Fury of the Phoenix Cindy Pon
Consent Nancy Ohlin
The Girl From Everywhere Heidi Heilig
Silver Phoenix Cindy Pon
Eleanor and Park
Clockwork Prince Cassandra Clare
Honey Girl Lisa Freeman
The Counterfeit Family Tree of Vee Crawford-Wong
Tanabata Wish
Possess Gretchen McNeil
Starters Lissa Price
Kristen Simmons The Glass Arrow
The Islands at the End of the World
I'm Not Your Manic Pixie Dream Girl Gretchen McNeil
Jet Black and the Ninja Wind Leza Lowitz Shogo Oketani
Nora and Kettle
Disney Big Hero 6

Special shout outs to Akemi Dawn BowmanLissa PriceHeidi Heilig, Kristen Simmons, and Lauren Nicolle Taylor who are hapa themselves. Though technically her book is middle grade and loosely about her Japanese mother's experience in Hiroshima during WWII, I'm still putting Kathleen Burkinshaw on my list of hapa authors, because she is awesome. 

Hapa Day ~ March 14th 

Ten Things Sloane Hates About Tru Tera Lynn Childs
Forget Tomorrow Pintip Dunn
The Agency 1 Y.S. Lee
Up From the Sea Leza Lowitz
Shallow Graves Kali Wallace
Remember Yesterday Pintip Dunn