The Cookie Crumbles

HarperCollins/Quill Tree. Jun. 2024. 320p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9780063254589.
Gr 5 Up–Badua and Dow’s suspenseful, engaging book offers readers a plot-driven tale. Laila and Lucy have been best friends since kindergarten. Lucy loves journalism while Laila loves cooking. This year will be different, however, because they will have to go to different high schools. When Laila gets offered a spot in a baking competition to win a scholarship to Sunderland Academy, the two discover that the elite boarding school has both culinary and journalism programs. To get them noticed, Lucy reports on Laila’s competition. When Chef Remy, a highly critical chef, collapses during competition, foul play is suspected, and everyone seems to think Laila did it. Can the best friends clear Laila’s name, and figure out who hurt Chef Remy? Laila and Lucy are authentic, enjoyable characters readers will root for. Told through a mix of journal entries and chapter formats, the plot is complex and draws the readers into the duo’s world. The authors adeptly describe the culinary elements of the novel while giving substance to the mystery.
VERDICT This book features a diverse cast of characters for readers who like cooking, mysteries, and realistic fiction; it will circulate well in libraries where mysteries and friendship stories are popular.

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