By: Tara Dairman
I love cooking so I was excited to see this new junior novel about a young pre-teen foodie, Gladys Gatsby. In the opening scene Gladys has set the kitchen curtains on fire while using a blow torch to make her crème brulee. Her parents are understandably upset and ban Gladys from the kitchen. This poses a problem since they are terrible cooks themselves and Gladys must suffer through some horrible meals. Gladys writes an essay about cooking for a school competition and the essay winds up in the hands of an editor at a New York City newspaper. The editor hires Gladys to write a freelance food review of a new restaurant in the city. Gladys is too young to travel into the city by herself and must figure out a way to get into the city and sample all of the food without letting her parents know. She turns out to be surprisingly resourceful even if her solution does stretch believability. This is an entertaining story even if some of the plotting is a little bit convoluted.