Drumroll….the winner of the grand prize for the pre-order campaign…

Thank you to everyone who pre-ordered Keep It Together, Keiko Carter, and thank you to awesome independent bookstore Bank Square Books for running the campaign. And now, the winner of the grand prize….

WooooHOOO! Congratulations! Your prize will be mailed to you very soon! (Separately from your book.)

If you missed the pre-order campaign, but still want a personalized signed copy of the book, you can still purchase copies from Bank Square Books. Just put the name of whom you want to book signed in the Comments when you check out. Thank you!

Launch Week Schedule

Keep It Together, Keiko Carter, my middle grade debut novel, will be celebrating a book birthday on May 5! After years of writing, revising, submitting, collecting rejections, writing, and revising, this story of my heart will be a real book with readers and I’m so excited to celebrate!

Below is the schedule for the launch party week of fun where you can enter to win signed copies of my book. Follow me on Twitter or Instagram to enter. I’ll post links here, daily.

May 5: The drawing of the winner from my pre-order campaign with Bank Square Books. The winner will receive a grand prize package of amazing items from the cover/book including Keiko’s backpack with enamel pins and plush keychain.

May 5: Chocolate Quiz video – Joining me to celebrate my book birthday, authors Christina Soontornvat and Supriya Kelkar take a chocolate quiz. See who wins! Comment with your favorite chocolate and be entered in a drawing for my book.

May 6: Silly Dog Tricks – Keiko Carter loves dogs! Post a pic or a video of your dog’s (or any pet’s) silly trick to be entered in a drawing for my book.

May 7: AAPI blurbs – May is Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month. I’ll be posting blurbs from the AAPI community. Retweet/like to be entered in a drawing for my book.

May 8: Guess the M&Ms – Guess the number of M&Ms in a container to be entered in a drawing for my book and a special package of custom M&Ms.

US mailing addresses only. Each contest will run till the following morning EST.

Thanks for celebrating with me!

Coming Soon!

In one week, I’ll be celebrating the launch of my debut middle grade novel, Keep It Together, Keiko Carter! I’m super excited! I hope you’ll join me in celebrating virtually. I’ll be hosting some fun giveaways where you could win signed copies of the book. Follow me on Twitter and Instagram, and join the week-long celebration starting on May 5!


You can still pre-order here, Bank Square Books, and get a personalized signed copy, limited edition swag, and be entered in a grand prize drawing for fun items from the book/cover. Don’t worry, you can still order signed copies from that link after the pre-order campaign is over on May 4.

Thanks for all the book love, and “see” you next week!

Pre-order Campaign for Keep It Together, Keiko Carter!

Pre-orders are a great way to support authors to let publishers know that there is excitement around a book. This means you order the book in advance of publication.

In partnership with my local independent bookstore, Bank Square Books, I am running a special pre-order campaign.

Pre-order the book through this link, and you will get a personalized signed copy mailed to you (free shipping in the US) with one bookmark and one limited edition Keiko Carter button. When you check out during purchasing, leave a note in the comments to let me know to whom you’d like the book signed. Thank you!

Button will be randomly selected

You will also be entered in a drawing for a grand prize of items from the cover/book: backpack, enamel pins, plush keychain, water bottle, chocolate bars, and a boba tea light! One entry for each book purchase. Winner will be announced on May 5, 2020.

Good luck and thank you so much for your support!

More About Keep It Together, Keiko Carter…

Keep It Together, Keiko Carter is my middle grade debut and available for purchase now!

This is where you’ll find links to news, reviews, and interviews. Keep coming back as I’ll update often. Thank you so much for all your support!

You can order the book from my local independent bookstore and get a personalized signed copy mailed to you (free in the US).

Keep It Together, Keiko Carter is a New England Book Award finalist for Middle Grade (NEIBA)

French edition release – Les coups de coeur de Keiko Carter (Michel Lafon)

“Keep It Together Keiko Carter” Earns Mystic author award nomination article in The Day

Romanian edition release – Tine-te bine Keiko Carter (Editura Trei)

An interview with me on Lupine Seeds

An interview with me on delphreads

My essay and cover reveal on Nerdy Book Club

My video clip from Scholastic’s Spring 2020 Online Preview (see middle grade)

A sneak peek! Read chapter 1 of Keep It Together, Keiko Carter!

An exclusive excerpt on The Nerd Daily: Read chapter 2 of Keep It Together, Keiko Carter 

Interview with The Nerd Daily: Q&A w Debbi Michiko Florence, author of Keep It Together, Keiko Carter

Book Review: CeCeLibrarian’s Book Blog 

Book Review: Beagles and Books

Kid Book Review: Elena Reads

Book Review: Afoma Umesi

Video Kid Book Review: Read with Val


What people are saying:

“In her middle-grade debut, Florence creates a fun, accessible story, touching on the realities of middle school, such as friendships, fallouts, misunderstandings, first crushes, and fitting in. The highs and lows of the girls’ friendship highlight toxic relationships versus true friendship. Sweet and smart.” – Kirkus Review

“Tween and teen relationships are explored in this charming middle-grade story by Florence. This book would be a solid recommendation for young readers looking for lighthearted romance but not ready for more mature YA content.” – Booklist

“I loved how relatable (the story) was, being in a group of three friends and dealing with their conflicts.” – Novalee, age 12

Keep It Together, Keiko Carter takes an honest look at friendship fallouts and changing family dynamics with sweetness and sincerity that will make you cheer for Keiko as she learns to manage it all without losing herself.” –Jessica Kim, author of Stand Up, Yumi Chung!

“A beautiful coming of age story. Keep It Together Keiko Carter shines with friendship changes, first crushes, and a perfect, heartwarming ending.” – Julie Abe, author of Eva Evergreen, Semi-Magical Witch

“In this deft, empathetic, and humorous narrative, Debbi Michiko Florence has expertly captured the joy and heartbreak of middle school.” – Andrea Wang, author of Magic Ramen

“The moment I saw the cover, my heart soared: an Asian American main character who is every bit the All-American girl. This is the book I wish I could take back in time and give to my tween self. I am so thrilled that today’s readers get to have Keiko Carter.” –Christina Soontornvat, author of A Wish in the Dark

“I want every preteen girl to read (this book), because it feels so true to the experience of being a middle-school girl and navigating the tough social waters of female friendship, cliques and crushes.” – Elissa Sweet, book-seller

“Keiko Carter is smart, funny, vulnerable and kind. She’s a best friend anyone would be lucky to have!” – Lauren Myracle, New York Times bestselling author of Eleven, ttyl, and Upside-Down Magic

Scholastic Spring Preview for Keep It Together, Keiko Carter

I was invited to the studio at Scholastic to record a video for their Online Spring Preview for my debut middle grade novel, Keep It Together, Keiko Carter. Curious to hear more about what this book is about? You can check out my video here.

Early next year, stay tuned for details on a preorder campaign through my local independent bookstore. You’ll get a personalized signed copy, swag, and be entered in a grand prize drawing! I’m super excited!

Thank you for your support as always!

An ARC Review for Keep It Together, Keiko Carter

It’s scary when after years (for me over a decade) of writing and revising a manuscript, it becomes a real book and suddenly the story is no longer mine. It belongs to readers. Always the hope is that readers will connect with the characters, love the story, want to share the book.

Yesterday, I saw my first educator review of my debut middle grade novel and was filled with joy and relief that it was a good one! WHEW!

Check it out here: CeCe Librarian’s Book Blog 

Buttons the Kitten, A Reader Review

Buttons the Kitten is part of the My Furry Foster Family chapter book series (Picture Window Books/2019). I was thrilled to learn of this young reader’s review of the book.

In part, Cooper says: “I think kids will like this because it is about pets. It is about saving animals and has a girl who gets to take care of them.”

Check out the entire review.

Announcement and Cover Reveal of My Middle Grade Debut

I am thrilled to announce that my middle grade debut, Keep It Together, Keiko Carter will be published by Scholastic on May 5, 2020! I’m eternally grateful to my amazing agent, Tricia Lawrence of EMLA, and my brilliant editor Jenne Abramowitz! Check out this gorgeous cover:

Huge props to cover designer Stephanie Yang! I love this cover so much! For more about how I came to write this novel, check out my essay on the Nerdy Book Club blog.

Stay tuned for a fun pre-order campaign! Thank YOU as always for all your amazing support!

Catching Up!

It’s been a busy few weeks and I hope to have my quarterly newsletter out on time next month. In the meantime here are a few things I’ve been up to.

As part of the #KidsNeedMentors program, I partnered with teacher Jane Chalifoux and her third grade students at Mills Pond Elementary. After a year of correspondence and book donations (from me to them), I visited their class in May. I spoke to them about books and writing Jasmine Toguchi, and then led them in a few writing exercises. They were an enthusiastic and creative group and it was a joy partnering with them.

In July, I flew to Jackson Hole, WY where I taught a kid’s writing camp to a group of very talented young writers. It was my first time to Jackson Hole and I thought it was gorgeous! I hope to return in the near future to check out the sights.

I also traveled to Minnesota where I had the opportunity to finally meet my Capstone editor, Jill Katz. We have worked on two series together (Dorothy & Toto and My Furry Foster Family). It was wonderful to chat with her face-to-face. She’s every bit as lovely as I knew she’d be.

I ended July with a trip to the Los Angeles area to visit with my parents and my daughter. I spent a day at the Nisei Week Baby Show, signing Jasmine Toguchi for young readers. I had a lovely time! I look forward to returning next summer for Nisei Week festivities.

In August, it was a dream come true for me to be on the faculty of the SCBWI Los Angeles annual conference. I led a workshop on crafting chapter book series, and participated in a panel on creating memorable main characters. It was memorable for me to share the stage with awesome senior editor and moderator Matt Ringler and authors/illustrators I’ve long admired, Ben Clanton, Bruce Hale, and Lisa Yee.

Most recently (just last week), Savoy Bookshop & Cafe hosted my newest chapter book series launch – My Furry Foster Family. I was joined by Save One Soul Animal Rescue who brought a Truman the Dog look-alike! It was a lot of fun! You can buy signed books from Savoy Bookshop.

I love hearing from readers, via snail mail and email. Thank you for all your support! I hope to see you an an upcoming event!