This Is How I Roll Reviews, Interviews, and More

This is where you will find a full and updated list of reviews and news about This Is How I Roll!

A delightful middle grade rom-com that will leave readers hungry.” – Kirkus Reviews  Read the full Kirkus review here.

“Written in a clear, straightforward style, the story includes mouth-watering descriptions of Japanese food, with some Japanese words and phrases woven into the text. Young foodies will enjoy meeting a 12-year-old chef determined to master the art of Japanese cooking in this light tween romance.” – School Library Journal

“Florence knowledgeably renders tween obsession with Japanese kawaii culture via this sweet, low-conflict story line with a genial, appealing cast.” – Publisher’s Weekly

Podcast review and interview with amazing 13 yo reader Ellie on Hook of a Book: 100th episode

More About Jasmine Toguchi

This is where you’ll find links to articles, interviews, and reviews for the new quartet of the Jasmine Toguchi chapter book series!

Jasmine Toguchi Brave Explorer

 

Little Tokyo Talks Podcast interview: Episode 9 – In episode 9, Sansei author Debbi Michiko Florence tells us about the inspiration behind the Jasmine Toguchi chapter book series as Walter learns more about the importance of diversity and Japanese American representation in children’s literature.

Jasmine Toguchi Brave Explorer Pre-order Campaign

She’s baaaaack! Jasmine Toguchi is back in a new set of chapter books and this time she and her family are going on vacation to Japan!

Book 5 will be published on October 18, 2022.

Jasmine Toguchi Brave Explorer by Debbi Michiko Florence

Illustrations by Elizabet Vuković

Farrar Straus Giroux/Macmillan

Toothbrush? Check. Her special journal? Check! Eight-year-old Jasmine Toguchi—flamingo fan, tree climber, and top-notch messmaker—can hardly wait for her family vacation to Japan, and by the time their plane finally touches down, she’s ready to dive into their new adventure. There are so many things to see in Tokyo: Ramen Street, which she learns is not a whole street made of ramen; old temples with fancy gates; and Tokyo Tower, where you can even spot Mount Fuji on a good day.

But when they arrive, Jasmine finds herself unable to get away from her older sister Sophie’s crabby attitude. Plus there’s so much about Japan she didn’t know, and she seems to be getting in trouble right and left. Will Jasmine be able to cheer up her sister AND find her footing in a new country?


You can pre-order now from anywhere books are sold. If you pre-order from Bank Square Books, I will personalize and sign your copy. Please be sure to write to whom you’d like the book signed in the comment section when you check out. I will not otherwise see who is purchasing the book. For every pre-order from Bank Square Books, you will also get a Jasmine Toguchi bookmark and a limited edition stickers.

Thank you, as always, for all your support! Happy reading!

Sweet and Sour Launch Party Details!

I’m so excited for the upcoming launch party for Sweet and Sour at Bank Square Books in Mystic CT on Saturday, Sept. 10 at 3 PM! It is particularly special to be celebrating at this bookstore because the book is set in Mystic, and that’s Bank Square Books on the cover of the book.

There will be a fun scavenger hunt (see below for details), a raffle for prizes, and delicious treats created by Nana’s Bakery and Pizza pastry chef Maddy Redden. I will be in conversation with dear friend and talented author, Jo Knowles where we will discuss friendships, both in our books and our own, and the writing process, plus Q&A with the audience. And of course there will be a book signing after.

But wait, there’s more! If you show my book to the Mystic Drawbridge Ice Cream in downtown Mystic (just down the street from the bookstore), you will get 50% off any size cone on the day of my party. Why? Because while Bank Square Books is on the cover of the book, the Mystic Drawbridge Ice Cream shop is on the back cover. Thank you Drawbridge Ice Cream! Thanks to fabulous illustrator Jacqueline Li and awesome cover designer Stephanie Yang!

SWEET AND SOUR SCAVENGER HUNT

Come a little early to the event so you can participate in a fun scavenger hunt! Take selfies (or photo of your friend/family member) at the following locations in downtown Mystic:

  • Mystic Drawbridge
  • Mystic Drawbridge Ice Cream
  • Sift Bakery
  • Bank Square Books whale statue

Then, show the photos to me or a bookstore employee to receive all three character cards (while supplies last) and a raffle ticket.  A raffle for fun prizes will take place after the Q&A – winners must be present.

See you there!
A super BIG thank you to Bank Square Books!

 

Sweet and Sour Pre-order Campaign!

I’m so thrilled to announce the pre-order campaign for my newest middle grade book, Sweet and Sour (September 6, 2022)! This is a book of my heart about childhood friendships set in Mystic, CT. I love love love the cover – big thanks to artist Jacqueline Li and cover designer Stephanie Yang. That’s my local indie bookstore Bank Square Books on the cover, so it should come to no surprise that I’m holding my book launch party there on Saturday, September 10 at 3 PM. Save the date!

As you may know by now, pre-orders help authors by sending a message to the publishers that there is strong interest/demand for the authors’ books. This is why you see so many authors offering pre-order campaigns. I also like to do pre-orders to support my local independent bookstore and for this book it’s particularly special. Here’s what you get if you pre-order Sweet and Sour from Bank Square Books:

– a signed copy that is personalized to whomever you want (specify in the comments section of your order)

– a Sweet and Sour bookmark

 

-one of three character cards created by Jacqueline Li (selected at random)

Sweet, right? In addition to that, for every book pre-ordered, you will get an entry into the grand prize drawing (US mailing addresses only). What is the grand prize, you ask?

-all three character cards and a bookmark

-a totebag like Mai has in the book

-BT21 Cooky keychain like Mai has in the book

– Bank Square Books adult t-shirt (winner will be contacted for size)

-Mystic drawbridge sticker

-pencil case

Grand prize winner will be drawn at random the morning of publication on Tuesday, September 6. Be sure to include your email address in your order so we can contact you!

Pre-order here and make sure to specify to whom you’d like the book personalized (if any) in the comments section. If you plan to be at the book launch party, you can choose “pick up at store.”

Thank you for all the support! Happy reading!

 

SWEET AND SOUR: Reviews, interviews, news, and more

This is where you’ll find a full and updated list of all reviews and news about Sweet and Sour!

This is the playlist I listened to while writing Sweet and Sour: Apple Music Sweet and Sour Playlist

“An endearing book exploring the ups and downs of friendship.”  Read the full review from Kirkus.

“… uplifting summer read.” Read the full review from Publishers Weekly.

Interview with MG Book Village

Article in The Day by Rick Koster: Somewhere Between ‘Sweet and Sour’ Mystic Author Debbi Michiko Florence Celebrates Latest Teen Novel

Essay for Mackin Community – my “love letter” to educators: On Becoming a Reader and Writer

Podcast interview with Suzanne McCabe of Scholastic Reads in celebration of AAPI Heritage Month.

Feature on YAYOMG! – Bestie Betrayals, Bookstores, & BTS: 5 Fun Facts About Sweet and Sour

Clip from Sweet and Sour audiobook, narrated by Emily Ota.

Podcast review by an amazing 13-year-old reader: Hook of a Book

Podcast interview – The Book Cougars episode #158: Author Spotlight with Andrea Wang and Debbi Michiko Florence on friendship and books.

A lovely review from Booklist of the audiobook: “Emily Ota delivers a heartfelt, emotionally resonant performance in a story of friendship, anger, mistakes, and the question of forgiveness. Ota’s narration is perfectly in tune with Mai’s feelings throughout her tumultuous summer. With a fairly large cast of characters, Ota provides each one with a unique voice. Especially impressive are the distinctive voices full of personality for Mai and the other girls her age. A wonderful performance of a moving story about the challenges of friendship and change.”

Cover Reveal Jasmine Toguchi Brave Explorer

I’m thrilled to share the cover of Jasmine Toguchi Brave Explorer, book 5 in the Jasmine Toguchi chapter book series. Many thanks to Team Toguchi at Farrar Straus Giroux Books for Young Readers, editor Grace Kendall, illustrator Elizabet Vukovic, designer Angela Jun, and always to my agent Tricia Lawrence! Look for this book on September 27, 2022. Pre-order personalized signed copies at Bank Square Books.

 

With more than 130,000 copies sold, this award-winning chapter-book series starring a spunky Japanese American heroine returns with four new standalone books set on a family vacation in Japan!

Toothbrush? Check. Her special journal? Check! Eight-year-old Jasmine Toguchi—flamingo fan, tree climber, and top-notch messmaker—can hardly wait for her family vacation to Japan, and by the time their plane finally touches down, she’s ready to dive into their new adventure. There are so many things to see in Tokyo: Ramen Street, which she learns is not a whole street made of ramen; old temples with fancy gates; and Tokyo Tower, where you can even spot Mount Fuji on a good day.

But when they arrive, Jasmine finds herself unable to get away from her older sister Sophie’s crabby attitude. Plus there’s so much about Japan she didn’t know, and she seems to be getting in trouble right and left. Will Jasmine be able to cheer up her sister AND find her footing in a new country?

With her trademark humor and warmth, Debbi Michiko Florence weaves family drama and a fun introduction of Japanese culture into this delightful next chapter in Jasmine’s world.

 

Cover Reveal: Sweet & Sour

I’m thrilled to share the cover of my next middle grade novel: Sweet and Sour!

Sweet and Sour, Scholastic/September 6, 2022

I love everything about this cover – how Mai and Zach are looking at each other, Bank Square Books in the background, the BT21 Cooky plush keychain on Mai’s tote bag, the clothes Mai and Zach are wearing. I love the manga vibe, the font and the bright colors. Huge thanks to talented illustrator Jacqueline Li and awesome cover designer Stephanie Yang (who has done ALL my fabulous Scholastic covers to date). I’m so lucky! A big shout-out to the entire Team Sweet and Sour at Scholastic!

REVENGE IS SWEET!

For as long as she can remember, Mai Hirano has spent every summer in Mystic, Connecticut visiting family friends. And hanging out with her best-friend-since-birth, Zach Koyama, was always the best part.

Then two summers ago everything changed. Zach humiliated Mai, proving he wasn’t a friend at all. So when Zach’s family moved to Japan, Mai felt relieved. No more summers together. No more heartache.

But this year, the Koyamas have returned and the family vacation is back on. And if Mai has to spend the summer around Zach, the least she can do is wipe away the memory of his betrayal…by coming up with the perfect plan for revenge!

Only Zach isn’t the boy he used to be, and Mai’s memories of their last fateful summer aren’t the whole truth of what happened between them. But how can she forgive Zach for a betrayal she’ll never forget?

Niki Nakayama: A Chef’s Tale in 13 Bites News, Reviews, and Interviews

This is where you’ll find links to all the news, reviews, and interviews for our picture book biography Niki Nakayama: A Chef’s Tale in 13 Bites

by Jamie Michalak and Debbi Michiko Florence

illustrated by Yuko Jones

Farrar Straus and Giroux, September 2021

 

  • “Determined heroine, delightful story, delectable illustrations: Both young readers and their adults will be inspired and charmed by every spread of this book.”   –Linda Sue Park, Newbery Medalist and New York Times-bestselling author
  • Starred review from Publishers Weekly
  • Starred review from Booklist
  • A Mighty Girl’s 2021 Best Books of the Year (ages 6-8)

Book review from The Horn Book

Interview with Debbi Michiko Florence on Bee The Love

School Library Journal Fuse 8 Betsy Bird Interview with Jamie Michalak and Debbi Michiko Florence

Nerdy Book Club: Tasty Books & Big Dreams A Recipe by Debbi Michiko Florence and Jamie Michalak 

Picture Book Builders: An interview with Jamie Michalak, Debbi Michiko Florence, and Yuko Jones

Snack Time with MacKids: NIKI NAKAYAMA with Debbi Michiko Florence and Jamie Michalak – video with the authors cooking the wonton pizza recipe from the back of their book!

Book Review: A Tasty Review on Jama’s Alphabet Soup

Book Review from How Useful It Is

JUST BE COOL, JENNA SAKAI Preorder Campaign

Just Be Cool, Jenna Sakai, a companion novel to Keep It Together, Keiko Carter, publishes on August 3, 2021.

First heartbreaks. Fierce competition. Family Drama.

Who knew middle school would be so hard?

I’m pleased to announce that you can pre-order the book now. If you pre-order from my local independent bookstore Bank Square Books/Savoy Bookshop & Café, you will receive a personalized signed book and swag: Jenna Sakai bookmark, a limited edition Heartbreak is for Suckers button, a cover sticker or Leigh’s Diner sticker, and one of four of Jenna Sakai’s doodle stickers.

 

Additionally, for each pre-order, you will be entered into a drawing for a grand prize of a lavender backpack, a limited edition Leigh’s Diner mug, a package of Jenna’s favorite Japanese curry mix, chopsticks, and items from the actual cover shoot: 2 notebooks (one w Inuyasha stickers), coin purse, 2 enamel pins, and a set of pens. (Thank you to cover designer Stephanie Yang and to Scholastic for donating the cover items!) Winner will be drawn the morning of August 3. US mailing addresses only for grand prize.

 

Thank you, as always, for all your support. I hope you will love Jenna’s story as much as you loved Keiko’s!

PRE-ORDER signed copy of JUST BE COOL JENNA SAKAI

If you’d like the book personalized, just leave the name in the comments when you check out.

THANK YOU!