Fans of Lisa Greenwald and Wendy Mass are sure to fall head-over-heels for this funny, sweet story of crushes, competition, and the confusing reality of middle school.
"Heartbreak is for suckers."
When Jenna Sakai gets dumped over winter break, it confirms what she learned from her parents' messy divorce: Relationships are risky and only lead to disappointment. So even though she still has to see her ex-boyfriend Elliott at newspaper club, Jenna is going to be totally heartless this semester -- no boys, just books.
But keeping her cool isn't always easy. Jenna's chief competition for a big journalism scholarship is none other than Elliott. Her best friend Keiko always seems busy with her own boyfriend. And cute-but-incredibly-annoying Rin Watanabe keeps stealing her booth at the diner she's been hiding at every day after school. Rin is every bit as stubborn and detached as Jenna. And the more Jenna gets to know him, the more intriguing a mystery he seems. Soon Jenna is starting to realize that being a loner is kind of, well, lonely. And letting people in might just be a risk worth taking.
About the Author
Debbi Michiko Florence is the author of Keep It Together, Keiko Carter, a Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection and New England Book Award finalist, Just Be Cool, Jenna Sakai, and the Jasmine Toguchi chapter books. A third-generation Japanese American and native Californian, Debbi lives in Connecticut with her husband, rescue dog, and rabbit. Visit her online at debbimichikoflorence.com.
Praise for Just Be Cool, Jenna Sakai:
* "A tightly written narrative that is as fearless as it is balanced...offering glimmers of friendship and hope." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"A beautiful story about healing from heartbreak, and discovering the strength that comes from opening your heart to others. Jenna is a gem!" -- Jo Knowles, award-winning author of Where the Heart Is
Praise for Keep It Together, Keiko Carter:
"Sweet and smart." -- Kirkus Reviews
"Charming." -- Booklist
"Florence's tween drama will resonate." -- School Library Journal
“This is the book I wish I could take back in time and give to my tween self.” -- Christina Soontornvat, Newbery Honor-winning author of A Wish in the Dark
“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!
"In this deft, empathetic, and humorous narrative, Debbi Michiko Florence has expertly captured the joy and heartbreak of middle school." -- Andrea Wang, award-winning author of Magic Ramen, The Many Meanings of Meilan, and Watercress