It's Raining Cupcakes, published by Aladdin/Scholastic March 2010
Author: Lisa Schroeder
Isabel is twelve and lives in the small town of Willow, Oregon. In fact, she's never been anywhere but Oregon, though she longs to travel the world like her Aunt Christy, who is a flight attendant and sends Isabel postcards from all over. Meanwhile, her parents are more interested in turning an old laundromat into a cupcake store, which sounds pretty cool, but not as good as traveling.
When Isabel hears about a baking contest for kids where the finalists get to go to New York City, she sets her mind to creating the perfect recipe. Then her best friend, Sophie, who is practically perfect, also decides to enter the contest. Even worse, her mother thinks Isabel should enter a cupcake recipe because it would be good publicity for the shop, but Isabel isn't sure that's a good idea.
Though the pink, confectionery cover makes it appear as nothing more than a light, fluffy read, the book covers some interesting territory as Isabel's mother struggles with her own confidence and anxieties. Though it is somewhat unusual for a middle grade book to deal with both Isabel and her mother's search for the strength to follow their dreams, the messages are not heavy handed. As you might hope, things end happily, if not fully resolved. Isabel learns valuable lessons about her mother, her practically-perfect friend, and her own ability to think about other people's dreams as well as her own.
I would recommend this book for middle grade and young tween girls. Isabel and Sophie are great fun, and I wouldn't mind reading more about them in another book.
Four stars out of five.
I have a paperback copy of It's Raining Cupcakes, kindly signed and sent to me by the author. If you would like it, leave a comment and make sure you are following this blog. I'll choose a winner on Friday, so don't delay.
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