Cake: Love, chickens, and a taste of peculiar

Artist: Magnin, Joyce

Book

Barcode: 9780310733331

Release date: 01/05/2013

£5.23 (was £9.99)

More than frosting filled those cakes...

Wilma Sue seems destined to go from one foster home to the next―until she is sent to live with sisters and missionaries, Ruth and Naomi. Do they really care about Wilma Sue, or are they just looking for a Cinderella-style farmhand to help raise chickens and bake cakes?

As Wilma Sue adjusts to her new surroundings and helps deliver "special" cakes, Wilma Sue realizes there's something strange going on. She starts looking for secret ingredients, and along the way she makes a new friend, Penny.

When Penny and her mother hit a rough patch, Naomi decides to make her own version of cake―with disastrous results. Then tragedy strikes the chickens, and all fingers point to Wilma Sue―just when she was starting to believe she could at last find a permanent home with Ruth and Naomi. Will the sisters turn her out, or will she discover what it feels like to be truly loved?

From School Library Journal
Gr 4-6-Wilma Sue, 12, is entering her third foster home, hoping that she won't land back at the Daylily Home for Children. This time, she's placed with eccentric sisters Ruth and Naomi, former missionaries in Malawi. Wilma Sue is welcomed immediately as part of the household and is soon helping Naomi bake cakes for neighbors in need-cakes that seem to have magical powers, though Wilma Sue, despite her sneakiest efforts, can't figure out the secret ingredient. Ruth and Naomi gently guide her as she learns to deal with difficult neighbors, accept love, and feel at home. The bulk of the action takes place in the final 40 pages, as a Malawi-inspired village council of elders is assembled to deliberate over a recently burned chicken coop. Only the most patient and determined readers will make it that far, though; the abundance of sophisticated descriptions and similes, glaring inconsistencies, and scattered cast of random characters will turn most readers away. Wilma Sue, who uses outdated phrases like "leapin' red lizards!" and passionately reads Beowulf (passages of which are quoted in the text), is tough to believe. The magical effects of Naomi's cakes don't receive enough attention, and readers may be disappointed that they are never explained.-Amanda Struckmeyer, Middleton Public Library, Madison, WIα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

About the Author

Joyce Magnin is the author of five novels, including the popular and quirky Bright's Pond Series, and the middle grade novel, Carrying Mason. She is a frequent conference speaker and writing instructor. Joyce lives in Pennsylvania with her son, Adam, and their crazy cat, Mango, who likes to eat nachos.