DEAR JULIA by Amy Bronwen Zemser


Age Range: 12 - 16
Email this review


This unconventional coming-of-age story is set largely in the kitchen and peopled by an irresistible cast of eccentric characters. Elaine, whose dream is to attend Le Cordon Bleu Paris, and the self-styled Lucida Sans, whose dream is to be famous (for being famous), are thrown together in a vexing relationship of attraction and avoidance. Shy Elaine, whose hero is Julia Child, denies her own dream because her mother, a feminist congresswoman, scorns culinary skill that does not further the cause of gender equality. Irrepressibly extroverted Lucida struggles against her own weakness for a narcissistic but beautiful boy who uses her to further his own ambitions. In an uproarious culminating triumph and requital, both girls unite to win the Young Chef American Culinary Competition and, in so doing, discover their individual strengths. While readers may not understand all the French cooking terminology, it raises the book’s authenticity and comedy to the next level. Originality and a richly layered extravagance of detail in incident, character, setting and haute cuisine make this a memorable and mirthful confection. Bon appetit! (Fiction. 12-16)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-06-029458-8
Page count: 336pp
Publisher: Greenwillow
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 2008