Fil-Ams release children’s and YA books this May

/ 09:47 AM May 06, 2020

Filipino American authors (from left) Erin Entrada Kelly, Mae Respicio and Cynthia Salaysay. CONTRIBUTED

SAN FRANCISCO — Filipino American authors Erin Entrada Kelly, Mae Respicio and Cynthia Salaysay are releasing their respective Middle Grade (MG) and Young Adult (YA) books this May.

All three books feature Filipino American characters.


Students and parents who are interested in finding more books that are written by Filipino Americans or have characters who are Filipino American can ask for help from librarians at their school or local public libraries.

Children’s and Young Adult (YA) books written by Fil-Ams that will be released this May. CONTRIBUTED

We Dream of Space


Erin Entrada Kelly

MG (8-12 years old)

Illustrated by the author

In 1986, as the country waits for the launch of the Space Shuttle Challenger, three siblings struggle with their own personal anxieties. Bird dreams of being NASA’s first female shuttle commander but feels like she’s disappearing. Her twin Fitch has an explosive temper that he doesn’t understand. Their sibling Cash is in danger of failing seventh grade for the second time. When the fated launch day finally arrives, it changes all of their lives and brings them together in unexpected ways.

Erin Entrada Kelly received the Newbery Medal for her book Hello, Universe. Her other books include Blackbird Fly, The Land of Forgotten Girls, You Go First, and Lalani of the Distant Sea. She grew up in Lake Charles, Louisiana, and now lives in Delaware.

Any Day with You

Mae Respicio


MG (8-12 years old)

Kaia’s family lives in California, where the fun of moviemaking is all around them. She loves playing with makeup and creating special effects. This summer, she and her friends join a short movie contest. They make a movie inspired by her beloved great-grandfather’s Filipino folktales. When he decides to return to his homeland in the Philippines, Kaia will do anything to convince him not to go.

Mae Respicio received the Asian/Pacific American Library Association Honor Award for her debut novel The House That Lou Built. Mae lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her spouse and two children.

Private Lessons

Cynthia Salaysay

YA (12-18 years old)

After 17-old Claire Alalay’s father’s death, she plays his old piano to escape the sadness and her traditional Filipino mother. After she becomes the pupil of prominent piano teacher Paul Avon, she soon loses herself. No matter how hard she works or how well she plays, it seems impossible to gain his approval, let alone his affection.

Cynthia Salaysay holds a bachelor’s degree in English from University of California, Berkeley. She lives in the Bay Area and has written food and culture articles for the San Francisco Examiner, the San Francisco Bay Guardian, the East Bay Express, and Civil Eats. This is her first novel.

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TAGS: Fil-Am young adult books, Fil-An childrens's books, Filipino American novelists, Filipino American writers, young adult fiction
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