I was tempted to write this post as soon as I saw the title of a recipe for oreo lasagna. I’m sorry to those of you that that title grosses out, but I find that entirely appealing. Look at that beautiful thing:
And then, of course, as I was on my weekly round at the library today I picked up two food books. I decided to try the first one, Pizza, Love and Other Stuff That Made Me Famous by Kathryn Williams, when I got home. As soon as I finished it, I booted up my computer, and came up with some of the kids foodie fiction I’ve enjoyed over the years. Take a look!
1) Pizza, Love and Other Stuff that Made Me Famous by Kathryn Williams
Not a fan of some of the romance in this book, or in the title. I didn’t like the title, but it did interest me. It felt like the romance with Luc in this book was, kind of, I dunno, just put in there. I hate it when books and movies do that, just putting in romance for the sake of putting in romance. It’s useless, it takes up time, space and it’s annoying. I felt like if Kathryn Williams had just stuck with Alex, this book would’ve gotten 4.5 stars. I bumped it down to 4.2, but it was by far one of my favorite teen cooking fiction I’ve ever read. Just read this passage:
While I was slowly dying to shame, it seemed the showdown would be between Philip’s bibimbap, a Korean dish I couldn’t pronounce let alone cook, and Stan’s Italian chicken tikkia masala with cucumber raita, both of which the judges loved. Philip’s giant bowls contained everything but the kitchen sink: rice, five different vegetables, a red paste, something that looked like kelp, beef and some semi-raw egg.
I loved the way Kathryn Williams describes bibimbap, which I have tasted and seen often growing up in a Korean household and atmosphere. It tastes a lot better than she describes it, believe me. All in all, the romance wasn’t the only reason why I didn’t like this book as much as I feel I would’ve. I liked a lot about it, but I didn’t like a lot as well, including the narration at times. A good read, 4.2 stars.
Synopsis: Can a spot on a teen reality show really lead to a scholarship at an elite cooking school AND a summer romance?
Sixteen-year-old Sophie Nicolaides was practically raised in the kitchen of her family’s Italian-Greek restaurant, Taverna Ristorante. When her best friend, Alex, tries to convince her to audition for a new reality show, Teen Test Kitchen, Sophie is reluctant. But the prize includes a full scholarship to one of America’s finest culinary schools and a summer in Napa, California, not to mention fame.
Once on-set, Sophie immediately finds herself in the thick of the drama—including a secret burn book, cutthroat celebrity judges, and a very cute French chef. Sophie must figure out a way to survive all the heat and still stay true to herself.
pg count for the hardback: 240
2) See You at Harry’s by Jo Knowles
You might remember this book from when I used it to display contemporary fiction stereotypes in synopsis’ in one of my reviews, but I really did enjoy it and it was an amusing, heart warming read.
Synopsis: Twelve-year-old Fern feels invisible. It seems as though everyone in her family has better things to do than pay attention to her: Mom (when she’s not meditating) helps Dad run the family restaurant; Sarah is taking a gap year after high school; and Holden pretends that Mom and Dad and everyone else doesn’t know he’s gay, even as he fends off bullies at school. Then there’s Charlie: three years old, a “surprise” baby, the center of everyone’s world. He’s devoted to Fern, but he’s annoying, too, always getting his way, always dirty, always commanding attention. If it wasn’t for Ran, Fern’s calm and positive best friend, there’d be nowhere to turn. Ran’s mantra, “All will be well,” is soothing in a way that nothing else seems to be. And when Ran says it, Fern can almost believe it’s true. But then tragedy strikes- and Fern feels not only more alone than ever, but also responsible for the accident that has wrenched her family apart. All will not be well. Or at least all will never be the same.
pg count for the hardback: 310
3) Close to Famous by Joan Bauer
I was kind of iffy with this book in the beginning. I honestly wasn’t sure if I would enjoy it, and that feeling lingered until I got to the very last page. It was not great, not bad, but a good read. 3.8 stars. I think that a lot of the reason why I loved this book was Joan Bauer’s ability to describe her love of cupcakes through her narration and her main character, Foster. I love making and especially eating cupcakes, so this was a fun book for me.
Synopsis: Foster McFee dreams of having her own cooking show like her idol, celebrity chef Sonny Kroll. Macon Dillard’s goal is to be a documentary filmmaker. Foster’s mother Rayka longs to be a headliner instead of a back-up singer. And Miss Charleena plans a triumphant return to Hollywood. Everyone has a dream, but nobody is even close to famous in the little town of Culpepper. Until some unexpected events shake the town and its inhabitants-and put their big ambitions to the test. Full of humor, unforgettable characters, surprises, and lots and lots of heart, this is Joan Bauer at her most engaging.
pg count for the hardback: 250
4) Hope Was Here by Joan Bauer
I love reading about politics about as much as the next guy, with a few exceptions. I would’ve liked this book better than Joan Bauer’s other book, Close to Famous, if it hadn’t been for the politics in this book. You might call me a heartless zombie, but I didn’t exactly fall for G.T. just because he’s a guy trying to get elected for mayor and is battling leukemia. He has my best wishes and all my sympathy, but I didn’t enjoy this book as much as Close to Famous partially because of the politics involved in almost every sense of it.
Synopsis: Readers will immediately fall in love with 16-year-old Hope. She has bounced from place to place, serving plates of meat loaf and frittata specials to diner patrons cooked up by her aunt Addie, with whom she lives. Since changing her name from Tulip to Hope, this protagonist always tries to live up to her name, offering readers an uplifting look at politics, love, friendship, and, literally, life, as a waitress at G. T. Stoop’s Welcome Stairways diner.
pg count for the paperback: 186
5) Models Don’t Eat Chocolate Cookies by Erin Dionne
If you feel like you have to choose between this book and the book Slob by Ellen Potter, choose this book. Please, choose this book. It may not be completely centered around food, but it was a fun, heart warming, self discovery read. In the anime world, we call it slice of life, which is actually a great category for books. 4 stars.
Synopsis: Walk the runway for all the world to see?
Nope. No way. NEVER.
At least, that’s what I thought—until Aunt Doreen secretly entered me in the Miss HuskyPeach pageant for plus-sized girls. I couldn’t do it, but I felt too guilty to quit.
There was only one way out…
This is the story of thirteen-year-old Celeste Harris, who used to be perfectly comfortable with her weight. She also used to think nothing would make eighth grade worse than super-popular, super-mean Lively Carson’s persistent insults and attempts to steal her best friend. But along came the chance of being crowned a chubby teen queen, and suddenly it was clear: Things could be much worse. So Celeste crafts a plan—she’ll sacrifice her chocolate cookie obsession, lose weight, and shrink right out of the competition.
What follows is a series of escapades both hilarious and horrifying, as our heroine tries to hold her head high both on the catwalk and off—and learns to show the world who she is from the inside out.
pg count for the paperback: 243
6) Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey
Yes, yes, I know this is a picture-ish book. This book holds a lot of meaning to me though. My best friend, Frances, and her family love reading books over the summer and then doing projects with them. The librarian at my old elementary school, Mrs. Becky, always does a summer camp doing the same thing. With Blueberries for Sal, the kids in the class would read the book together and then they’d bake blueberry muffins. It’s a really cute idea, and that class is always a hit.
Synopsis: Little Sal and Little Bear both lose their mothers while eating blueberries and almost end up with the other’s mother.
pg count for the hardcover: 64
7) Strega Nona by Tomie de Paola
Once again, I am aware that this is a picture book, and yes, this is the last little kid book on this list. Please note that these are the picture books I’m posting on this blog only because they’re not as well known, and I loved them. It doesn’t mean that I didn’t love Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Suess, or In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak–the guy who wrote Where The Wild Things Are.
Synopsis: When Anthony decides to cook spaghetti in Strega Nona’s magic pot, he has no idea of the trouble he’s going to cause. Luckily, Strega Nona (Grandmother Witch in Italian) saves the day.
pg count for the hardback: 32
8) The Teashop Girls by Laura Schaefer
Synopsis: The Official Rules of the Teashop Girls
1. Teashop girls are best friends forever.
2. Tea is held every week, no matter what.
3. All tea and scones must be split equally at all times.
Annie, Genna, and Zoe have been hanging out at the Steeping Leaf since elementary school. The Teashop Girls do everything together — at least they used to. With the end of eighth grade approaching, Genna’s too busy with theater, Zoe’s always at tennis, and Annie feels totally left out. What happened to tea every week, no matter what?
When Annie convinces her grandmother to give her a job as a barista at the Leaf, things begin to look up. In between whipping up chai lattes for customers, and attempting to catch the attention of her Barista Boy crush, Annie is finally beginning to feel as grown-up as her best friends. But an eviction notice spells trouble for the Leaf and unless they can turn the business around, the teashop will have to close its doors forever.
pg count for the paperback: 250
9) The Candymakers by Wendy Mass
I didn’t love all of Wendy Mass’ books, but when I heard about this book, I had to try it. It ended up catching me right from the start, and it had me to the very end. It’s a lot like The Gollywhopper Games, but better. Cooler. Tastier.
Synopsis: Four children have been chosen to compete in a national competition to find the tastiest confection in the country. Who will invent a candy more delicious than the Oozing Crunchorama or the Neon Lightning Chew?
Logan, the Candymaker’s son, who can detect the color of chocolate by touch alone?
Miles, the boy who is allergic to merry-go-rounds and the color pink?
Daisy, the cheerful girl who can lift a fifty-pound lump of taffy like it’s a feather?
Or Philip, the suit-and-tie wearing boy who’s always scribbling in a secret notebook?
This sweet, charming, and cleverly crafted story, told from each contestant’s perspective, is filled with mystery, friendship, and juicy revelations.
pg count for the hardcover: 453
10) The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales by John Scieszka and Lane Smith
My third grade class loved this book. I mean LOVED it. We would pass it around from person to person and we would all get a turn. Ahh memories. A funny collection of stories and well, fairly stupid tales.
Synopsis: The entire book, with its unconventional page arrangement and eclectic, frenetic mix of text and pictures, is a spoof on the art of book design and the art of the fairy tale. The individual tales, such as The Really Ugly Duckling and Little Red Running Shorts,can be extracted for telling aloud, with great success. Another masterpiece from the team that created The True Story of the Three Little Pigs!
pg count for the hardcover: 51
How to Make Oreo Lasagna: http://guyism.com/lifestyle/food/how-to-make-oreo-lasagna.html