Inspiring Pacific Asian American Stories: Changing the Game Book Review

Do you have a budding athlete? If so, you should definitely check out Changing the Game: Asian Pacific American Female Athletes by Mia Wenjen. She succinctly profiles 18 female athletes of Asian Pacific American heritage who changed the games they played and the societies they lived in. Some of the women faced racism, sexism, resistance from their families and low expectations, but they beat all the odds to excel. 

Changing the Game book review | Multicultural Kid Blogs

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Inspiring Stories: Changing the Game Book Review

It’s interesting to see how many of these athletes spent a fair amount of their formative years not being an isolated racial minority. Many of the athletes are from Hawaii, California or spent time growing up in a country where they were not in the minority. The power that comes from not being a minority means they didn’t have to waste valuable energy fighting against discrimination like Victoria Manalo Draves did and they weren’t presented with narrow ideas of what they could become based on the prejudices of society. There was no one telling Miki Gorman that Asians can’t run when she was growing up in China and there was no one telling Eun Jung Lee Smith that she had no business trying to compete in basketball in South Korea. 

Changing the Game, Mia Wenjen

Some of the athletes absolutely ran up against damaging low expectations and prejudice. Evelyn Tokue Kawamoto trained in ditches because there weren’t decent facilities for Hawaiians in Hawaii. Victoria Manalo Draves could only swim in the public pool on the day that non-whites were allowed to use it: the day before it was to be drained and cleaned. Her father could never go to her meets because he was Filipino and not allowed inside the stadiums in San Francisco.

Other athletes rose through different barriers. How many of us knew that Kristi Yamaguchi began ice skating to correct a club foot as a child? Natasha Kai-Marks left soccer after burnout, returning after gruelling training and Michelle Wie fought through debilitating injuries to maintain her competitive golf performance.

All of these women showed true grit and perseverance to achieve their goals. They will be an inspiration to anyone.


Disclosure: The author received a complimentary copy of Changing the Game for review purposes; however, all opinions are the author’s.

Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2023

Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2023 (1/26/22) is in its 10th year! This non-profit children’s literacy initiative was founded by Valarie Budayr and Mia Wenjen; two diverse book-loving moms who saw a need to shine the spotlight on all of the multicultural books and authors on the market while also working to get those books into the hands of young readers and educators.

Ten years in, MCBD’s mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in homes and school bookshelves continues. Read about our Mission & History HERE.

MCBD 2023 is honored to be Supported by these Medallion Sponsors!

FOUNDER’S CIRCLE: Mia Wenjen (Pragmaticmom) and Valarie Budayr’s (

🏅 Super Platinum Sponsor: Author Deedee Cummings and Make A Way Media

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🏅 Gold Sponsors: Interlink Books, Publisher Spotlight 
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🏅 Bronze Sponsors: Vivian Kirkfield, Patrice McLaurin , Quarto Group, Carole P. Roman, Star Bright Books,, Redfin Canada, Bay Equity Home Loans,, Title Forward

Poster Artist:  Lisa Wee

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MCBD 2023 is honored to be Supported by these Author Sponsors!
Authors: Sivan Hong, Amanda Hsiung-Blodgett, Josh Funk , Stephanie M. Wildman, Gwen Jackson, Diana Huang, Afsaneh Moradian, Kathleen Burkinshaw, Eugenia Chu, Jacqueline Jules, Alejandra Domenzain, Gaia Cornwall, Ruth Spiro, Evelyn Sanchez-Toledo, Tonya Duncan Ellis, Kiyanda and Benjamin Young/Twin Powers Books, Kimberly Lee , Tameka Fryer Brown, Talia Aikens-Nuñez, Marcia Argueta Mickelson, Kerry O’Malley Cerra, Jennie Liu, Heather Murphy Capps, Diane Wilson, Sun Yung Shin, Shannon Gibney, John Coy, Irene Latham and Charles Waters, Maritza M Mejia, Lois Petren, J.C. Kato and J.C.², CultureGroove, Lindsey Rowe Parker, Red Comet Press, Shifa Saltagi Safadi, Nancy Tupper Ling, Deborah Acio, Asha Hagood, Priya Kumari, Chris Singleton, Padma Venkatraman, Teresa Robeson, Valerie Williams-Sanchez and Valorena Publishing, Martha Seif Simpson, Rochelle Melander, Alva Sachs, Moni Ritchie Hadley, Gea Meijering, Frances Díaz Evans, Michael Genhart, Angela H. Dale, Courtney Kelly, Queenbe Monyei, Jamia Wilson, Charnaie Gordon, Debbie Ridpath Ohi, Debbie Zapata, Jacquetta Nammar Feldman, Natasha Yim, Tracy T. Agnelli, Kitty Feld, Anna Maria DiDio, Ko Kim, Shachi Kaushik 

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📌 FREE RESOURCES from Multicultural Children’s Book Day

📌 Register for the MCBD Read Your World Virtual Party

Join us on Thursday, January 26, 2023, at 9 pm EST for the 10th annual Multicultural Children’s Book Day Read Your World Virtual Party!

This epically fun and fast-paced hour includes multicultural book discussions, addressing timely issues, diverse book recommendations, & reading ideas.

We will be giving away a 10-Book Bundle during the virtual party plus Bonus Prizes as well! *** US and Global participants welcome. **

Follow the hashtag #ReadYourWorld to join the conversation, and connect with like-minded parts, authors, publishers, educators, organizations, and librarians. We look forward to seeing you all on January 26, 2023, at our virtual party!

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Mijha Godfrey is a distinguished former attorney turned entrepreneur and the visionary behind Jambo Books, a highly acclaimed children's book subscription service, revolutionizing the way parents and children talk about race and inclusion. 

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