I remember writing my own stories as a young girl. I read a lot of young adult fiction but I got to a point where everything on the shelves just didn’t interest me. I loved reading but I yearned for something else and that something else was something that I could relate to. I didn’t understand it as much at the time. All I know was that I just wanted the main character to look like me.
Asian American representation in the film industry is still obviously something America needs to work on. We are seeing a little more diversity on TV than before, but white actors and white actresses are still cast to play Asian roles. The moral of the story is: that we rarely see Asian main characters in the American showbiz.
“Asians or Asian Americans have not been allowed to tell their own stories.”– Pamela Pan, “Asian Americans in Films: Why Are They Important?”
However, compared to a couple of years ago, there’s been an increase in Asian YA novels written by Asian authors. Its popularity remains on the high and the number of Asian authors continues to grow. Caucasian narratives have pretty much dominated the world YA adults until now. Asian girls, brown and yellow, now have fiction that solely revolves around their experiences as the main characters.
Representation is good and it is necessary. Not only does it display the diverse culture of America, but it also tells young girls of color that they matter too. It sends the message that their stories are just as important and valid. Representation is like a stepping stone to acceptance and belonging within one’s space.
Some Must-Read Young Adult books:
- Love From A to Z by S.K. Ali
- Descendant of the Crane by Joan He
- Wicked Fox by Kat Cho
- An Ember In The Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
- The Girl King by Mimi Yu
- Frankly In Love by David Yoon
- Somewhere Only We Know by Maurene Goo
- The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi
- The Loves & Lies of Rukhsana Ali by Sabina Khan
- American Panda by Gloria Chao