Posted in Recommendations

Spooky and Mysterious Adventures

It’s September so I can finally say it’s spooky season, even though it’s been spooky season in my heart since you know mid-July. So here are some spooky and mysterious new releases to match the hopefully soon coming fall. Check them out below.

Enola Holmes and the Black Barouche

Enola Holmes and the Black Barouche by [Nancy Springer]

Enola Holmes is the much younger sister of her more famous brothers, Sherlock and Mycroft. But she has all the wits, skills, and sleuthing inclinations of them both. At fifteen, she’s an independent young woman–after all, her name spelled backwards reads ‘alone’–and living on her own in London. When a young professional woman, Miss Letitia Glover, shows up on Sherlock’s doorstep, desperate to learn more about the fate of her twin sister, it is Enola who steps up. It seems her sister, the former Felicity Glover, married the Earl of Dunhench and per a curt note from the Earl, has died. But Letitia Glover is convinced this isn’t the truth, that she’d know–she’d feel–if her twin had died.

The Earl’s note is suspiciously vague and the death certificate is even more dubious, signed it seems by a John H. Watson, M.D. (who denies any knowledge of such). The only way forward is for Enola to go undercover–or so Enola decides at the vehement objection of her brother. And she soon finds out that this is not the first of the Earl’s wives to die suddenly and vaguely–and that the secret to the fate of the missing Felicity is tied to a mysterious black barouche that arrived at the Earl’s home in the middle of the night. To uncover the secrets held tightly within the Earl’s hall, Enola is going to require help–from Sherlock, from the twin sister of the missing woman, and from an old friend, the young Viscount Tewkesbury, Marquess of Basilwether!

Amazon: Enola Holmes and the Black Barouche

The Dollhouse

The Dollhouse: A Ghost Story by [Charis Cotter]

Alice’s world is falling apart. Her parents are getting a divorce, and they’ve cancelled their yearly cottage trip — the one thing that gets Alice through the school year. Instead, Alice and her mom are heading to some small town where Alice’s mom will be a live-in nurse to a rich elderly lady.

The house is huge, imposing and spooky, and everything inside is meticulously kept and perfect — not a fun place to spend the summer. Things start to get weird when Alice finds a dollhouse in the attic that’s an exact replica of the house she’s living in. Then she wakes up to find a girl asleep next to her in her bed — a girl who looks a lot like one of the dolls from the dollhouse . . .

When the dollhouse starts to change when Alice isn’t looking, she knows she has to solve the mystery. Who are the girls in the dollhouse? What happened to them? And what is their connection to the mean and mysterious woman who owns the house? What’s truly going on in this spooky adventure?

Amazon: The Dollhouse

The Collectors (Fright Watch #2) by [Lorien Lawrence]

After defeating the Oldies, Quinn and Mike thought that things would settle down on Goodie Lane. But then new neighbors move in. Maybe it’s because they all work at the interior design firm, but Abigail, Eleanor, Jade, Brea, and Cami seem to always be together, dressed in only white.

After everything that happened last summer, Quinn’s a bit wary of the Ladies in White, but her friend Lex is thrilled that someone in town finally has some style. But when Lex starts volunteering at the Ladies’ design firm, things get strange. Lex is acting less like herself, and Quinn begins seeing strange shadows lurking in their neighborhood. She knows the Ladies are to blame; she just has to prove it.

Twisty and haunting, The Collectors is the second book in the Fright Watch series, Check out the sequel in this spooky adventure.

Amazon: The Collectors

So is everyone as ready for fall as I am, comment on your favorite fall read below!

Posted in backlog reviews, Recommendations, Reviews

Baseball and Salty Snacks: A Summer Adventure

Summary

Much Ado About Baseball by [Rajani LaRocca]

If you loved Midsummer Mayhem you’ll love this companion novel about the salty side and sports-based side to Lady Titania and Lord Oberon’s summer wager where baseball plays an important part.

Twelve-year-old Trish can solve tough math problems and throw a mean fastball. But because of her mom’s new job, she’s now facing a summer trying to make friends all over again in a new town. That isn’t an easy thing to do, and her mom is too busy to notice how miserable she is.

But at her first baseball practice, Trish realizes one of her teammates is Ben, the sixth-grade math prodigy she beat in the spring Math Puzzler Championships. Everyone around them seems to think that with their math talent and love of baseball, it’s only logical that Trish and Ben become friends, but Ben makes it clear he still hasn’t gotten over that loss and can’t stand her. To make matters worse, their team can’t win a single game. But then they meet Rob, an older kid who smacks home runs without breaking a sweat. Rob tells them about his family’s store, which sells unusual snacks that will make them better ballplayers. Trish is dubious, but she’s willing to try almost anything to help the team.

When a mysterious booklet of math puzzles claiming to reveal the “ultimate answer” arrives in her mailbox, Trish and Ben start to get closer and solve the puzzles together. Ben starts getting hits, and their team becomes unstoppable. Trish is happy to keep riding the wave of good luck . . . until they get to a puzzle they can’t solve, with tragic consequences. Can they find the answer to this ultimate puzzle, or will they strike out when it counts the most?

Review

I’ve been waiting for this book since I finished Midsummer Mayhem came out. I LOVED Midsummer Mayhem and I loved this book as well, I thought I couldn’t find a protagonist as interesting after Mimi since I’m a baker myself. But Trish and Ben stole my heart along with their teammates and the entry of the faries and Lord Oberon was especially well done. I especially loved how the faries responded to the ‘mistakes’ in Midsummer Nights Dream. Oh, and Ben’s dog was a sweetheart. Overall, I wasn’t sure that Midsummer Mayhem could be followed up but I’m glad I was wrong. This book is charming and the character development is on point and the story leaves the characters better than it found them. 5/5

I love most anything Rajani LaRocca touches, so more of this, please.

Amazon: Much Ado About Baseball

Posted in Discussion, Path Or Pantheon, Recommendations, Wrapup

Rock Camp Fatigue: Blog Update

Rock Camp was wonderful and self affirming and seeing the youth and all my fellow volunteers was the highlight of the summer. Now it’s just waiting till fall. Seriously it’s the best thing in the summer, then I have to wait for the air to cool down and for it to be my birthday and spooky season. I have some friends with August birthdays and I’m excited for that, but seriously I don’t like summer even though summer has been really mild here.

I also learned a lesson, don’t try and do a readathon during July, don’t make high reading goals during July. I was too caught up with camp and setting myself up for failure. I think I’ll have much more luck with the readathon I’m planning for August. Though I really do hope Make Your Myth taker shows up again soon because I loved the challenges from Path or Pantheon they just came at a bad time life wise. I’d love to do something about reading for Rock Camp next year but I’m not sure what that would look like just yet. I did a workshop on tarot that went well. So I’m sure I could build something cool.

Anyway expect to see me slowly getting back in the flow of the blog. I did not mean to gone for so long but camp is literally my most important and rewarding volunteer activity all year so sometimes things have to take a backseat.

As for what I’m currently up to while recovering from Rock Camp, I’m playing lots of video games, I’m working my way through Horizon: Zero Dawn and I just got Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin because I needed something like Pokemon until the next Pokemon game came out.

I’m also reading The Companion by Katie Alender. It is very good for a late summer spooky book.

Posted in Recommendations, Reviews

Finding Junie Kim Review: A Complex Book

This was a very impactful book it was written about the Trump era and it was written about communist history in the 1950’s in Korea. The Ellen Oh noted how personal it was for her to write this book. While I can never fully understand I can see how the issues thread through history and how things to come back around. While it is historical fiction it has elements of biography in it too. Just labelling Finding Junie Kim historical fiction would be oversimplifying this wonderful piece of fiction completely.

Finding Junie Kim by [Ellen Oh]

Summary

Junie Kim just wants to fit in and stay out of the way of her bullies who make fun of her for being Asian. So she keeps her head down and tries not to draw attention to herself. But when racist graffiti appears at her middle school and her friends want to do something about it, they just can’t understand why Junie wants to stay out of it.

Then Junie’s history teacher assigns a project and Junie decides to interview her grandparents she learns about their unbelievable experiences as kids during the Korean War. Junie comes to admire her grandma’s fierce determination to overcome impossible odds and her grandpa’s unwavering compassion during wartime.

As the racism becomes more prevalent at school Junie learns through learning about her ancestors to stand up for herself and the rest of the kids being bullied at her school. She finds the courage to do what is right to help make real change and stand up to her own personal bully.

Finding Junie Kim is a reminder that within us all lies the power to overcome hardship and emerge triumphant.

Review

This is a fantastic book. I thought that before I learned how well it was researched at the end. I can promise you this book taught me more about the Korean War than I learned in school. I live in a state that is pretty far down the education list but still, it is informative on such a deep personal and interesting level that you want to know more every time she talks to her grandfather.

Her grandparents both help her with standing up to bullies and facing racism and are great role models for her throughout the book. Her grandfather also helps her understand that others have more issues in America with race than they do. Her grandmothers story is also a magnificent one and her grandmother shows her other forms of being powerful.

Also the amount of research that went into this book is mind boggling as well as the amount of putting oneself into it personally. I know Ellen Oh is already getting awards for Finding Junie Kim, but she truly deserves them.

5 stars.

Amazon: Finding Junie Kim

Posted in new releases, Recommendations

She Gets It Done: New Releases 1st Week of July

We’ve got a lot of heroines this week. The books see our heroines drawing their way to success, managing friendship, or finding their destiny, what the problem, she has it covered.

Kiki Kallira Breaks a Kingdom 

Kiki Kallira Breaks a Kingdom by [Sangu Mandanna]

Kiki Kallira has always been a worrier. Did she lock the front door? Is there a terrible reason her mom is late? Recently her anxiety has been getting out of control, but one thing that has always soothed her is drawing. Kiki’s sketchbook is full of fanciful doodles of the rich Indian myths and legends her mother has told her over the years.

One day, her sketchbook’s calming effect is broken when her mythological characters begin springing to life right out of its pages. Kiki ends up falling into the mystical world she drew, which includes a lot of wonderful discoveries like the band of rebel kids who protect the kingdom, as well as not-so-great ones like the ancient deity bent on total destruction. As the one responsible for creating the evil god, Kiki must overcome her fear and anxiety to save both worlds–the real and the imagined–from his wrath. But how can a girl armed with only a pencil defeat something so powerful?

Amazon:Kiki Kallira Breaks A Kingdom

Clash

Clash (A Click Graphic Novel) by [Kayla Miller]

There’s a new kid in town! From the moment Natasha sets foot in class, it’s clear she’s one of the coolest kids in sixth grade. Everyone wants to be her friend, including Olive . . . but things might not be so easy.
 
Olive tries her best to befriend Nat, but it seems like the only thing they have in common is that they both want to hang out with Olive’s friends! Watching as Natasha gets closer with some of her best buds, Olive can’t help but worry that they’re starting to like Nat more than they like her . . .  and who could blame them? Nat is just that cool . . . and Olive is, well, just Olive.
 
The New York Times best-selling author-illustrator Kayla Miller delivers a nuanced look at navigating middle school friendships and the importance of both empathy and respect.

Amazon: Clash (A Click Graphic Novel)

It End In Fire

It Ends in Fire by [Andrew Shvarts]

1. Infiltrate Blackwater Academy
2. Win the Great Game
3. Burn Wizard society to the ground  As a child, Alka witnessed her parents’ brutal murder at the hands of Wizards before she was taken in by an underground rebel group. Now, Alka is deep undercover at the most prestigious school of magic in the Republic: Blackwater Academy, a place where status is everything, where decadent galas end in blood-splattered duels, where every student has their own agenda. To survive, Alka will have to lie, cheat, and kill to use every trick in her spy’s toolkit. And for the first time in her life, the fiercely independent Alka will have to make friends, to recruit the misfits and the outcasts into her motley rebellion.

But even as she draws closer to victory—to vengeance —she sinks deeper into danger as suspicious professors and murderous rivals seek the traitor in their midst, as dark revelations unravel her resolve. Can Alka destroy the twisted game… without becoming a part of it?

Amazon: It Ends in Fire

Rise to the Sun

Rise to the Sun by [Leah Johnson]

From the author of You Should See Me in a Crown, Leah Johnson delivers a stunning novel about being brave enough to be true to yourself, and learning to find joy even when times are unimaginably dark.

Olivia is an expert at falling in love . . . and at being dumped. But after the fallout from her last breakup has left her an outcast at school and at home, she’s determined to turn over a new leaf. A crush-free weekend at Farmland Music and Arts Festival with her best friend is just what she needs to get her mind off the senior year that awaits her.

Toni is one week away from starting college, and it’s the last place she wants to be. Unsure about who she wants to become and still reeling in the wake of the loss of her musician-turned-roadie father, she’s heading back to the music festival that changed his life in hopes that following in his footsteps will help her find her own way forward.

When the two arrive at Farmland, the last thing they expect is to realize that they’ll need to join forces in order to get what they’re searching for out of the weekend. As they work together, the festival becomes so much more complicated than they bargained for. Olivia and Toni will find that they need each other, and music, more than they ever could have imagined.

Packed with irresistible romance and irrepressible heart, bestselling author Leah Johnson delivers a stunning and cinematic story about grief, love, and the remarkable power of music to heal and connect us all.

Amazon: Rise to the Sun

Posted in Recommendations, Reviews

Ancestor Approved: Intertribal Stories for Kids Review

Ancestor Approved: Intertribal Stories for Kids by [Cynthia Leitich Smith]

Summary

Ancestor Approved was a delightful collection that wove stories from talented storytellers and poets. It was edited by the wonderful award-winning and bestselling Cynthia Leitich Smith it shows hope, joy, resilience, the strength of community, and Native pride. The event of Ancestor approved are all shown at the events at the Dance for Mother Earth Powwow in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

In a high school gym full of color and song, people dance, sell beadwork and books, and celebrate friendship and heritage. Young protagonists will meet relatives from faraway, mysterious strangers, and sometimes one another (plus one scrappy rez dog).

They are the heroes of their own stories.

Featuring stories and poems by:
Joseph Bruchac
Art Coulson
Christine Day
Eric Gansworth
Carole Lindstrom
Dawn Quigley
Rebecca Roanhorse
David A. Robertson
Andrea L. Rogers
Kim Rogers
Cynthia Leitich Smith
Monique Gray Smith
Traci Sorell,
Tim Tingle
Erika T. Wurth
Brian Young

In partnership with We Need Diverse Books.

Review

Ancestor Approved was woven together masterfully. I realized the book was an anthology, but once I caught on they were all happening at the same place (at about Rez Dog) it was magical now I want to go back and reread it to go back and spot the characters I missed in the earlier stories that I pick up in the later ones. There were so many good stories in here, but I think my favorite was the one about Bad Dog and Big Loon, because of the ending. Other favorites include the boy who couldn’t ‘read’ and the boy and girl at the raffle. Truly there wasn’t a story I didn’t like in the bunch and sped through this book in a few days.

Five stars loved the book and I would totally add it to my personal collection. Great book for your brain and your cultural understanding.

Amazon: Ancestor Approved

Posted in new releases, Recommendations

Heroes, Homecoming, and Bollywood Musical Adventures: New Releases for the Week.

I thought I’d present you with a unique group of heroes in the books that are releasing this week.

Not All Heroes

Summary

Even though her family moved across the country for a “fresh start” after her little brother’s death, eleven-year-old Zinnia Helinski still feels like she’s stuck waiting for her new life to begin. Then she spots her new neighbor, Kris, climbing down the fire escape of their apartment building. He’s wearing a black eye mask! And Spandex leggings. . . . And a blue body suit?

Soon Zinnia finds herself in a secret club for kids who want to be heroes. The Reality Shifters don’t have superpowers, but they do have the power to make positive change in their neighborhoods. And a change is just what Zinnia is looking for!

At first, she feels invincible. Zinnia finally has friends and is on the kind of real-life adventures her little brother, Wally, would have loved. But when her teammates lose sight of their goals, Zinnia must find the balance between bravery and recklessness, and learn to be a hero without her cape.

Author

Josephine Cameron grew up writing and singing in Northern Wisconsin but currently lives in Maine, where she writes fiction for young readers and teaches music and songwriting to K-8 students. Josephine received her MFA in creative writing from the University of Notre Dame.

Her song “Long Track Blues” was included in the New York Times Bestseller “Hip Hop Speaks to Children,” a book/CD set edited by Nikki Giovanni. Josephine is the author of the critically acclaimed Maybe a Mermaid and A Dog-Friendly Town, which received three starred reviews and was a Parents magazine Storytime Pick. Her newest novel, Not All Heroes, is a Junior Library Guild selection.

Amazon: Not All Heroes

May the Best Man Win

May the Best Man Win by [ZR Ellor]

Jeremy Harkiss, cheer captain and student body president, won’t let coming out as a transgender boy ruin his senior year. Instead of bowing to the bigots and outdated school administration, Jeremy decides to make some noise—and how better than by challenging his all-star ex-boyfriend, Lukas for the title of Homecoming King?

Lukas Rivers, football star and head of the Homecoming Committee, is just trying to find order in his life after his older brother’s funeral and the loss long-term girlfriend—who turned out to be a boy. But when Jeremy threatens to break his heart and steal his crown, Lukas kick starts a plot to sabotage Jeremy’s campaign.

When both boys take their rivalry too far, the dance is on the verge of being canceled. To save Homecoming, they’ll have to face the hurt they’re both hiding—and the lingering butterflies they can’t deny.

Author

Zabé / Z. R. Ellor is a writer and lit agent from Washington, DC. He holds a BA in English Lit and biology from Cornell University. When not writing, he can be found running, playing video games, and hunting the best brunch deals in Dupont Circle.

Amazon: May the Best Man Win

That Thing about Bollywood

Summary

You know how in Bollywood when people are in love, they sing and dance from the mountaintops? Eleven-year-old Sonali wonders if they do the same when they’re breaking up. The truth is, Sonali’s parents don’t get along, and it looks like they might be separating.

Sonali’s little brother, Ronak, is not taking the news well, constantly crying. Sonali would never do that. It’s embarrassing to let out so many feelings, to show the world how not okay you are. But then something strange happens, something magical, maybe. When Sonali gets upset during a field trip, she can’t bury her feelings like usual—instead, she suddenly bursts into a Bollywood song-and-dance routine about why she’s upset!

The next morning, much to her dismay, Sonali’s reality has shifted. Things seem brighter, almost too bright. Her parents have had Bollywood makeovers. Her friends are also breaking out into song and dance. And somehow, everyone is acting as if this is totally normal.

Sonali knows something has gone wrong, and she suspects it has something to do with her own mismanaged emotions. Can she figure it out before it’s too late?

Author

Supriya is an author, illustrator, and screenwriter who grew up in the Midwest, where she learned Hindi as a child by watching three Hindi movies a week.

Amazon: That Thing About Bollywood

Posted in new releases, Recommendations

The River, The Lake, and The Ocean: New Releases this week!

Water seems to be the theme for this week, the river, seas, and lakes. Prepping for summer for perhaps? We’ll have to see as future releases come out.

River Magic

Donna has always loved life by the river. Until her beloved aunt Annabelle died in a tragic kayaking accident. Now with money tight, her mom working, and her friends distant. Donna finds herself in the sway of an old woman who moves in next door. The woman hires Donna to clean part time and Donna figures this is a great opportunity to get over her friendship troubles. Plus she can help her family since the woman pays in gold!

But as time goes on Donna finds out the woman is an ancient, ornery thunder mage, and it doesn’t take much to make her angry. Before Donna knows it, the friend who dumped her is in danger and Donna’s family is about to lose their home. To save the day, Donna will need the help of a quirky new friend and the basketball team . . . plus the mysterious, powerful creature lurking in the river.

Releasing April 27th.

Amazon: River Magic

Sea of Kings

Thirteen-year-old Prince Noa, has always hated the ocean since it took his mother from him. But staying away from the sea isn’t easy when you live on a tropical island. And if he wants to keep his brother Dagan who is the brawn to his brains in line he’s going to have to deal with his fear of the sea.

However when a vengeful pirate lays siege to their home Noa and Dagan barely escape with their lives. They are armed with a stolen ship and a haphazard crew. They also have a magical map that make little to no sense, with this they sail to other kingdoms in search of help.

But navigating the seas proves deadlier than Noas fears. To free his home, Nos much solve the confusing map and charts and confront a dangerous one-eyed Pirate before an evil force spreads across the land and destroys the people Noa was meant to protect.

Releasing April 27th.

Amazon: Sea of Kings

Rescue at Wild Lake

Everyone knows that twelve-year-old Madison “Madi” Lewis. Is a stray animal magnet, to the point there is a rule she’s not allowed to bring home any more animals. After all, she’s rescued hairless mice, two birds, a rabbit, and a stray cat that ended up destroying their front porch.

Madi’s parents have put their foot down if they find one more stray animal in the house Madi won’t be allowed to meet Jane Goodall at an upcoming gala event.

But Madi finds the promise hard to keep when she and her two best friends Aaron and Jack rescue beaver kits whose mother was killed. The trio soon finds themselves at the center of a local conspiracy that the beavers and their natural habitats in danger.

Madi and her friends race to uncover the threat targeting the beavers, in using her animal skills and staying out of best skills in staying out of trouble.

Releasing April 27th

Amazon: Rescue at Wild Lake

Posted in Author Recommendations, Feature, Recommendations

Character Team Ups

1)Awkward

Awkward (Berrybrook Middle School Book 1) by [Svetlana Chmakova]

Peppi and Jamie are able to team up despite their differences and not only become friends but save both of their clubs from being disbanded. While they had their ups and downs which was realistic for the age group. Eventually they find that both art and science really aren’t that different all along.

The reason I chose this book is because Peppi and Jamie are able to see through the artifical divides of middle school cliques and and make a true friendships.

You can find my review here.

You can purchase it on Amazon here.

2) A Thousand Questions

A Thousand Questions by [Saadia Faruqi]

These two are an unsual team up considering Sakina thinks Mimi is stuck up at first but eventually the two bond over Mimi teaching Sakina English and Mimi learning about her home culture, they don’t realize they are the answer to each others problems but they slowly become friends and help change as problems come up throughout the book.

The reason I chose this book is because while they may be different eventually they push each other to solve each other’s biggest issues which is what makes them a good team.

You can find my review here

You can purchase this book on Amazon here.

3) To Nightowl From Dogfish

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Avery and Bett are another pair that hate each other at first, the only reason they come together is to keep their dads apart. But they start working together and realize they make a great team, even if they don’t want to admit it for like a good half of the book.

The reason I chose this book is I also love how their relationship forms natrally, they go from hating each other to being best friends but not in a way that feels forced.

My review can be found here

You can purchase the book on Amazon here.

4) Séance Tea Party

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When her circle of friends suddenly shrinks as growing up happens Lora is determined to have fun on her own and not bow to the social pressures and be like everyone else. So one day Lora has a tea party with a supernatural twist that leads to her rediscovering Alexa, the ghost that haunts her house and her old imaginary friend!

I picked this book to show that a team up can’t (and maybe shouldn’t) last forever. These two make a wonderful pair but their goodbye is as poienient as their hello.

You can find my review here.

You can purchase the book on Amazon here.

5) Stargazing

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Even though Moon and Christine are nothing alike when Moon moves in next door the girls become fast friends. Christine appricates Moons confident and impulsive personality, she’s unlike any person Christine has ever known. The two have fun sharing their favorite music videos and painting their toenails: something Christine’s strict parents don’t allow.

But Moon shares a secret with Christine , she has visions sometimes, of the the celestial beings who speak to her from who reassure her that earth isn’t where where she really belongs.

Can Christine be the Moon needs when her visions turn out to have an all to earthly root and Moon is soon in the hospital fighting for her life?

You can find my review here

You can purchase the book on Amazon here

Image by Dev Ashish from Pixabay

Posted in Author Recommendations, Feature, Recommendations

Top Five Books about Food

  1. 1) American as Paneer Pie
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Lekha Divekar feels like she has two versions of herself. One where she can be her authenic Indian self the girl who loves watching Bollywood movies and eating Indian food. And the one she is at school where she has to hide her true self. So when another Indian girl Avantika moves to town she thinks she’ll have someone who will understand. And while they don’t always agree, they are together in what they eat and share customs through good times and bad. Lekha understands the role food plays in her life she’s not just Indian or American, and her food reflects that that’s why I chose this book.

You can find my review here

2) Summer of 1000 Pies

Summer of a Thousand Pies by [Margaret Dilloway]

Cady’s world is turned upside down when she has to leave her dad because he can’t take care of her. She goes to live with her aunt who own a pie shop where they teach her about making food. Through food, baking especially and trying new foods Cady find a family, a community, new friends and a willingness to try new things. I picked this book especially because of the sense of community Cady gets after living with her aunts.

You can find my review here.

3) Midsummer’s Mayhem

Food is the central focus of this retelling of A Midsummer Night’s Dream by Rajani LaRoca. Mimi’s baking affects the whole family in ways she never expexts and a ‘new’ friend gets helps her get out of a very old trap. Creativity and cooking abound making you want to whip up some donuts while reading. That and the mystery througout the story are the main reasons I chose this book.

You can find my review here.

4) A Place at the Table

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This book explores themes of food, friendship, family, and belonging, featuring sixth graders Sara, and Elizabeth, two sixth graders who couldn’t be more different. Sara is having a hard time fitting in at their new shared school after transferring from her small Islamic school that she used to at attend. Meanwhile Elizabeth has her own problems her British mom has been struggling with depression. This book continues to fit into what I think I’ve established here as the cooking middle grade sub-genre.

I pick it one because the food descriptions sounded wonderful and two because it was an interfaith endeavor which is awesome.

You can find my review here.

5) Measuring Up

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Twelve year old Cici loved her life back in Taiwan, especially the time she spent with her grandmother, or A-má. But when her family moves to Seattle so she can have better opportunities she has to leave her grandmother and friends behind. But when her family doesn’t have the money to bring her A-má to the US for her seventy birthday Cici swears she’ll find a way. When she see a local cooking competition she enters for the prize money even if she’s never cooked American food. I chose this book because it focuses on the importance of staying true to yourself no matter what people thing.

You can find my review here.