Please welcome my guest author today, Debbi Michiko Florence. I met her at Andrea Wang’s The Nian Monster author event at Newtonville Books last January.
I had already heard of her new Japanese American early chapter book series, Jasmine Toguchi, and made a point of telling her how excited I am for it.
There are NO OTHER Japanese American book series for kids! Her series is not only authentic but has a spunky girl character that reminds me of Ramona and Clementine. Please check it out!
We are giving away the first two books of the Jasmine Toguchi series, Jasmine Toguchi Mochi Queen and Jasmine Toguchi Super Sleuth. Please fill out the Rafflectopter at the bottom to enter.
I’m so excited about the new crop of series blooming up with strong diverse girl characters! I especially love that while culture is an important aspect of the stories, it is not the main thread of the plot. And because these series books, readers won’t have to stop with one story. Here are a few I’ve read and loved recently.
Chapter Books and Middle Grade Starring Diverse Girl Characters
Stef Soto, Taco Queen by Jennifer Torres
Seventh grader Stef Soto wants more freedom from her parents’ rules and from her father’s embarrassing taco truck, especially when a former friend makes snide comments about it. But when it seems like Stef might be free of the truck forever, she changes her mind and is determined to try to save her dad’s business.
I love Stef’s big heart! I was rooting for her throughout the story. [chapter book, ages 8 and up]
Lola Levine Meets Jelly and Bean by Monica Brown
Lola Levine is excited! This summer break she is getting a kitten. But Lola’s happiness soon turns to distress when she realizes her little brother might be allergic to her new pet.
I love that Lola is an animal lover, and while she makes a judgment error when trying to keep her pet, she realizes her mistake and makes amends. [chapter book, ages 8 and up]
Cleo Edison Oliver, Playground Millionaire by Sundee Frazier
Cleopatra Edison Oliver has big goals, to be a major businesswoman like her idol Fortune A. Davis. Cleo comes up with a brilliant idea but things go wrong and both her business and her friendship with her best friend fall into jeopardy.
This story made me laugh out loud, get teary, and cheer as Cleo figured her way out of her messes. [chapter book, ages 8 and up]
Cilla Lee-Jenkins, Future Author Extraordinaire by Susan Tan
Cilla Lee-Jenkins is not overly thrilled that she is soon to become a big sister. 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. [chapter book, ages 8 and up]
Lou Lou and Pea and the Mural Mystery by Jill Diamond
Lou Lou and Pea live in 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, the girls are determined to solve the mysteries.
I love the friendship between Lou Lou and Pea and what a great team they make while trying to solve the mystery – brave Lou Lou is tempered by the more cautious Pea. [chapter book, ages 8 and up]
And for a slightly younger age group, chapter book series Jasmine Toguchi:
Jasmine Toguchi, Mochi Queen by Debbi Michiko Florence
Jasmine Toguchi is tired of her big sister getting to do everything first. Jasmine decides that this New Year’s she is not only going to take part in the family tradition of making mochi (a Japanese sweet treat) even though she is deemed too young, but she is going to do the boy job of pounding the mochi. Will she be able to get strong enough and convince her family in time?
I’m biased – but I love Jasmine’s determination and spunk. [early chapter book, ages 6 and up]
Jasmine Toguchi 2 Book GIVEAWAY!
One winner will receive the first two books of the Jasmine Toguchi series, Jasmine Toguchi Mochi Queen and Jasmine Toguchi Super Sleuth. Please fill out Rafflecopter below to enter. I can only mail to US addresses due to the high cost of shipping.
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BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 is a book that I created to highlight books written by authors who share the same marginalized identity as the characters in their books.