Contact: Dora Ho
Jury Co-Chair
Young Adult Librarian,
Los Angeles Public Library – Youth Services
630 W. Fifth St.
Los Angeles, CA 90071


Buenaventura “Ven” Basco
Jury Co-Chair
John C. Hitt Library
University of Central Florida
4000 Central Florida Blvd.
Orlando, FL 32816-2666

For Immediate Release
January 21, 2017


2016-2017 Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature Winners Selected


ATLANTA – The Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA), an affiliate of the American Library Association, has selected the winners of the 2016 Asian/Pacific American Awards for Literature (APAAL). The awards promote Asian/Pacific American culture and heritage and are awarded to titles published from October 2015 to September 2016 based on their literary and artistic merit.

The Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA) was founded in 1980 by librarians of diverse Asian/Pacific ancestries committed to working together toward a common goal: to create an organization that would address the needs of Asian/Pacific American librarians and those who serve Asian/Pacific American communities.

There are five categories for the Awards.  Each committee selected a winning title for the category.  Here are the winners of the 2016 awards:

Adult Fiction

Winner:  Deceit and Other Possibilities by Vanessa Hua (Willow Books)
In Vanessa Hua’s thought provoking literary debut, the author delves into the complex experiences of immigrants in ten unique stories written over the span of more than a decade. The author creates a sense of empathy for the characters as they navigate the inter-sectionality of their identities.  Hua has a way with words that allow the reader into the lives of her characters and allows us to explore the struggle of one’s identity, choice, and the idea of otherness.

Honor: The Fortunes by Peter Ho Davies (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
The Fortunes by Peter Ho Davies is a creative and dynamic fiction novel spanning a century of Chinese American history. The novel is comprised of four different thought-provoking and poignant stories based on real life individuals or historical moments such as the Central Pacific Railroad, actress Anna May Wong, and Vincent Chin whose death led to the beginnings of a unified political movement among Asian Americans.


Adult Non-Fiction

Winner:  Picture Bride Stories by Barbara Kawakami (University of Hawaii Press)
Picture Bride Stories is an eloquent testament to the courage of issei women of Hawaii. With extraordinary interviewing skills, Barbara Kawakami chronicles the reminiscences of sixteen picture brides, giving voice to their personal tragedies, individual triumphs and resilient collective spirits.

Honor: Changing Season: A Father, A Daughter, A Family Farm, by Mas and Nikko Masumoto (Heyday)
In the lyrical, tenderly told collection of essays, Changing Season: A Father, A Daughter, A Family Farm, Mas Masumoto and his daughter Nikiko candidly share their stories of life on an organic farm and sagacious reflections on family, ethics, identity and race.


Young Adult

Winner:  Outrun the Moon by Stacey Lee (G.P. Putnam)
Stacy Lee has written a richly detailed and compelling historical novel about a smart, driven Chinese American girl set against the backdrop of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. Mercy Wong dreams of freedom and independence from society’s prejudices as well as her own family’s traditions and expectations.

Honor:  Watched by Marina Budhos (Wendy Lamb Books)
Pulled from today’s headlines, Marina Budhos’ YA novel explores society’s fear and suspicion of those deemed Other – most especially young Muslim men.  Naeem is one, and he’s always being watched — by his parents, by the neighbors, by the cops, by his little brother, by surveillance cameras.  However, an arrest for shoplifting turns into an opportunity for the Watched to become the Watcher.



Winner: The Land of Forgotten Girls by Erin Entrada Kelly (Greenwillow Books)
Set in Louisiana, The Land of Forgotten Girls is a beautifully crafted story of two sisters’ losses, hopes, and the power of their imaginations. The committee praised the narration for drawing them in instantly and the author’s integration of elements of fantasy, suspense, and realism to create a novel that will appeal to a wide variety of readers.

Honor: Momotaro Xander and the Lost Island of Monsters by Margaret Dilloway (Disney-Hyperion)
Dilloway weaves the Japanese folktale of Momotaro into a modern coming of age adventure story of self-discovery and acceptance laced with strong themes of friendship. The main protagonist, a biracial Asian American, is a new kind of hero that embarks on a thrilling and fast-paced journey to save what is most important to him.


Picture Book

Winner: Puddle by Hyewon Yum (Farrar, Straus and Giroux )
Puddle celebrates imagination, while showcasing the special bond between a mother and her son on a rainy day. The author’s simple text and story is universal to all while capturing the playful spirit of the relationship between parent and child.”


Each winner will receive an award plaque and an award seal on their book at the APALA Award Ceremony on Saturday, June 24, 2017 during the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago, IL.

Publishers interested in submitting books for the 2017-2018 awards should contact Dora Ho, Jury Co-Chair, at

correction, 1/27/17 4:44 a.m. Pacific: The title of the nonfiction winner has been corrected to state Picture Bride Stories. It previously stated Picture Bride: Stories. Thank you to Carol Abe of University of Hawaii Press for the correction! ~micd


  1. I would like to put a seal on our copy of THE LAND OF FORGOTTEN GIRLS in my elementary school library. Where can I purchase seals? If they are not available for purchase, is there a digital image I could use?

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