Monday, September 17, 2012

Book Review: Pie by Sarah Weeks

If you made the best pies in town, would you give them all away? That's what Alice's Aunt Polly does when she opens her pie shop in the small town of Ipswitch, Penn. And when Aunt Polly dies, she leaves her prized pie crust recipe to her cat!

Aunt Polly, also known as "the Pie Queen of Ipswitch," won the coveted Blueberry Award for pie-making a record 13 times. While her aunt was alive, Alice spent all of her free time in the shop, cracking walnuts and crumbling brown sugar. So when Aunt Polly dies, Alice finds herself in possession of her aunt's much loved but very cranky cat, Lardo--heir to the pie crust recipe. Now all of Ipswitch is trying to find Aunt Polly's recipe in order to become the next Blueberry Award winner. But without a decent piecrust, can anyone in town take home the prize? Bad pies are cooling on every windowsill. When Lardo disappears and the pie shop is ransacked, Alice and her new friend, Charlie, begin investigating the crimes.
In this gentle mystery, false trails and zaniness abound, and friendship and family rule the day. Aunt Polly lives on through her pies, and her wonderful pie recipes (included in the story). Alice puts it best when she sings, "A cat, a key, a clink, a clue,/ a chocolate pie, a friend that's true,/ A mystery that is finally through,/ And now a happy ending, too." This reader will begin by baking the delicious-sounding Lemon Chess Pie, from page 102. --Lynn Becker, host of the monthly online discussion of children's books for SCBWI, Book Talk. First appeared in Shelf Awareness for Readers 10/28/11, reprinted with permission.
Discover: A charming middle-grade mystery that stresses the importance of friendship, family and the goodness of pies.
Lynn Becker

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