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

Danbi Leads the School Parade

Anna Kim

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)

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)

“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)

“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)

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

“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)

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

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

“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

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

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

“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)

“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)

Young Adult

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

“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)

“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)