Marvelous Middle Grade Monday
All Four Stars (G.P. Putnam's Sons, 2014) by Tara Dairman is deliciously funny and definitely appropriate for any foodie.
Eleven-year-old Gladys Gatsby secretly cooks gourmet food when her parents aren't at home, since they think cooking is nuking something in the microwave. They also don't know Gladys' dream of being a restaurant critic. But she gets a lot of practice after she catches the kitchen on fire--practice in writing up food disasters, that is. With a ban on cooking and orders to go out and make friends, the school essay contest sounds like a solution to her problems.
This book has an engaging main character and a satisfying ending. I'm not the only one to think so, because the book has received awards, including a 2015 Crystal Kite, and been put on state lists.
According to the author's website, parts of the book "were written in a mall in Brazil, a guesthouse in Morocco, and coffeehouses in Argentina, Cameroon, Gabon, and Tanzania." Recipes from the book are on the website here. Tara Dairman also includes recipes in her blog from time to time.
Two more books have followed the first: The Stars of Summer is second in the trilogy, and the third is Stars So Sweet.