Monday, July 18, 2011

Review: The Secret Ingredient by Laura Schaefer

Title:The Secret Ingredient
Author:Laura Schaefer
Publisher:Simon & Schuster
Imprint:Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Pub. Date:06/28/2011

It’s nearing the end of summer before ninth grade and Annie has been busy working as a barista at her grandmother's teashop, Th Steeping Leaf. In between serving up chai lattes and matcha frappes, Annie has gotten involved in a scone bakeoff with one of Louisa's tea suppliers. The winner gets an all-expenses paid trip to London for a tea vacation! Annie The competition is tough and sabatoge is in the air when suddenly Annie's food blog begins attracting mean comments. Then there's the whole matter of a stolen kiss with Zach Anderson in the Steeping Leaf stockroom. Could Annie's former sworn enemy become her current love interest? With the help of her two best friends, Genna and Zoe, can Annie come up with an awesome contest entry and sort out her love life before the end of the summer?

(Summary and cover via Goodreads)


This was a very cute book. There were a lot of interesting things in it. and it is certainly age appropriate. Annie wants to win a contest to bake the best scone and win a trip to London. Not only does she have to make a winning scone recipe, but she also has to get ready for her first year of high school. And deal with boys. And be a good friend. And get people to follow her food blog so she can make it to Chicago to bake her scones and win. That's a lot for one summer!

There was some very interesting information in here. If you have a middle-school aged girl interested in tea, she will certainly get a lot of information about different kinds of tea. There's also a lot of talk about healthy eating. Annie's friend Genna wants to become an actress and feels she needs to lose some weight to do it. Some very good points are brought up in the book about how Genna needs to concentrate less on cutting out foods and more on adding healthy foods. This is a great lesson for young girls, and there are even some tips on good things to eat. They also talk about how moderation is the key, and it's always ok to eat treats that aren't as healthy in moderation.

There is a lot of talk about locally grown ingredients and gardens that I loved. It's fun to try and get involved in your food. It never comes off as preachy though. Overall, this is just a sweet book that I think many girls will enjoy. There are also some scone recipes in there I'm dying to try. They look delicious! 

Galley provided by publisher for review.

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