HOT, SOUR, SALTY, SWEET by Sherri L. Smith

HOT, SOUR, SALTY, SWEET

Age Range: 10 - 14

KIRKUS REVIEW

Ana Shen looks forward to an evening with her crush, Jamie Tabata. When their eighth-grade graduation dance is canceled, Ana, prompted by her friend Chelsea, invites Jamie to dinner at her house instead. In a tale unfolding over one afternoon and evening, Smith serves up a funny, entertaining gumbo of cultural collisions and discoveries. Ana’s Chinese-American dad and African-American mom are a loving couple, but her grandparents exemplify culture clash. Each set tries to outbid the other for Ana’s affections, using expensive graduation gifts as currency. The guests arrive, adding to the mayhem: Japanese-American Jamie and his parents; European-American Chelsea and hers; the snobbish blonde Mr. Tabata wants his son to date and her mother. Food makes a perfect context for exploring cultural biases and what it takes to dispel them. An anecdote Ana’s African-American grandfather tells about a meal shared with a Chinese soldier in the Korean War is key. “You are what you eat” may be true; “You are what you cook” makes a far more interesting story. (Fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Feb. 12th, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-385-73417-2
Page count: 176pp
Publisher: Delacorte
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15th, 2008




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