Sometimes after school, you have baseball practice. Sometimes, you go for pizza. Sometimes, your parents drop a bomb so significant your entire life explodes – like “We’re moving to Tokyo in four weeks.”
This is how it all began for my protagonist, Jacob, a smart, snarky, thirteen-year-old struggling with the most significant change in his life – a sudden relocation from the familiar Seattle suburbs to wild and bustling Tokyo.
In Trading Pizza for Ramen, Jacob and his twin siblings Dylan and Lily, have one summer vacation, three months, to figure out how to survive in Tokyo before school starts. From shrines to forests, arcades to onsens, ramen shops to baseball games, Jacob makes sure the fun never stops, typically at the detriment of a younger sibling or parent.
In sixteen chapters, 158 pages and 28,000 words, Jacob goes from hating everything about Tokyo to finding friends, food, and purpose in his new home.