A Long Line of Cakes

288p. Scholastic. Sept. 2018. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781338150490.
Gr 4–6—The Cakes are a family of itinerant bakers, always have been; always will be. They travel from place to place to set up their bakery, then pack up to head to the next locale that needs them. All that moving is getting to 11-year-old Emma Alabama Lane Cake. She's the only daughter in the Cake clan. Her five spirited brothers have each other and an easier time making friends in all the new places than Emma, who is more circumspect. When the family rolls into Halleluia, MS, at midnight, Emma feels that there's something special about the town. Though she longs for a friend, she just can't bear the thought of adding another person to her "friend atlas," only to roll it up to leave yet again. That possible new friend happens to be Ruby Lavender. Readers need not be familiar with any of the "Aurora County" novels to fall in love with the Cakes. The residents are just as quirky, with characters like Parting Shotz and a tutu-wearing dog named Eudora Welty. There's a lot of charm here, from the lovely language and strong sense of place to the often hilarious scenes between the Cakes themselves and the adventures the nosy, gossiping residents get up to.
VERDICT This charming novel of belonging is a sweet addition to most collections.

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