I read this book for the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge 2016. Read more about the challenge here
If this book was cuisine, we’d have to call it fusion. It’s a memoir. It’s a graphic novel. It’s a cookbook. It’s a coming-of-age story centered around food, family, and art. See what I mean? There’s a lot going on here!
I found the loosely sequenced stories enganging and thought provoking. As I read Chapter 1, “The Kid in the Kitchen” I thought about how my own kids were present in the kitchen and how I encouraged them to try new tastes. I assumed that they would like things, not that they would be too spicy, too intense, too whatever. I see parents at the market saying to their kids I don’t think you will like that. How sad, to assume that new is not good. That familiar is safe. I also felt a bit jealous, as food in my own house growing up was not really a big deal.
Chapter 3, “Getting Ours” was a great story of growing uo, but also a bit of a concern. The publisher labels the book for grades 6 and up, but some mature interests are sketched out here and I am not sure it is for every young person. That’s a decision best left to familes, not to me. It’s a genuine chapter, nothing over the top or even inappropriate. Just a bit grown up.
I’m looking forward to trying some of the recipes in the book, particularly the chai tea, leg of lamb and Huevos Rancheros. If Knisley writes a graphic cookbook, I’ll be buying it. Her Website lists a number of books that I will be adding to my TBR list.
I’m listing this in the book challenge as food memoir, graphic, and middle grade.
Source: public library
Audience: grades 6 and up, but definitely engaging for adult readers