October is Filipino American Heritage Month! You may ask, why October? Well, October was chosen because it is the month in which the first Filipinos arrived in what is now Morro Bay, California, in 1587. That is over 400 years ago! To celebrate the contributions and influences Filipino Americans have made to the United States the U.S. Congress officially recognized October as Filipino American History Month in 2009.
To help you celebrate this special month, we have provided a list of children’s books below about Filipino Americans and their culture! Happy Reading!
Corazon Aquino by Maria Isabel Sánchez Vegara and Ginnie Hsu
In this book from the critically acclaimed Little People, BIG DREAMS series, discover the life of Corazon Aquino, the first female president of the Philippines. Little Cory was a shy, studious child with a great sense of justice. As a young woman and wife, she and her family felt compelled to speak out against the unjust leader who was ruining their country. Showing bravery, reliability and honesty, she led the revolution that ended the dictator’s rule and went on to become the president of the Philippines.
Filipino Children’s Favorite Stories by Romulo, Liana
A collection of well-loved myths and tales from the Philippines. Many of the tales have been told by mothers to children over the centuries and cover classic childhood themes, such as the forces of good versus evil, children versus adults, the weak versus the strong, and others.
Tucky Jo and Little Heart by Patricia Polacco
A fifteen-year-old soldier in World War II meets a sweet young girl in the Philippines who helps him remember what he is fighting for as he helps her and others of her village avoid starvation, and many years later she returns his kindness.
Abadeha: The Philippine Cinderella by Myrna J. De LA Paz
In this version of Cinderella, set in the Philippines, Abadeha endures abuse by her stepmother before being helped by the Spirit of the Forest and becoming the bride of the island chieftan’s son.
Filipino Celebrations: A Treasury of Feasts and Festivals by Liana Romulo
Brimming with vivid illustrations and rich cultural background, Filipino Celebrations makes major festivals such as Holy Week, Independence Day, Christmas and New Year come alive, together with family celebrations such as weddings, birthdays, baptisms, and a girl’s debut into society.
When Lola Visits by Michelle Sterling
For one young girl, summer is the season of no school, of days spent at the pool, and of picking golden limes off the trees. But 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.
Cora Cooks Pancit by Dorina K. Lazo Gilmore
When all her older siblings are away, Cora’s mother finally lets her help make pancit, a Filipino noodle dish. Includes recipe for pancit.
United To Strike : A Story Of The Delano Grape Workers by Molly Zenk
The Delano Grape Strike brings Filipino and Mexican farm workers together, but threatens Tala Mendoza’s relationship with her best friend.
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.
Blackbird Fly by Erin Entrada Kelly
Apple has always felt a little different from her classmates. She and her mother moved to Louisiana from the Philippines when she was little, and her mother still cooks Filipino foods and chastises Apple for becoming “too American.” When Apple’s friends turn on her and everything about her life starts to seem weird and embarrassing, Apple turns to music. If she can just save enough to buy a guitar and learn to play, maybe she can change herself. It might be the music that saves her… or it might be her two new friends, who show her how special she really is.
We Belong by Cookie Hiponia Everman
Through a bedtime story to her daughters, a woman weaves together her immigration story and Filipino mythology
Everlasting Nora by Marie Miranda Cruz
After surviving a fire in which her father dies, Nora and her mother live in a cemetery, but when her mother disappears and a loan shark steals her savings, Nora finds support from her cemetery neighbors to earn some money and search for her mother.