Posted in 2014-2015 Club, Author Comments, Not Mock Newbery

All Four Stars, by Tara Dairman

Summary:  Eleven-year-old Gladys Gatsby loves food and cooking, so when she lands an assignment to write a restaurant review for a New York City newspaper, she will do anything to make it happen, even risk the wrath of her fast-food loving parents.


Find it at WCPL


3 thoughts on “All Four Stars, by Tara Dairman

  1. This book is about Gladys, a six grader who loves to cook. She cooks in secret, but one day she has an accident with a blowtorch when her parents get home early from work and they ban her from cooking and tell her she can only do “normal kid activities.” Then her new teacher assigns an essay on the topic of “My Future” and the best one in the state will get published in the New York Standard. Gladys writes one about a future as a food critic, but when it is sent to the judges they mistake it for a job application as a food critic and send it to the chief editor of the newspaper’s Dining section, Fiona Inglethorpe, who assigns Gladys the job of reviewing Classy Cakes, a new restaurant in New York. The story is mostly about how she gets to Classy Cakes without her parents knowing.
    This book is surprisingly super good. In fact, it’s now tied with Half A Chance for my favorite book of the year so far. I would recommend it.

  2. Like Haley, I really enjoyed this book. Gladys is a relatable character, and her problems, while somewhat humorous, are at the same time understandably frustrating. Although it’s highly unlikely that the situation presented in this book (a sixth-grader being mistaken for a professional food critic and being hired by a newspaper), the author somehow made everything in the book seem believable. I liked how the storyline sometimes cut away from Gladys and went instead to Fiona Inglethorpe or an intern at the New York Standard. Although that only happened a couple of times, it really added to the plot and gave a good backstory.
    The part of this book I enjoyed most was the writing style. Gladys is easy to connect to and instantly likeable, and even though the book isn’t in first-person, but rather in third, I understood everything Gladys was thinking and feeling. That’s something that can be hard to achieve in a third-person book.
    Overall, I think this book is at least in my top five.

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