Midsummer's Mayhem (Compact Disc)
Summer 2019 Kids Indie Next List
“An enchanting treat of a middle-grade novel, LaRocca’s debut is baked to perfection. You don’t need to be a Shakespeare fan to enjoy this modern fantasy twist on A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and the third act (so to speak) takes a wonderful, unexpected turn. It’s the perfect book for young bakers and those who love stories about family and friendship!”
— Paul Swydan, The Silver Unicorn Bookstore, Acton, MA
Can Mimi undo the mayhem caused by her baking in this contemporary fantasy retelling of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream?
Eleven-year-old Mimi Mackson comes from a big Indian American family: Dad's a renowned food writer, Mom's a successful businesswoman, and her three older siblings all have their own respective accomplishments. It's easy to feel invisible in such an impressive family, but Mimi's dream of proving she's not the least talented member of her family seems possible when she discovers a contest at the new bakery in town. Plus, it'll start her on the path to becoming a celebrity chef like her culinary idol, Puffy Fay.
But when Mimi's dad returns from a business trip, he's mysteriously lost his highly honed sense of taste. Without his help, Mimi will never be able to bake something impressive enough to propel her to gastronomic fame.
Drawn into the woods behind her house by a strangely familiar song, Mimi meets Vik, a boy who brings her to parts of the forest she's never seen. Who knew there were banyan trees and wild boars in Massachusetts? Together they discover exotic ingredients and bake them into delectable and enchanting treats.
But as her dad acts stranger every day, and her siblings' romantic entanglements cause trouble in their town, Mimi begins to wonder whether the ingredients she and Vik found are somehow the cause of it all. She needs to use her skills, deductive and epicurean, to uncover what's happened. In the process, she learns that in life, as in baking, not everything is sweet.
Nothing can make one feel happier to be forced to shelter in place than contemplating being in Thomas Cromwell’s shoes. The blacksmith’s son who rose to be the most trusted and honored adviser to an increasingly erratic and dangerous Henry VIII was in a situation in which it was impossible to win. In this third volume in the Booker Prize-winning series Henry goes through the last 4 of his 6 wives, while Cromwell tries to help him fend off Scotland, France, Spain and the Holy Roman Empire, while also avoiding the plague, the “sweating sickness,” and scheming noblemen determined to destroy him. Mantel’s writing is lively and modern with frequent sword-thrusts of wit, and she sees into the hearts of the major players who, in history, have often been portrayed as villains. A great read—you’ll be pulled into another world, but one that has parallels to our own. - reviewed by Nikki