“This story hits all the middle school sweet spots-friendship struggles, bullying, popularity, and awkward crushes…. Though this book will have special appeal to manga readers, the universal story and engaging art will delight a wide range of middle schoolers.” —School Library Journal

Misako wanted to move to American since she was 11 after she got a crush on Michael J Fox in Back to the Future. At age 19, she won a scholarship to come to American as an exchange student.

Her first break came when The Onion decided to use her illustrations for their “Savage Love” column. Shortly after Misako scored a two-book deal with Hyperion and a three-book deal with Henry Holt. Her autobiographical comic, Rock and Roll Love was featured in Best Teens Book List by NYPL.

Outside of U.S., she has published four books in Japan. Her latest book “How to learn English with Misako’s method” became the bestseller in Japanese amazon.

Her new manga graphic novel, Bounce Back, was released from Feiwel & Friends, an imprint of Macmillan. It is selected to be on the list of 2021 BEST GRAPHIC NOVELS FOR CHILDREN by American Library Association. No Such Thing as Perfect (Bounce Back 2) will be released in Nov 2023!

She was selected as one of outstanding Japanese artists in NY and invited to meet Japanese Prime Minister Abe and the first lady. After that she started appearing on multiple Japanese TV and radio shows. Also, the BBC and NHK featured her in a documentary about her comic book life. Recently she was featured on NBC TODAY show and collaborated with Playstation to promote Ghostwire: Tokyo.

She has taught manga drawing classes at Metropolitan Museum and Brooklyn Cherry Blossom Festival and given many speeches in various schools all around the U.S.

Besides her book projects, she currently teaches Manga at her online community Learn Manga with Misako where she helps kids learn kawaii manga drawing.

Bounce Back

Feiwel & Friends |
Middle Grade Manga

Lilico, with the help of her cat, must learn to adjust to a new country, a new school, and new pressures in Bounce Back, a middle grade graphic novel from author/illustrator Misako Rocks! about finding your team and finding yourself.

Lilico’s life in Japan is going well. She has great friends and is the captain of the school’s basketball team. She’s happy!

Then comes her parents’ news: they’re moving to America! Before she knows it, Lilico finds herself in Brooklyn, New York, forced to start all over. And that won’t be easy with her closest friends thousands of miles away or a school bully who immediately dislikes her.

Luckily, anime-loving Nala and Henry eventually befriend Lilico and with help from them—along with her guardian spirit who looks a lot like her cat, Nicco—Lilico just might figure out where she fits in.

This is age-appropriate, kid-friendly manga for kids – both elementary and middle school – that tells a story about friendship, new beginnings, and doing what you love, no matter what.

Misako Rocks In Person Events!

One session: 30 to 50 min
Audience: 3rd to 12th grade

My in-person visits are my absolute favorite way to connect with young readers and I have visited over 100 schools so far. I combine a one-of-a-kind Power Point presentation, along with an inspirational speech and manga drawing workshop all to make this event unforgettable. The goal here is to motivate and challenge students to chase their dreams and face their fears all while having fun and laughing along the way!

I will also create a unique personalized promotional video custom tailored for your event that will include an introduction by me and any other details about the event you want me to share. You are free to use this video whenever and wherever you want to promote this event. It will help your students get to know a little about me and help get them pumped up and inspired for my visit.

My speech covers how and why I left Japan at a young age and came to America to become an artist. How I struggled to fit in to a new country, a new culture, and a new school. How I tried many new things and failed so many times to reach my goal and how I finally became a successful manga artist in America. After your students hear about my journey, they will be inspired to follow their dreams and take more risks. Try something new and make a few mistakes along the way. Ultimately, I want to inspire students to push themselves outside of their comfort zone and be the best they can be.

My manga drawing workshop is super interactive and full of energy. Your students can choose from various samples that I created ahead of time, and we will draw an original manga character based on their selections. I will demonstrate the process step by step and make it simple enough that even teachers can get involved and draw as well. Your students will be surprised at how easy it is to tap into their creativity and create something new.

I will also share a behind-the-scenes look at my process making the book BOUNCE BACK. Your students will get to learn what it’s like to be an artist and how I made this book step by step.

In the end, we’ll have a Q&A session. Your students can ask me anything!

What Misako needs at in person events:  

  1. I will bring my MacBook for my speech. I’ll need a projector, screen, and speakers.
  2. An easel pad or white board to draw. Black markers and color markers or pencils.


What your students need at in person events:
 

A pencil, eraser, and white plain paper. Color pencils are optional.  

Exclusive benefits at in-person events:

After class, I love to spend extra time with your students and talk about manga, anime, Japanese culture and more! If your students have copies of BOUNCE BACK, I’d be happy to do a book signing and give away some personalized kawaii postcards.

Misako Rocks Virtual Events!

One session: 30 to 50 min 
Audience: 3rd to 12th grade 

My virtual events have become extremely popular recently, and I have visited over 50 schools and libraries this way. This setup is the easiest for most organizers and my virtual visit will still include all the same things as my in-person visit. This a quick and economical way to get me in your schools and inspiring your students.

Virtual Setup: 

Zoom or Google Meet platform. If your school uses another platform, please let me know!

What your students need at a virtual event: 

A pencil, eraser, and white plain paper to draw. Color pencils are optional.

Exclusive benefits at virtual events: 

I love to spotlight your students’ drawings in the end of a session and give them direct feedback in front of the class. This will boost their confidence and push their drawing skills. I will also mail you my signed stickers and kawaii postcards for any students who bought a copy of BOUNCE BACK.

https://vimeo.com/573079544/3b36ca6e8d
https://vimeo.com/578668008/73eb720be5

LIVE Manga Drawing Lesson and Celebrate BOUNCE BACK!

Snack Time with MacKids Books: Bounce Back by Misako Rocks!

Learn Manga with Misako

Learn more about Bounce Back

Misako’s Website

Honors, Awards & Recognition

2009 Woman of the Year by Nikkei Woman Magazine
2021 Best Graphic Novels for Children Reading List by ALA
2023 Little Maverick Graphic Novel Children Reading List Nominated Titles
New York Public Library’s Best Books for Teens List
Best Selling Author in Japan
Illustrator | The Onion
Manga Educator | Metropolitan Museum & Brooklyn Cherry Blossom Festival

Media Kit

By clicking the link below your will be directed to a Google Docs Folder
where you can download author photos and cover images.

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