I have been waiting for MONTHS to talk about how great this book is. And now it is publication week!
First, I must get out of the way that I know the author, and love the author, and have read the book through its development. Disclosure: perhaps my proximity to it and her have warped my good sense and bewitched me, making my judgment untrustworthy. Fair warning.
The truth is, though, that I think I have the happy circumstance that a person I like has written an excellent book. Such a good book!
If you happen to know a kid, particularly a kid who likes to cook, or maybe likes to eat, or maybe just likes to read—someone who is ready to read about kids dealing with hard things—then you must go and buy that kid this book immediately. Here's the thing that kills me about it: there are so many books with a sweet, good character at the center. And then there are the books with difficult, sometimes brutal, reality in them. But this book? This book has both. Sweetness faced with reality.
So find yourself a kid who needs something really good to read, especially if it happens to be a kid between the ages of 8 and 12 who's been struggling with the challenges of the world. You can read this book, and that kid can read this book, and you can talk about how family is sometimes hard, and things don't always turn out how you'd expect. and people can be great anyway.
And while you're at it, give the rest of us the name the last book like this you read—put it in the comments. We could all use a bit more like this, I think.