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Book Recommendations for Filipino Heritage Month

October is Filipino Heritage Month! To celebrate, we’re excited to share with you some book recommendations for patrons of all ages. There’s something here for everyone!

Picture Books 

When Lola Visits  

by Michelle Sterling; art by Aaron Asis 

Summer doesn’t start until her Lola–her grandmother from the Philippines–comes for her annual visit. When Lola visits, the whole family gathers to cook and eat and share in their happiness of another season spent together 

Lolo’s Sari-Sari Store  

by Sophia N. Lee and Christine Alameda 

A little girl holds lessons learned in her grandfather’s sari-sari store close while adjusting to a new home in this sweet picture book about the joy of community, connection, and Filipino culture. 

Cora Cooks Pancit  

by Dorina K. Lazo Gilmore; illustrated by Kristi Valiant 

When all her older siblings are away, Cora’s mother finally lets her help make pancit, a Filipino noodle dish. Includes a recipe for pancit. 

Maribel’s Year  

by Michelle Sterling ; illustrated by Sarah Gonzales 

New country, new school, new friends. A lot can happen in a single year. But one thing’s for certain: Maribel won’t forget her Papa, even when he’s 8,000 miles away in the Philippines.  

Middle Grade 

The Land of Forgotten Girls 

by Erin Entrada Kelly 

Abandoned by their father and living in poverty with their heartless stepmother in Louisiana, two sisters from the Philippines, twelve-year-old Sol and six-year-old Ming, learn the true meaning of family. 

Any Day with You  

by Mae Respicio 

During the summer before seventh grade, Kaia, who enjoys living in Southern California, visiting the beach with her family, and creating movie make-up effects, makes a film with her friends to win a contest and hopefully prevent her beloved great-grandfather from moving back to the Philippines. 

Freddie vs. the Family Curse  

by Tracy Badua 

When he discovers a century-old amulet from the Philippines that’s supposed to bring good luck, Freddie couldn’t be more wrong and has thirteen days to break a curse or meet an untimely demise. 

Marikit and the Ocean of Stars   

by Caris Avendaño Cruz 

Swept into Engkantos, the land of gods and spirits, ten-year-old Marikit embarks on a quest to save her family from a sinister shadow god. 

Young Adult

I’d Rather Burn Than Bloom  

by Shannon C.F. Rogers 

Alternating between present day and flashbacks, multiracial Filipina-American teen Marisol tries to figure out who she really is in the wake of her mother’s sudden death. 

When Oceans Rise  

by Robin Alvarez 

Seventeen-year-old Malaya is cursed. In her family, every girl’s first love ends in death after falling for someone evil. With no other options, the sea witch is the only one to help her. Bartering her voice for a new life where she and her abusive boyfriend never met, Malaya accidentally swaps places with an alternate timeline version of herself who never made her mistakes. As she tries to undo the switch, the sea witch uses Malaya’s voice to unleash Filipino mythological creatures into the worlds. 


Chasing Pacquiao  

by Rod Pulido 

When Bobby is unwillingly outed, he turns to boxing, finding a hero in Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao, but when Pacquiao publicly denounces homosexuality, Bobby must discover a hero within himself. 


by Elisa A. Bonnin 

Seri, Borderland teen and new assistant to Eshai Unbroken, local commander of the Valiants, may be the only person who can bridge the divide between the People who build their dwellings in the spreading trees and the “beasts” who roam the forest floors. 

Damned If You Do  

by Alex Brown 

Seventeen-year-old Cordelia Scott’s never been sad that her abusive father left, but she knows something is… missing. When her school guidance counselor, Fred, reveals during a session that he’s actually a demon, she learns that something is indeed missing: a piece of her actual soul. Why? She unwittingly made a deal with him to make her father disappear — then bargained to have the memory erased. To make matters worse, Fred is here to make another bargain: Help him with a “little” demonic problem, or she’s doomed to spend eternity in Hell with her father. The deal? Help Fred neutralize a rival demon, who means to do more harm in her hometown than your average demon deal. 


Blackmail and Bibingka  

by Mia P. Manansala 

When her long lost cousin comes back to town just in time for the holidays, Lila Macapagal knows that big trouble can’t be far behind in this new mystery by Mia P. Manansala, author of Arsenic and Adobo. 

The Last Tale of the Flower Bride  

by Roshani Chokshi 

When Indigo learns that her estranged aunt is dying and she and her husband are forced to return to her childhood home, the House of Dreams. For within the crumbling manor’s extravagant rooms and musty halls, there lurks the shadow of another girl: Azure, Indigo’s dearest childhood friend who suddenly disappeared. As the house slowly reveals his wife’s secrets, the bridegroom will be forced to choose between reality and fantasy, even if doing so threatens to destroy their marriage . . . or their lives. 

Outlaw Mage [on order, check the catalog to see if it’s available] 

by K.S. Villoso 

Haunted by the invisible rules that pull her dreams just out of grasp, Rosha walks out on the eve of her final exams, throwing away her one chance at becoming an official mage of the empire. She practices magic outside the mage council’s grasp, one of the worst crimes anyone could commit. A dropout. A failure. An outlaw. Years later, her father’s shoddy business deals have finally landed him in trouble and he disappears without a trace. Rosha reluctantly enters the services of a rich sorcerer, his last known connection. To protect herself and her family, Rosha must impersonate the most powerful man in the empire. As she becomes everything she has ever hated, she stumbles upon conspiracies that seek to break the empire from within…

When the Hibiscus Falls 

By M. Evelina Galang

Evelina Galang’s stories center on the experiences of Filipina women and families and interweave Filipino folklore and Tagalog, quietly but insistently challenging racialized capitalism and the exclusion of the Filipino American experience from racial discourse in the U.S. while also making clear the role of ancestry and ancestors on younger generations.

The Spear Cuts Through Water  

by Simon Jimenez 

A reluctant warrior on the run with an ancient goddess through a lush world full of wild magic, wondrous creatures, and hidden enemies has only five days to end an oppressive Emperor’s reign in this beautiful epic fantasy from the author of The Vanished Birds.  

Non Fiction

Mayumu: Filipino American Desserts Remixed  

by Abi Balingit 

A sweet baking book of fantastically imaginative remixed Filipinx American dessert recipes, plus stories of the Filipinx American experience by baker-activist, Abi Balingit. 

Concepcion: An Immigrant Family’s Fortunes  

by Albert Samaha 

A journalist’s powerful and incisive account of the forces steering the fate of his sprawling Filipinx-American family reframes how we comprehend the immigrant experience.  

The Groom Will Keep His Name

by Matt Ortile 

A debut collection of tender, biting essays on sex, dating, and identity from a gay Filipino immigrant learning to navigate race and resistance in America 

Fairest: A memoir  

by Meredith Talusan 

A heartrending immigrant memoir and a uniquely intersectional coming-of-age story of a life lived in duality and the in-between, and how one navigates through race, gender, and the search for love 

Let us know if you pick up any of these books by leaving a review in the “Awesome Box” at the ground floor checkout desk or fill out a review form. Need help reserving one of these title? You can place a request in the online catalog, fill out a request form, or call the reference desk at 978-674-4121.