NOODLE PIE by Ruth Starke


Age Range: 9 - 13
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Thoroughly Australian, 11-year-old Andy has never seen Vietnam, his parents’ homeland. Visiting Hanoi with his father, Andy is shocked at his relatives’ poverty, critical of the so-called restaurant they own and irritated at his cousins: Indy, who expects Andy to gift him his special T-shirt, and disrespectful Minh, 12, who calls him “Noodles.” Why does Andy’s father pretend he’s rich? He’s a gardener at the Adelaide botanic gardens. Why does Minh pretend to attend school when she’s actually selling junk to tourists? Why is Auntie Mo so mean? Searching for answers, Andy uncovers family secrets stemming from decades of war that Vietnamese people, including his father, endured. The tiny restaurant serves great food, but it barely breaks even. Locals can’t pay much; tourists can, but how to lure them here? Tackling the problem with his cousins’ help, Andy begins to see the proud determination, hard work and family loyalty that define his relatives and their homeland. Engaging characters and humor leaven the grim realities. Includes recipes and a note on charities helping Vietnamese streetchildren. (Fiction. 9-13)

Pub Date: March 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-935279-25-9
Page count: 200pp
Publisher: Kane/Miller
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 2010


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