Reviews for Pie


Booklist Reviews 2011 September #1
The story opens with 10-year-old Alice at the deathbed of her beloved aunt Polly, a wise but humble woman and a talented baker, known for giving away wonderful pies to all who visited her shop. How wonderful? Polly had won the Blueberry Medal, "the most coveted award in the field of pie baking," an unprecedented 13 times. After Polly's death, Alice inherits her aunt's grumpy, obese cat. When he disappears and Polly's shop is ransacked, Alice and her dependable pal Charlie attempt to solve the mystery. Set in 1955 and drawn in rather broad strokes, the story captures the spirit of a simpler, more innocent time. Weeks dramatizes the moral with unusual directness, showing that happiness arises from using one's talents well. Even for readers who don't catch the Blueberry/Newbery parallel, this enjoyable chapter book is a real charmer--with delicious-looking pie recipes opening every chapter! Copyright 2011 Booklist Reviews.

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2012 Spring
Alice's beloved Aunt Polly dies, leaving her award-winning pie crust recipe to her cat, Lardo. When Lardo, a pie, and a key disappear, Alice decides to investigate. Her active imagination propels this small-town 1955-set mystery, resulting in an appreciation for family and friends. A slew of recipes calling for premade crusts--not one for the hyped pie dough--are included.

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Kirkus Reviews 2011 September #1

What do you get when you take some scrumptious pie recipes, stir in a mix-up of a mystery involving an overweight cat and a legacy, then add a sly satirical nod to the Newbery Medal? This irresistible confection.  

In 1955, 10-year-old Alice's beloved Aunt Polly, the peerless "Pie Queen of Ipswitch," who has always given away the extraordinary products of her oven simply because it makes her happy, dies. She bequeaths her incomparable piecrust recipe to Lardo, her cat—or does she?—and leaves Lardo to Alice. Thus the stage is set for a rich, layered and funny tale about friendship, family relationships and doing what's right. The characters are wonderfully drawn. While doing her best to carry on Aunt Polly's legacy, trying to figure out how to wrest the secret from the cat, dealing with a nefarious woman poking around town and learning about the renowned "Blueberry Medal," which everyone in town is trying to win, Alice draws closer to her mom, a resolution Aunt Polly would have cherished. Alice and her family eventually discover the solution to the mystery in a plot twist that is both comical and plausible. An epilogue, set in 1995, is deeply poignant and gratifying. In addition to the beautifully wrought story, readers will savor and want to attempt the 14 recipes, each of which precedes a chapter.

Warm, delicious and filling. (recipes, pie credits) (Historical fiction. 9-12)

Copyright Kirkus 2011 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2011 August #5

Delightfully quirky characters populate the 1950s-era small town of Ipswitch, Pa., beginning with 10-year-old Alice's aunt Polly, pie baker extraordinaire, who confounds her family and neighbors by giving away--rather than selling--her shop's mouthwatering pies. Astonish­ing­ly, her nonprofit business flourishes, lifting the town's economy and fame, as Polly repeatedly wins the coveted Blueberry Award. Polly's death leads to widespread grieving, as well as anxiety about Ipswitch's future. Humor and mystery ensue when the town learns that Polly inexplicably bequeathed her secret piecrust recipe to her grouchy cat, Lardo, and Lardo to Alice. In response, adults indulge in behavior ranging from bizarre to criminal: the entire town begins baking pies, someone catnaps Lardo and ransacks Polly's store, and Alice's unpleasant and money-grubbing mother becomes even more so, feeling jilted by being left out of Polly's will. Alice and her friend Charlie become amateur sleuths and prevail over adult immaturity, while Polly's generous spirit resonates from beyond the grave. With pie recipes introducing each chapter, Weeks's (As Simple as It Seems) novel stimulates both sweet tooths and sweet nostalgia. Ages 9-12. (Oct.)

[Page ]. Copyright 2011 PWxyz LLC

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School Library Journal Reviews 2011 September

Gr 4-6--In the 1950s, the small town of Ipswitch, PA, is famous due to the proprietor of Pie, who gives her wares away rather than selling them. Polly Portman, 13-time winner of the coveted Blueberry Medal, knows everyone's favorites and keeps meticulous notes for each filling, but not the crust. That recipe is in her head. She also lavishes love and attention on her niece, Alice, an only child who can never please her mother. So when Polly Portman dies unexpectedly, the town is bereft. Many selfishly wonder where they are going to get their pie fix, and some wonder what will happen to the tourist industry that was built around Polly's fame. Alice cries for two days and "felt like a slice of Swiss cheese inside, all limp and full of holes." At the reading of her aunt's will, she learns that Polly left her piecrust recipe to her fat, grumpy cat, Lardo, and that she left Lardo to Alice. It isn't long before the animal is catnapped, the bakery is trashed, and Blueberry Medal fever hits Ipswitch. Someone wants Aunt Polly's piecrust recipe badly. With the aid of Charlie, a newfound friend, Alice sets out to get to the bottom of the mystery. Weeks deftly leavens moments of hilarity with the process of grieving in this sweet coming-of-age story in which Alice learns from Aunt Polly to follow her heart and to open it as well. Readers will close the book with a satisfied sigh and may seek out an adult to help them bake a pie. Recipes included, but not for the crust.--Brenda Kahn, Tenakill Middle School, Closter, NJ

[Page 176]. (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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