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A LA CARTE by Tanita S. Davis

A LA CARTE

By Tanita S. Davis

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: June 10th, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-375-84815-5
Publisher: Knopf

“The smell of gingerbread is the smell of a thousand afternoons with MaDea...it’s always so amazing to me that I can re-create a time just through smell.” Lainey, the only daughter of a California restaurateur, has only one ambition: She dreams of becoming the African-American, vegetarian answer to Julia Child—complete with televised cooking show. When her friendship with troubled Sim evolves into something more, Lainey’s relationship with her mother strains to the breaking point. After Sim lies and takes advantage of her, her comfortable world is shaken. She learns that she must value the people she has taken for granted—her family and classmates—as much as she does her culinary career. First-person perspective, evocative language that draws readers into the sensuous pleasures of food and a seamless structure characterize Lainey’s tale. The pacing is gradual, yet does not seem to drag down the flow of the narrative. Davis’s debut offering is as delightful and fulfilling as the handwritten recipes-in-progress included at the end of each chapter. (Fiction. YA)