Sweet treats & secret crushes

Lisa Greenwald

Book - 2010

When a snowstorm keeps thirteen-year-old best friends Olivia, Kate, and Georgia inside their Brooklyn, New York, apartment building on Valentine's Day, they connect with their neighbors by distributing homemade fortune cookies and uncover one another's secrets along the way.

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jFICTION/Greenwald, Lisa
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Children's Room jFICTION/Greenwald, Lisa Due Jul 11, 2022
Review by Booklist Reviews

Seventh-grade Brooklyn neighbors Olivia, Georgia, and Kate are BFFs, even though they are very different. Olivia is introspective and observant, Georgia is quiet and timid, and Kate is outgoing and bossy. Together, they hope that Valentine's Day will finally bring some developments with their crushes, but their plans are frustrated when a for-once-unwelcome snow day keeps the girls at home. Then Georgia's mom teaches them a famously secret fortune-cookie recipe, and the day unfolds unexpectedly after the girls decide to distribute cookies to neighbors. Primarily set over one day, the story features the characters' engaging, alternating narratives and distinct personalities and provides intimate, lively explorations of well-drawn themes, from family and friend troubles to growing self-awareness and the challenges and joys of connecting with others and building a community. The trio's romantic ups and downs tie the story together, but this is also an affectionate, insightful ode to friendship. An enjoyable, sure-to-be popular read.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

In a lighthearted story about the ups and downs of friendship, Greenwald (My Life in Pink & Green) again proves that she has an insightful eye (and pen) when it comes to the minds of tween girls. Three dissimilar but tight-knit seventh graders--nosy Olivia, high-strung Kate, and reserved Georgia--who live on the seventh floor of a Brooklyn apartment building, find themselves trapped and restless on a snowed-in Valentine's Day. They hatch a plan to deliver homemade fortune cookies to their neighbors, hoping to bring some camaraderie to the building. As the day progresses, though, they only succeed in annoying each other. Greenwald alternates among the three girls as narrators, skillfully showing how insignificant frustrations can lead to big meltdowns. The girls' voices are distinct; outgoing Kate, for example, often laments about Olivia's multiyear-obsession with a boy: "he needed to know she had gone off the deep end." All's well that end's well, and the girls not only get closer by the last page but revel in seeing their neighbors do the same. Ages 10–14. (Nov.) [Page ]. Copyright 2010 PWxyz LLC

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

Gr 5–8—As a blizzard bears down on New York City just in time for Valentine's Day, a storm of a different kind is brewing in the apartment building above Chen's Kitchen. Seventh-graders Olivia, Kate, and Georgia are best friends who are struggling to find common ground as their relationship begins to change. Olivia has liked Phillip Becker-Jacobs for two years, and she records everything he does and wears in her Observation Notebook. Kate flits from crush to obsessive crush, and Georgia stays quiet to avoid letting her secrets slip, even to her best friends. An unexpected snow day offers the girls a chance to reconnect by baking "magic" fortune cookies designed to help everyone in their building feel loved. As they deliver the treats, they discover many truths: about boys, parents, and one another. Greenwald's second foray into the drama that is seventh grade delivers more than is implied by its saccharine title. The lives of the well-formed characters come alive against the backdrop of a New York City building where neighbors are strangers. Fortune-cookie fortunes become the plot's catalyst, as chapters alternate among Olivia, Kate, and Georgia, offering readers varied perspectives on the events. This is a title that mothers and daughters can confidently read together without major blushing.—Colleen S. Banick, Tomlinson Middle School, Fairfield, CT [Page 114]. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

When a blizzard threatens to ruin Valentine’s Day, three seventh-grade friends make and distribute fortune cookies to their lonely neighbors—and confront the secrets they’ve been keeping from one another. Confident Kate doesn’t notice much but the latest gossip, and shy Georgia can’t say out loud what’s always on her mind. They’re joined by observant, careful Olivia, whose epic, single-minded crush on PBJ (real name: Phillip Becker-Jacobs) is starting to frustrate them. Using fortune cookies that mysteriously always seem to speak directly to the person who opens them, the three girls try to work together to bring some love to their building while reminding each other why they’re such good friends to begin with.