Hungry? Me too. That’s why the topic of this post today is about middle grade books that have something to do with cooking and include recipes. These sorts of books have been very popular in the last few years. Even before the rise in reality television cooking shows, books with a cooking aspect have been popular in adult fiction, especially in cozy mysteries. Apparently, restaurant owners and bakers stumble across dead bodies far more frequently than the general population. It makes sense books with recipes and some sort of tie-in to cooking would also be popular in middle grade. Many kids that age want to learn to cook, seeing it as an adult skill. (They don’t yet realize the drudgery of cleaning up!)
Anyway, my daughter (12) has been on kick to read as many of these books as possible. These books are sweet and quiet, good for kids who don’t necessarily want a swashbuckling read all the time. Here’s a few of our favorites. If you know of more, please list them in the comments and I’ll edit the post to add a list at the end.
THE TEASHOP GIRLS by Laura Shaefer
Three best friends who call themselves the Teashop Girls find their friendship strained as they all begin to pursue different interests, and one girl, Anne, feels left behind. Anne starts to work at her grandmother’s teashop, but when it looks like the place will be closing, the girls try to find a way to keep it open. Good recipe: Scumptious Oatmeal Chip Cookies
STIR IT UP by Ramin Ganeshram
Anjali Krishnan works in her family’s roti shop in Queens, but she really wants to become a celebrity chef. When she gets a chance to compete on a kid’s reality cooking show, she’s thrilled, only to find her parents’ beliefs clash with her dreams. Good recipe: Deema’s Easy Curry Chicken
PIE by Sarah Weeks
When Alice's Aunt Polly passes away, she takes with her the secret to her world-famous pie-crust recipe. In her will, Polly leaves the recipe to her crabby cat Lardo, and leaves Alice with the responsibility of caring for Lardo, but no one knows where the recipe is. Everyone in town wants to either find it, or come up with their own version to bring back the tourists who came for Polly’s pies. Good recipe: Buttermilk Pie