I am the American half of our Japanese-American family. I spend about a month each year in rural Japan with my in-laws. I started as a journalist, so it is no surprise that my young adult books contain a lot of fact to go along with the fiction. Whether you want to know about Japan (TANABATA WISH), the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918 (BREATHE), what it's like to be an Olympic-caliber skater (EVERY REASON WE SHOULDN'T), or how unscripted television works (FAKING REALITY), I like to take readers on a swoony journey to unusual places. I'm passionate about literacy and supporting the next generation of writers. If you go to anime cons, you may also see me as my alter ego, The Obento Lady. I am an active member of SCBWI.
I am represented by Ann Rose of the Tobias Literary Agency.
EVERY REASON WE SHOULDN'T was named one of NPR's Best Books of 2020.
I was the Spring 2022 Writer in Residence at the Tempe Public Library in Tempe, AZ.
After living in Phoenix and writing AZ-based books for twenty years, I moved to Chicago in December 2022 with my husband and our cat. My heart is still in Arizona with my adult children though, and I look forward to returning for visits.