Author Archives: Debbi Michiko Florence

About Debbi Michiko Florence

Author of children's books. Coming July 11, 2017, JASMINE TOGUCHI, MOCHI QUEEN and JASMINE TOGUCHI, SUPER SLEUTH (FSG).

#KidLitWomen – Book A Day in March (25)

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See KidlitWomen for daily links to posts by the children’s lit community, in celebration of Women’s History Month and focusing on improving the climate for social and gender equality. I plan to share my favorite books focused on girl characters and/or written by women through this month.

Today’s featured book is Cilla Lee-Jenkins, Future Author Extraordinaire by Susan Tan. I’ve had the honor of not only meeting Susan, but doing an event with her. She’s super nice, and talented, too!

Cilla Lee-Jenkins is not overly thrilled that she is soon to become a big sister to The Blob (the nickname she gives to her sister after seeing the sonogram). To ensure that her family doesn’t forget about her, she writes a story about the one topic she knows best, herself. Cilla is full of honesty, great imagination, and humor as she embarks on her quest while dealing with feelings of jealousy over her soon-to-be sibling. Buy the book!

And in two days you can buy the follow up book, Cilla Lee-Jenkins, This Book is A Classic! Pre-order the book!

#kidlitwomen

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#KidLitWomen – Book A Day in March (24)

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See KidlitWomen for daily links to posts by the children’s lit community, in celebration of Women’s History Month and focusing on improving the climate for social and gender equality. I plan to share my favorite books focused on girl characters and/or written by women through this month.

Today’s featured book is middle grade novel The Countdown Conspiracy by Katie Slivensky.

Miranda, age 13 and a high school graduate, is chosen as one of six kids for a mission to Mars. She is sent off to a base in Antarctica for intensive years-long training where she meets her team, the brightest and best from around the world. But things don’t go as smoothly as she’d hoped. This action-packed adventurous book is a page-turner, and readers will fall in love with Miranda (and her robot, Ruby) and cheer her on. Author Katie is also a scientist and her love for science infuses her story. Buy the book!

Her next book, The Seismic Seven, is due out on June 5th!

#kidlitwomen

#KidLitWomen – Book A Day in March (23)

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See KidlitWomen for daily links to posts by the children’s lit community, in celebration of Women’s History Month and focusing on improving the climate for social and gender equality. I plan to share my favorite books focused on girl characters and/or written by women through this month.

Today’s feature book was a favorite of mine from 2014, after I met this author at a weekend workshop at VCFA – Promise of Shadows by Justina Ireland. Her name should be familiar to you as she is the author of the highly anticipated Dread Nation releasing on 4/3. I can’t wait to read it!

The story opens on Zephyr who is stuck in Tartarus’ worst section, the Pits, as punishment for killing one of Hera’s guards. Zeph is a Harpy but a failed one, and is scared when she knows she shouldn’t be. Fortunately she has found a protector in Cass. When her childhood friend (and crush) Tallon comes to the rescue to release her from the Underworld, she and Cass join Tallon, his dragon brother Blue, and Zeph’s childhood nemisis Alora in a quest to keep Hera from taking over the mortal world. Exciting and original and full of adventure and tension! I so loved this book that I still recommend it to readers. Buy the book!

And definitely pre-order Dread Nation!

#kidlitwomen

#KidLitWomen – Book A Day in March (22)

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See KidlitWomen for daily links to posts by the children’s lit community, in celebration of Women’s History Month and focusing on improving the climate for social and gender equality. I plan to share my favorite books focused on girl characters and/or written by women through this month.

Today I’m featuring Lou Lou & Pea and the Mural Mystery by Jill Diamond, illustrated by Lesley Vamos!

Lou Lou and Pea live in El Corazón, a tight-knit neighborhood where the two best friends can wander to visit their favorite neighbors and shops. But when bad things start to happen, from a ruined Quinceañera dress to Lou Lou’s prize camellia, the girls are determined to solve the mysteries, especially when they notice clues popping up in murals in the neighborhood. Buy the book! And keep your eye out for the second book, Lou Lou & Pea and the Bicentennial Bonanza coming out on 4/24!

#kidlitwomen

#KidLitWomen – Book A Day in March (21)

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See KidlitWomen for daily links to posts by the children’s lit community, in celebration of Women’s History Month and focusing on improving the climate for social and gender equality. I plan to share my favorite books focused on girl characters and/or written by women through this month.

Today’s feature is a middle grade novel with a main character who captured my heart – Smart Cookie by Elly Swartz.

Frankie’s mom died years ago, but as much as Frankie misses her, she wants to be a family of three again. So she secretly sets up a dating profile for her dad in hopes of having a new mom but so far none of the candidates are good fits. Frankie is also dealing with problems with an ex-best-friend, a ghost-hunting friend, and family members who may be keeping secrets. This is a sweet story about how family doesn’t have to look one certain way. Buy the book!

#kidlitwomen

#KidLitWomen – Book A Day in March (20)

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See KidlitWomen for daily links to posts by the children’s lit community, in celebration of Women’s History Month and focusing on improving the climate for social and gender equality. I plan to share my favorite books focused on girl characters and/or written by women through this month.

I just recently read the graphic novel The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang and love love loved it!

Prince Sebastian’s parents are pressuring him, at age 16, to find a bride, but he is instead thrilled to have discovered a talented dressmaker. At night he becomes Lady Crystallia, a fashion icon. Frances, who dreams of a career in fashion design is at first happy to design dresses for the prince, and easily keeps his secret. But when it becomes apparent that in order to keep his secret, she must give up her dreams, she must make a difficult decision, protect her friend or leave him to strike out on her own. A romantic tale of loyalty and being true to oneself – I swooned. Loved this story! I was completely swept away! Buy the book!

#kidlitwomen

#KidLitWomen – Book A Day in March (19)

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See KidlitWomen for daily links to posts by the children’s lit community, in celebration of Women’s History Month and focusing on improving the climate for social and gender equality. I plan to share my favorite books focused on girl characters and/or written by women through this month.

Doing something a little different today, all because I want to feature I book I haven’t read yet but am greatly anticipating. Full disclosure here, when I started out wanting to write for children 15+ years ago, author Cynthia Leitich Smith was my guide and mentor. She was patient and generous with her time and knowledge and I am forever grateful to her.

I fell in love with her work, first with Jingle Dancer, a picture book about a contemporary Native American girl excitedly preparing for an upcoming powwow where she will participate in a jingle dance for the first time. (Illustrated by Cornelius Van Wright) And then with Indian Shoes, a book with six interconnected short stories. But my favorite of her books was a YA novel, Rain is Not My Indian Name.

It’s been many years since I’ve read the book, but I recall feeling so much sympathy for the main character, Rain, who had recently lost her best friend, and used photography to help her cope with grief. She also struggles with deciding how involved she wants to become in a controversy that has come up around her aunt’s Indian Camp. (Ah this makes me want to re-read this book!)

And now I recently learned that the author, who has had success with a series of paranormal novels, will be publishing a contemporary YA novel this fall! I’m beside myself with excitement!

Hearts Unbroken is due out on November 6. This from the publisher’s site: When Louise Wolfe’s first real boyfriend mocks and disrespects Native people in front of her, she breaks things off and dumps him over e-mail. It’s her senior year, anyway, and she’d rather spend her time with her family and friends and working on the school newspaper. The editors pair her up with Joey Kairouz, the ambitious new photojournalist, and in no time the paper’s staff find themselves with a major story to cover: the school musical director’s inclusive approach to casting The Wizard of Oz has been provoking backlash in their mostly white, middle-class Kansas town. From the newly formed Parents Against Revisionist Theater to anonymous threats, long-held prejudices are being laid bare and hostilities are spreading against teachers, parents, and students — especially the cast members at the center of the controversy, including Lou’s little brother, who’s playing the Tin Man. As tensions mount at school, so does a romance between Lou and Joey — but as she’s learned, “dating while Native” can be difficult. In trying to protect her own heart, will Lou break Joey’s?

AHHHH! I can’t wait! But I will! Pre-order here.

#kidlitwomen