Monday, September 19, 2011

MMGM -- PIE by Sarah Weeks

PIE by Sarah Weeks (Scholastic, October 2011, for ages 9 to 12).

Source:  Advanced reading copy from publisher

Synopsis (from publisher and Indiebound): Who would leave a world-famous pie recipe to a cat? When Alice's aunt Polly, The Pie Queen of Ipswitch, passes away, she takes with her the secret to her world-famous piecrust recipe.  Or does she?   In her will, Polly leaves the recipe to her extraordinarily fat, remarkably disagreeable 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 and her friend Charlie to discover the ingredients that really matter. Like family. And friendship. And the pleasure of doing something for the right reason.

Why I liked it:  It's great fun!  If you think of this book as a pie, the filling is historical fiction (this takes place in July 1955) with a dash of small-town flavor (the made-up town of Ipswitch, Pennsylvania), wrapped in a crust made from a full measure of mystery with a dusting of whimsy.  Spicing it all up are fourteen actual pie recipes that Sarah Weeks baked while writing this book.  If reading this doesn't make your mouth water, I'd be amazed.

Alice is a spunky MG heroine, grieving for her beloved aunt and determined to find out who's trying to steal Aunt Polly's recipe (and Aunt Polly's cat!).  I enjoyed the references to Sky King, Bob Hope and other icons of the 50s.  Also loved the growing friendship between Alice and Charlie, though I was a tad surprised by the epilogue that takes place 40 years later.  If the book had ended after Chapter 13, I'd still have been as satisfied as if I'd feasted on key lime pie (my favorite!).

What's YOUR favorite pie?  And what marvels of middle grade lit have you read this week?

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday is the brainchild of Shannon Whitney Messenger.  Other regulars include (but are not limited to):

Shannon O'Donnell at Book Dreaming
Myrna Foster at The Night Writer
Sherrie Petersen at Write About Now 
Natalie Aguirre at Literary Rambles
Brooke Favero at Somewhere in the Middle
Deb Marshall at Just Deb
Barbara Watson at Novel and Nouveau
Anita Laydon Miller at her middle grade blog
Michael G-G at Middle Grade Mafioso
Pam Torres at So I'm Fifty
Ms. Yingling at Ms. Yingling Reads

[NOTE: After this week, I'll be taking a blogging break for a couple of weeks.  For once, the writing is going well, and I need to work on my own MG mystery novel.  See y'all later.]


  1. That's great how you described the book as a pie and the middle as historical filling. It sounds like a fun read. I like apple pie, though key lime is good too. Yum! Thanks for the great review.

  2. I, too, loved your description - if this book was pie! And anything with historical fiction filling is something I'd love. Thank you for word about this one.

    All the best to you in these next few weeks!

  3. This looks like such a fun read! Thanks for the review. I just finished Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes by Jonathan Auxier and thoroughly enjoyed it. There's nothing better than a fresh apple pie (with an award-winning crust, of course!)

  4. Oh, my gosh! Could this possibly look any cuter?! I want!! :-)

  5. Thanks, Natalie! And Dutch Apple Pie is probably my second favorite.

    Barbara, I'll bet you would like this one! Thanks.

    Hi MG! Thanks for visiting my blog. I haven't read Peter Nimble yet, but I've heard good things about it. And oh yes, the piecrust has to be award-winning!

    Hi Shannon! It's definitely adorable.

  6. This book is going on my To Buy list. Sounds fun! My favorite pie is Apple Crumb. Then Sugar Pie, and Key Lime as a close third.

  7. Hi, Kim! Ooh, Sugar Pie! Never had that but it sounds scrumptious.

  8. I'm a cheesecake lover myself.

    What a fuin-sounding book. Thanks for reviewing it.

    Hope all goes well with the writing during your mini blog-break!!

  9. Ah, cheesecake... That's a whole different dessert temptation. With cherries on top??

    Thanks for the good wishes, Michael.

  10. Nice and nice! So many great new mg's coming out! And--I have never had a key lime pie!!

  11. Sounds like an original idea. I like the setting.

    My favourite pie is actually cheesecake. lol.

    (but if I had to pick, I'd say pumpkin)


  12. Gosh, Deb! You really must try key lime pie someday! Thanks for stopping by.

    Hi Danika! Yep, this novel is original in so many ways. Hey, you and Michael G-G are both cheesecake lovers! Pumpkin pie is certainly a favorite in my family at Thanksgiving.

  13. What a fun story! Thanks for introducing it to me!

  14. I'm a banana cream. Great review. I'm loving the Familiars right now.

  15. Hi Brooke! Oh yum, banana cream.

    And I've heard a lot of buzz about the Familiars recently. Just couldn't get into it, myself.

    Thanks for stopping by.


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