KiBooka

Kids' Books by Korean Americans *

Please click on the author websites for more information—and more books!

This KiBooka page is a source of great happiness for me. When my career began more than 20 years ago, there were very few creators of Korean ancestry publishing in the U.S.—it would have been a forlorn page indeed! I’m excited about the talented writers and artists whose books are now available, and hope you will enjoy learning about them and their work. —Linda Sue Park

* and Korean diaspora

Featured This Week
Wicked Fox
Wicked Fox
Kat Cho
Picture Book

“Despite the elements of magical realism interwoven with the plot, Bahk never loses sight of the very real emotions that drive her pensive, curious, and openhearted heroine.” (Publishers Weekly)

Halmoni's Day

“… an affecting story of Jennifer’s fears and joys when her Korean halmoni, or grandmother, flies from her peaceful village to take part in a school Grandparents’ Day program. … Halmoni captivates her audience, as she will the audience for this stellar debut.”

Edna Coe Bercaw
Edna Coe Bercaw

author

2020 New England Book Awards(NEIBA) Shortlisted, Children’s Category; 2020 Massachusetts Book Awards Must Read Long Lists, Picture Book Early Readers; 2019 Julia Ward Howe Award Finalist, Young Readers Category

Hanna Cha
Hanna Cha

author-illustrator

Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection; Fall 2020 Kids’ Indie Next List

“Unhei’s reflection and inner strength are noteworthy; cultural details freshen the story.” (The New York Times)

Yangsook Choi
Yangsook Choi

author-illustrator

“The message shines through but doesn’t overwhelm this engaging chapter book that will be welcomed by fans of Clementine.” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review)

“…Debut creator Jung’s deeply affecting storytelling, with its seamless blending of fairy tale elements, melancholy, patience, and hope, should open up the story for a wide range of readers.” (Publishers Weekly)

Sarah Jung
Sarah Jung

author-illustrator

Theodor Seuss Geisel Award; ALA Notable Children’s Book; Parents’ Choice Awards Silver Honor; NPR Best Books

“All together now: Food, dance, and music combine for magic that transcends language barriers…Imaginative, irreverent, improvisational fun in kindergarten: Danbi shares a burst of ‘sweet rain,’ complete with a rainbow.” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review)

Anna Kim
Anna Kim

author-illustrator

Junior Library Guild Selection; Bank Street College’s Best Children’s Book of the Year (2018); A Baker’s Dozen (2018): The Best Children’s Books for Family Literacy by The Pennsylvania Center for the Book

Aram Kim
Aram Kim

author-illustrator

“A Where’s Waldo? for lovers of trains and travel, this look-and-find by Brooklyn-based illustrator Kim takes readers into bustling subway systems in 10 of the world’s great metropolises. At each “stop,” we first see the subway station platform and train, with facts and figures about the transportation system. Children will love searching for these beautiful foreign items while indulging in the common kid obsession over locomotives” (Booklist)

Uijung Kim
Uijung Kim

nonfiction

author-illustrator

“Na’s latest offering is exquisite all around. His illustrations are clever and fun, simple and clean, yet multifaceted and layered. Each green carrot top is delightfully wriggly and unique, and the texture of the carrot skin is spot-on. The animals are adorably anthropomorphized and have clear personality.” (School Library Journal, starred review)J

Il Sung Na
Il Sung Na

author-illustrator

“In this subtle, emotionally gratifying debut, Papa emerges as a distinctive personality whose preparations make it clear that his granddaughter’s happiness is just as important as his own.” (Publishers Weekly, starred review)

Joowon Oh
Joowon Oh

author-illustrator

“This book is reassuring and respectful, and the art is terrific, with an ever-changing array of painted teacups as we go through the pages.” (The New York Times)

Jiyeon Pak
Jiyeon Pak

author-illustrator

Joan G. Sugarman Award for Children’s Literature, Parents’ Choice Award, Capitol Choices Book Award, Bank Street College Book Award, Junior Library Guild Selection

Frances Park, Ginger Park
Frances Park, Ginger Park

authors

SCBWI Grand Prize Winner of 2020 Winter Conference Portfolio Showcase

Junghwa Park
Junghwa Park

illustrator

Winner, Little Brown New Voices, New World Multicultural Fiction Contest; Smithsonian Notable Book; Notable Children’s Trade Book in Social Studies; Horn Book Magazine Best Holiday Book

Jama Kim Rattigan
Jama Kim Rattigan

author

“A beautiful, must-read tribute to hardworking families and the magic they create.” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review)

Parents Choice Gold Award; “This is an important story, full of drama and emotion and it is here given its proper recognition and tribute in both words and glorious art. Perhaps it will encourage other grandparents to share their family history as well. Masterful.” (Kirkus Reviews

Chris Soentpiet
Chris Soentpiet

author-illustrator

“The narrator, who is half Korean, describes how he and his friends celebrate the holiday… Children of diverse backgrounds will connect with the boy’s earnest desire to help change the family’s luck and realize his own potential.” (Booklist)

“A pleasingly uncomplicated introduction to yoga that can also simply be read as an invitation to play. A celebration of the ways that even young children can experience the wide world through their bodies as well as their minds.” (Kirkus Reviews)

Taaeun Yoo
Taeeun Yoo

author-illustrator

“Crisp illustrations that capture a genuinely loving heart … a strong if whimsical choice for those separated from loved ones” (Kirkus Reviews)

Salina Yoon
Salina Yoon

photo by Roxyanne Young

author-illustrator

2019 Charlotte Zolotow Award Honor, ALSC Notable Children’s Books

Hyewon Yum
Hyewon Yum

author-illustrator

Middle Grade

Bank Street College Best Books Books of the Year 2019; Shortlisted for Red Cedar Book Awards, Hackmatack Children’s Choice Book Awards, Chocolate Lily Book Awards 2019; named Ontario Library Association Best Bet Books Junior Fiction 2018

“Ahn’s spare illustrations are the stars of this show, using just a few lines to evoke emotion, drama, and especially humor…Considering how brief the text is, the two dogs leap, lifelike, off the pages, Sunny reserved and just a bit surly and Rosy fired with youthful enthusiasm.” (Kirkus Reviews)

Year of Impossible Goodbyes

“Moving in its statement of human rights . . . Readers will find themselves moved back in time and forward in spirit.” (Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, starred review)

Sook Nyul Choi
Sook Nyul Choi

author

“Jung’s voice is a gift to middle-grade fiction …” (Booklist)

“Roars to life with just a touch of magic.” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review)

“Graci Kim does such an amazing job of blending Korean mythology into the modern world, I am now wondering how I ever lived without knowing all this cool information.” (New York Times #1 best-selling author Rick Riordan)

“With wonderful supporting characters, strong pacing, and entertaining comedy bits, debut author Kim has woven a pop song of immigrant struggle colliding with comedy and Korean barbecue.” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review)

“A moving, suspenseful refugee story, based loosely on the author’s mother’s experiences, the book is at heart a poignant exploration of a girl’s struggle against traditional female roles and her determination to succeed on her own terms.” (Publishers Weekly, starred review)

“This is a fast-paced and readable standalone fantasy that quickly grows to epic proportions…and readers may appreciate the fantastical take on environmental stewardship.” (Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, starred review)

“An empowering celebration of identity, friendship, and embracing one’s roots, Yun’s loose reimagining of Great Expectations follows a first-generation Korean-American girl learning to navigate her new life. … #OwnVoices author Yun writes of Korean-American family life with heart- warming, authentic detail.” (Publishers Weekly)

Young Adult

“…the vibrant debut novel…employs the Korean genre’s conventions for an utterly original take on the young-adult fantasy.” (Entertainment Weekly)

“Choi’s journey into the world of a young immigrant girl caught between her family’s Korean values and breaking free to live her Canadian dream adds a colourful tile to our nation’s literary mosaic.” (The Ottawa Review of Books)

“Maurene Goo…has built a following with her breezy, pop-culture-savvy romantic comedies, all featuring Korean-American teenage girls as her protagonists.” (The New York Times)

A powerful and moving teen graphic novel memoir about immigration, belonging, and how arts can save a life—perfect for fans of American Born Chinese and Hey, Kiddo.

“Filled with a sweet new romance and starring a heroine to root for. Lee finds a spot alongside Jenny Han and Stacey Lee in representing the diversity of Asian American experiences. A joyful protagonist who speaks to Generation Z.” (School Library Journal, starred review)

“Allows readers first to flinch in recognition and then to look into their own hearts.” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review)

Michael L. Printz Award, 
National Book Award Finalist, International Book Award, 
New York Times Notable

“Equal parts Kdrama (Korean drama) and sci-fi blockbuster, Oh blends futuristic tech, authentic Korean culture, and romance in this complex, utterly engrossing, and wholly fresh story that is sure to entice a wide array of readers.” (Booklist, starred review)

A romantic comedy about a Korean-American teen who sells Korean beauty products out of her locker and manages the school’s most successful student enterprise, until the hot new boy gives her a run for her money—leading her to surprising discoveries about first love, family, and herself.

2019 New England Book Award Finalist; 2020 ALA Rainbow Book List Title; Summer 2019 Indies Next Pick; Summer/Fall 2019 Indies Introduce Title

Rebecca Kim Wells
Rebecca Kim Wells

author

A groundbreaking portrait of Vincent Chin and the murder case that took America’s Asian American community to the streets in protest of injustice.

Paula Yoo
Paula Yoo

photo by Sonya Sones

nonfiction

author

“Admirably, Yoon explores themes of racism, forgiveness and acceptance without getting earnest or preachy or letting anyone off the hook. And there’s a universality to the story that cuts across cultures.” (New York Times)