June 3, 2011

Saving humanity, one baked good at a time

I love a great story, especially one that involves cupcakes. When I saw this cover, I knew I had to buy this book. After all, how bad can a book about a girl who bakes be bad, right? So when I finished Divergent, I needed something a little more light-hearted. I thought this was the perfect choice. I was wrong. This story deals with raw realities, but in a light-hearted way, and it was worth every page.
Bauer creates a coming-of-age tale through twelve-year-old Foster McFee, a young girl coping with two things: the loss of her father and the fact that she cannot read. These two elements add to the charm of Foster's character, and Bauer handles them with honesty.
The book opens with Foster and her mother being chased out of Memphis by none other than Elvis. Okay, he's really an Elvis impersonator who drives a yellow Cadillac and whose horn plays "Jailhouse Rock." And so Bauer's tale begins, and the reader is brought into the world of Foster, her hopes, her dreams, her baking. As a matter of fact, baking cupcakes literally saves her from an escaped convict.
This book is a great reminder that we all have a talent and a path in life, not just one that involves academics. In Foster's case, her talent involves baking. She uses it to forge relationships with everyone she meets.

This book deals with several raw realities: illiteracy, domestic violence, loss of a parent, a town going under, an escaped convict (but only for a coupe of pages). But this book is not a downer, no way. It also deals with family, friendship, hopes, dreams, perseverance, renewal of spirit.

When your heart is ready to break, that's the perfect time to bake.

This would be a great book for all tweens, but be warned: reading this book could end with never-ending baking. All I can think about right now is baking and eating the perfect cupcake. 

I would also recommend this book to all teachers because Foster's character reminds us that issues such as reading are not the fault of the child; it is our job to help them learn how to cope with the anxieties of reading and to help foster the importance of reading as a skill, not a subject. 

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