Monday, June 27, 2011

Review: The Secret Ingredient by Laura Schaefer

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? (Goodreads)
My Thought
When I was child, I loved recipe books which had lots of picture in it. Not because I like cooking. There were not any ingredients that I read. I just stared at the pictures and pretended that I was munching them all. It was such a ritual before I took a nap. I do not do that silly thing anymore. I rarely open any recipe book. But I still love book that talk about food and The Secret Ingredient is one of my favorite.

This book introduced me to Annie, her grandmother, one tea shop, Genna and Zoe, the contest and many kinds of scones. I liked reading them all especially when Annie told me about the contest updates and all scone recipes posts. Something that make this special, there were tea quotations, illustration and some pictures of scones. Unfortunately, some of them were not available. I read the e-ARC, so some Annie's blog post designs have not finished yet. It must be great to read the finished copy. I really want to see those scones and another food that were mentioned. Laura, the illustrator and the one who took the photos of scone have made me curious. I am looking forward to see the final design.

I have never tasted that British snack but this book made me believe that it’s delicious. Not enough with that Scottish original bread, this book also shared some tea. Just like the scone, I have not sipped some of them. For sure, every chapter of this book made me want to grab snacks.

The Secret Ingredient is the second book of Teashop Girls series. I have not read the first one. Fortunately, nothing confused me. It lets me flow with its plot. By only reading the first chapter, I have already got the idea. This installment can be a standalone book.

To all middle grades who love book about food, you should buy and read The Secret Ingredient. Make sure that you have something to eat or drink when this book is in your hand. Because it has its power to make you feel hungry to the max. Do not say I have not warned you.

From the book, it is so obvious that Laura Schaefer is fond of tea and cooking. Her blog is the mute witness. I have seen some of them. No wonder why she can write such book. In Goodreads, besides of The Teashop Girls series, I also saw some books of hers. I wonder if yummy food were also there. I will check them out soon.

I love it. The colors that they chose are nice. The Scones are tempting. I wonder what kind of tea that they put in the cover. It must be great if the pictures on Annie's blog post are also colorful.


Author: Laura Schaefer | Goodreads | Blog | Twitter
Reading level: Ages 9-12
Hardcover: 240 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books (June 28, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1442419598
ISBN-13: 978-1442419599
Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 0.9 inches
Buy The Secret Ingredient at Amazon