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-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.
“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
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!
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!
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:
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.
I love doing school visits and meeting amazing students, teachers, librarians, and staff! In the past couple of months I’ve had the pleasure of speaking with students in New York, Connecticut, and Wisconsin. These young readers are the reason I write books!
Jumping for joy in Castleton, NY for their Read Over Sleep Over event with the third graders!
Speaking with enthusiastic first graders visiting The Center for Fiction in Brooklyn, NY.
Fabulous second graders in Brooklyn NY!
A wonderful group of book-lovers from third to fifth grade in Madison WI!
Looking forward to meeting more students and readers across the country this year! Thank you to all the fabulous schools and libraries for hosting me!
I am over-the-moon thrilled and honored to learn that Jasmine Toguchi Drummer Girl is a Beverly Cleary Children’s Choice Award nominee! I have loved Ramona since childhood! Thank you to the committee for the nomination and thank you to Team Toguchi, my editor Grace Kendall, illustrator Elizabet Vukovic, my agent Tricia Lawrence, and the entire fabulous team at Macmillan Books!