Saturday, December 31, 2011
Every Saturday, I host a feature called Kid Konnection -- a regular weekend feature about anything related to children's books. This week, I'm going to share with a delightful middle grade book.
When Alice's Aunt Polly passes away, she takes with her the secret to her world-famous pie-crust recipe. Or does she? In her will, Polly leaves the recipe to her extraordinarily surly cat Lardo...and then leaves Lardo in the care of Alice.
Suddenly Alice is thrust into the center of a piestorm, with everyone in town trying to be the next pie-contest winner... including Alice's mother and some of Alice's friends. The whole community is going pie-crazy... and it's up to Alice to discover the ingredients that really matter. Like family. And friendship. And enjoying what you do. --Scholastic
A few months ago, Kathy/Bermudaonion was raving about a middle grade novel called PIE by Sarah Weeks. I've been meaning to read it ever since I read her review, but for some reason (maybe it's the 1500+ books that I own), I didn't get around to picking it up until yesterday. And boy am I glad I did! I absolutely adored this book.
Despite having fairly high expectations about this novel, PIE exceeded all of them. My only regret is that the book is geared for 9 year olds and up so I'm not sure that I can get Booking Daughter to read it. PIE pretty much had it all as far as I'm concerned. I loved the characters, especially Alice, Charlie, and Aunt Polly; and I enjoyed the mystery element and the twist at the end. But I think it was how this book made me feel that made it such a winner for me. I laughed and I cried and PIE just warmed my heart through and through. (And it didn't hurt that it had pie recipes at the beginning of every chapter!)
PIE tells the story of Alice, a young girl whose Aunt Polly passes away unexpectedly. Alice positively idolized her Aunt Polly, and who can blame her? Aunt Polly was the kindest, most understanding, person that Alice had ever met; and Alice needed some extra special love since she wasn't exactly getting it from home. Aunt Polly also devoted her life to making pies. And they weren't just any pies. They were award winning pies that made her and her shop very famous.
When Aunt Polly dies, her will confuses Alice and her family. She leaves her secret pie crust recipe to her cat Lardo and the cat Lardo to Alice. Alice's mother is even more bitter towards Aunt Polly (if that's possible) and the entire town is thrown into a tizzy trying to win the next big pie award. Poor Alice (and her new friend Charlie) try to make sense of everything, and along the way, they discover some secrets, but they also learn so much more.
As cute as the characters and story are in PIE, I think I most loved the messages in this book. There were so many heartwarming lessons in this story about family and friends. However, there were some larger ones too about self-discovering, staying true to one's self, and happiness. I especially loved the turn-around that Alice's mother had when she discovered that it's most important to live your own life and do what you love.
PIE is just one of those books that makes me want to share it with everyone I know. Unfortunately, I think the girls in our mother daughter book club would find the book to be too young (although I do think they'd like it if they'd give it a try!) However, I do think this book lends itself perfectly to a mother daughter book club or even one like the after-school book club I used to run. Who knows? I might have to do the after school club again just for a reason to discuss PIE with some young girls.
Thanks to the publisher for sending a copy of this book.
If you'd like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children's books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week, please leave a comment as well as a link below with your name/blog name and the title of the book! Feel free to grab the little button too!