I recently read two middle grade books about girls whose parent’s recently divorced. Eggs Over Evie by Alison Jackson, has Evie adjusting not only to her parent’s divorce, but her father’s new wife, who is expecting twins, her mother’s first date since the divorce and the fact that her father took custody of her dog. She finds comfort in cooking. (Her father is a local TV chef and Evie feels closer to her father when she’s cooking.)
I enjoyed the story and drooled over the recipes; I am sure it will appeal to middle grade girls, but I couldn’t help but come at the story with my critical adult brain. Take Evie’s parent’s for example: they’ve only been divorced a year, but dad’s already remarried and expecting twins (who will be born by the end of the story) with his new young wife. All I’m thinking while reading is that the creep was having an affair with this homewrecker before he even moved out of the house. Either that or he works really fast.
As the story progresses, Evie starts to adjust to her new normal with the help of her cranky old neighbor (who is really just lonely) and the cute boy in her cooking class. Another example of my nit-picky brain at work: the cooking class must be really short because all they do the first week is boil eggs. And then they put them in the fridge till the next class a week later when all they do is make egg salad. Really?? The class can’t be extended another 1/2 hour so they can make some egg salad sandwiches? Another week they peel apples for pie, but don’t make the pie!
Each chapter begins with a quote from a famous chef and ends with a recipe. A recipe from Eggs Over Evie can be found on the author’s blog at http://www.alison-jackson.blogspot.com. (And you have a chance to have your original recipe featured in the sequel. How cool is that!)
The other book, Save the Cupcake, the first in a new series by Lisa Papademetriou features Haley who after her parent’s divorce has moved, along with her mother and sister, into her grandmother’s apartment above her tea shop. Although Haley misses her lifelong friends (and neighbors), she is happy to have space in her grandmother’s shop to indulge her hobby of creating new cupcake recipes.
Like Evie, Haley’s dad has already moved on and has a young girlfriend. In addition, Haley is dealing with the usual middle school drama and changing friendships.
Recipes for most of Haley’s cupcake experiments can be found in the book. One cupcake that really intrigued me was the Country Breakfast Cupcake, described as “a delicious blend of bacon, egg, and pancake with maple-syrup frosting.” But, alas, no recipe. Many of the recipes from the story can be found on the author’s website at http://lisapapa.com/recipes. Can’t wait to try the French Toast Cupcakes.
Happy reading and happy eating!