Donuts and Other Proclamations of Love

Knopf. Jun. 2021. 320p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781524716110.
Gr 9 Up–High school senior Oscar Olsson is ready for school to be over. A budding chef, he loves working with his Swedish grandfather, Farfar, in their food truck that features Swedish delicacies. A future working with his grandfather is all that Oscar can see on the horizon. When a teacher suggests that he spend half the day working in the school’s culinary lab as an assistant, Oscar seizes the opportunity. Everything is great until Lou Messinger shows up with a project that involves Oscar cooking foods made from untouched apples from the cafeteria. Oscar doesn’t like Lou. She’s smart, college-bound, and never does anything academically wrong, which is in sharp contrast to him. However, Oscar finds himself enjoying her company, and after Farfar invites Lou to work at the food truck, their relationship begins to develop. This novel is more than a love story. The cast of characters surrounding Oscar and Lou are richly diverse in terms of race and sexual orientation and there are detailed descriptions of cooking and baking that will make readers hungry. Social justice issues, such as hunger, drug addiction, and white supremacy are threaded seamlessly into the plot. The short chapters gradually reveal the backstory of the main characters and the story builds with some suspense and ends on a satisfying note. Lou’s ethnicity isn’t specified.
VERDICT A lovely story that many will enjoy. Libraries that purchased Reck’s A Short History of the Girl Next Door, will want to consider adding this to their collections.

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