This Is How I Roll: A Wish Novel

Scholastic. Jan. 2023. 288p. pap. $7.99. ISBN 9781338785562.
Gr 5-7–Susannah “Sana” Mikami wants to learn to cook great Japanese food, but her father—the chef and owner of a popular sushi restaurant—actively discourages her interest. The 12-year-old finds another resource: one “C.A.B.” (cute Asian boy) named Koji Yamada, whose mother gives Sana home-style cooking lessons. But food isn’t the only draw for Sana—her crush on Koji grows as the pair spend summer afternoons together making how-to videos featuring her adorable animal sushi rolls. Misunderstandings, half-truths, and lies pile up as Sana evades her mother’s questions about her new friends and hides her identity as the daughter of a renowned chef from the Yamadas. Written in a clear, straightforward style, the story includes mouth-watering descriptions of Japanese food, with some Japanese words and phrases woven into the text. Sana and Koji’s tween romance includes handholding, planning a date, and a first kiss. Sana enjoys a surprising amount of independence and a decided lack of oversight from her otherwise protective and caring parents, but the family’s heartfelt commitment to greater honesty in the future creates a satisfying and believable conclusion.
VERDICT Young foodies will enjoy meeting a 12-year-old chef determined to master the art of Japanese cooking in this light tween romance.

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