Books Inspired by Asian Folklore and Mythology

Political intrigue, swoon-worthy romance, fierce heroes, mythical creatures—the books on this list have it all! But most notably, all of these stories were inspired by the legends and folktales that can be heard throughout the Asian continent. An important part of many Asian societies and cultures, stories and myths impart history, wisdom, and tradition as they're told from generation to generation. With immersive story worlds and compelling main characters, folktales are a great way for kids and teens to connect with their own heritage and learn about the histories of cultures other than their own. From imaginative retellings of familiar tales to exciting new adventures set in Asian-inspired worlds, the books below reflect the rich diversity that can be found across Asia. For more great reads, check out Stories Set in Asia and the Pacific Islands.

City of Dragons: The Awakening Storm Poster Image
BOOK

City of Dragons: The Awakening Storm

age 8+

Curious kids care for baby water dragon in fun adventure.

By: Jaimal Yogis (2021)
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The Dragon Egg Princess Poster Image
BOOK

The Dragon Egg Princess

age 8+

Exciting tale of dragons, friendship, and world-saving.

By: Ellen Oh (2020)
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Dragon Pearl Poster Image
BOOK

Dragon Pearl

age 8+

Fox-spirit teen brings Korean myths to adventurous sci-fi.

By: Yoon Ha Lee (2019)
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The Girl and the Ghost Poster Image
BOOK

The Girl and the Ghost

age 8+

Spellbinding story of ghosts, strong girls, and friendship.

By: Hanna Alkaf (2020)
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The Last Fallen Star: Gifted Clans, Book 1 Poster Image
BOOK

The Last Fallen Star: Gifted Clans, Book 1

age 8+

Magical fantasy romp has awesome Korean American girl lead.

By: Graci Kim (2021)
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Pahua and the Soul Stealer Poster Image
BOOK

Pahua and the Soul Stealer

age 8+

Great girl lead in creative, magical, but violent epic.

By: Lori M. Lee (2021)
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Tiger Honor Poster Image
BOOK

Tiger Honor

age 8+

Teen Tiger defends his feline uncle in engaging space opera.

By: Yoon Ha Lee (2022)
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When the Sea Turned to Silver Poster Image
BOOK

When the Sea Turned to Silver

age 8+

Rich folklore-fantasy blend makes a great read-aloud.

By: Grace Lin (2016)
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When You Trap a Tiger Poster Image
BOOK

When You Trap a Tiger

age 8+

Superb family tale of loss has mystery, folklore, sadness.

By: Tae Keller (2020)
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Amira & Hamza: The War to Save the Worlds, Book 1 Poster Image
BOOK

Amira & Hamza: The War to Save the Worlds, Book 1

age 9+

Siblings bicker their way through fun fantasy adventure.

By: Samira Ahmed (2021)
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Aru Shah and the End of Time: Pandava, Book 1 Poster Image
BOOK

Aru Shah and the End of Time: Pandava, Book 1

age 9+

Flawed but fascinating modern spin on Indian mythology.

By: Roshani Chokshi (2018)
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Phoenix: The Five Ancestors Out of the Ashes, Book 1 Poster Image
BOOK

Phoenix: The Five Ancestors Out of the Ashes, Book 1

age 9+

Exciting adventure of bike racing, kung fu, Chinese myth.

By: Jeff Stone (2012)
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The Serpent's Secret: Kiranmala and the Kingdom Beyond, Book 1 Poster Image
BOOK

The Serpent's Secret: Kiranmala and the Kingdom Beyond, Book 1

age 9+

Rushed, fun adventure with Indian princess in combat boots.

By: Sayantani DasGupta (2018)
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Cartoon of two boys ready for battle with a water dragon
BOOK

Zachary Ying and the Dragon Emperor

age 9+

Exciting mix of adventure, history, compelling boy hero.

By: Xiran Jay Zhao (2022)
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Girl Giant and the Monkey King Poster Image
BOOK

Girl Giant and the Monkey King

age 10+

Middle school girl uses trickster god's help in fun fantasy.

By: Van Hoang (2020)
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Force of Fire: A Kingdom Beyond Novel Poster Image
BOOK

Force of Fire: Kingdom Beyond: The Fire Queen, Book 1

age 10+

Demon-girl adventure has wackiness and heart.

By: Sayantani DasGupta (2021)
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Lalani of the Distant Sea Poster Image
BOOK

Lalani of the Distant Sea

age 10+

Girl goes on epic quest in Filipino folklore-inspired tale.

By: Erin Entrada Kelly (2019)
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The Night Parade Poster Image
BOOK

The Night Parade

age 10+

Gentle fantasy spotlights Japanese mythology.

By: Kathryn Tanquary (2016)
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BOOK

Nura and the Immortal Palace

age 10+

Girl faces off against mythical beings in unique fantasy.

By: M.T. Khan (2022)
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Where the Mountain Meets the Moon Poster Image
BOOK

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon

age 10+

Chinese girl's Oz-like adventure begs to be read aloud.

By: Grace Lin (2009)
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