Books by Julie Crabtree

THE CREPE MAKERS' BOND by Julie Crabtree
Released: April 4, 2011

Funny, self-aware 14-year-old Ariel "find[s] making fantastic food gives me sanity" in this highly entertaining and multilayered sequel to Discovering Pig Magic (2008). She lives in Alameda, Calif. (a suburb of San Francisco), in a close-knit family whose house is "generally kind of messy, usually loud, and frequently crowded." Ariel is grateful to face the first day of eighth grade with her two best friends, M and Nicki, and her "Too Cool for School Cucumber Salad," but nothing can prepare her for how the day unfolds—at the end of it, M calls sobbing with the news that she and her recovering agoraphobic mother may be moving 360 miles north to Crescent City, Calif. The girls come up with a plan that goes dramatically awry. Crabtree is particularly adept at capturing the emotional life of teens. The ease with which she weaves Ariel's clear (and fabulous) recipes and passion for cooking into this story about how even close friends can change unexpectedly is equally impressive. Though very much a work of fiction, it's also an inspiring introduction into how a young chef thinks, and it does in fact include interesting and helpful cooking tips. Creative and refreshing like a good soufflé, this perceptive, heartfelt narrative nevertheless has real meat on its bones. (recipe index, glossary, selected sources) (Fiction. 10-14)Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 20, 2008

First-person narrator Mattie, just 13, and her closest friends Ariel and Nicki find themselves trying to negotiate the wide chasm between childhood and adolescence with a bit of magic. Each girl has a worry, from Mattie's mother's agoraphobia to Nicki's baby brother's defective chromosome syndrome and Ariel's worry over a plagiarized, contest-winning recipe. Their ritual burying of important small objects (a pig figurine from Mattie's collection, Ariel's antique spoon, Nicki's doll) is meant to free them from their worries and solve their problems, but as events progress their fears seem to multiply. In the end it's clear that the greatest power the girls have is their friendship for each other and their growing insight into what they can and can't control. Crabtree's portrayals both of the charm and power of friendship and of the internal emotional life of a young teen are deft and complex, and her confident pacing never drags. (Fiction. 10-14)Read full book review >