Sunday, March 30, 2014

The Secret Ingredient

I just finished reading The Secret Ingredient, by Laura Schaefer.  I loved all of the recipes and food references in this sequel to The Teashop Girls, but I feel adults will love this book more than the middle graders and young adults for whom it was intended.  While I personally love visiting farmers' markets, I'm not sure how many young adults truly appreciate the importance of using the freshest, locally-grown ingredients in their cooking.  Also, sometimes the protagonist's voice felt a little too grown up for me.  I've worked with middle-graders for years, and I've never once heard any of them discuss someone's "pleasant demeanor," as does the eighth-grade protagonist of this book.  Still, if you love cooking, tea and organic foods, and are looking for a quick read without any violence or inappropriate language, this may be the book for you.  There are even a few references to fashion models and actresses being too thin and unhealthy looking, a point that can't be stressed enough with youth who are bombarded with images of superficial beauty ideals. 

Happy reading,