Hi everyone, this week’s booklist post is meant to get your taste buds dancing with a selection of diverse reads on food and cooking! I hope you like these reads as they were ones that had me licking my lips long after the books had ended!!
The first title I found is about a group of enthusiastic foodies!! The secret cooking club by Laurel Remington tells the story of young Scarlett. She’s the unwilling star of her mom’s popular blog and she hates it. So when she discovers an empty kitchen next door, and begins to bake, she’s desperate to stay firmly out of the spotlight. As more people find out, and Scarlett’s confidence grows, The Secret Cooking Club is formed. But can the club stay undiscovered? And can Scarlett find the secret ingredients – to cake, family, and friendship?
My review: The whole book summed up in three words: food, family and friendship and that secret ingredient that unites them all!! For a debut novel, and a winner of the Times Children’s Fiction competition in 2015, this was such an inspirational, heartfelt and lovely story. I fell in love with Scarlett, her mom and Mrs Simpson. With a lovely storyline and a host of memorable and funny characters along the way this book spoke volumes on the power of friendship and family. The mouth-watering and scrumptious dishes described give an extra layer of happiness!! A great read that emphasizes the power of forgiveness and understanding!!
The next read From the desk of Zoe Washington by debut author Janae Marks takes us to the life of a determined young girl. Filled with letters coupled with a clever narrative this is a unique story of family and friendship with a dash of baking!! What does a girl say to the father she’s never met, she hadn’t heard from until his letter arrived on her twelfth birthday, and who’s been in prison for a terrible crime? Could Marcus really be innocent? The truth is somewhere out there, and Zoe is determined to uncover it. Even if it means hiding his letters and her investigation from her mom and stepdad. Everyone else thinks Zoe’s worrying about doing a good job at her bakery internship and proving to her parents that she’s worthy of auditioning for Food Network’s Kids Bake Challenge! It’s been Zoe’s dream to become a star baker, and she can’t afford to mess anything up. Her neighbor and best friend, Trevor, would’ve been her confidante through all this, but Zoe’s not speaking to him anymore. She’ll have to figure this out alone. With bakery confections on one part of her mind and Marcus’ conviction weighing heavily on the other, this is one recipe Zoe doesn’t know how to balance. The only thing she knows to be true: everyone lies.
My review: A delightful story on all the different types of family bonds we have. Zoe and Marcus’ letters to each other give readers a snapshot of their thoughts and feelings. This story had some amazing characters and a fascinating plot. The story as a whole was heartwarming and ended on a positive note. I like how the undercurrent of racial profiling that went towards Marcus’ impriosonmnt was addressed. Some scenes are really funny. A really awesome read!!
The last title is actually a graphic novel. Measuring up by Lily LaMotte & Aun Xu is a delightful read about a young twelve-year-old who’s moved to Seattle from Taiwan. She’s missing her grandmother and Cici’s cooking up a plan to bring A-má to her by winning the grand prize in a kids cooking contest to pay for A-má’s plane ticket! There’s just one problem: Cici only knows how to cook Taiwanese food. And after her pickled cucumber debacle at lunch, she’s determined to channel her inner Julia Child. Can Cici find a winning recipe to reunite with A-má, a way to fit in with her new friend, and somehow find herself, too?
My review: A lively read!! I could really relate to young Cici’s dilemma’s in her young life. The story explodes from every single panel drawing. Her emotions and fears are beautifully portrayed. Each character is uniquely drawn too. I loved the friendship she’s formed, both at school and at the cooking competition. I really enjoyed learning about Taiwanese cooking and language as they’re written in English in the speech bubbles with translations. The panels with her family interactions are depicted quite well and I liked how Cici deals with their expectations of her. A really good diverse read!!
So there you have a short booklist of titles filled with culinary adventures and a range of young cooks!! If anyone has read similar titles I’d love to hear from you!
Stay safe and keep reading