Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Recipe for Adventure #4: New Orleans

18693647DeLaurentiis, Giada. Recipe for Adventure #4: New Orleans
June 17th 2014 by Grosset & Dunlap

Alfie and Emilia's Zia Donatella has sent them to New Orleans via a batch of gumbo, and they wander into a restaurant where a band is playing. They meet Nanette and Rex, whose family owns the place, and who play in the band. Claiming that they were on a school trip but now staying with an aunt who wouldn't mind in the least if they stay the night with a strange family, the two children enjoy the family's food. They also find out that the restaurant has been struggling since the death of Mama Minnie, since she didn't leave a cookbook with all of her recipes. A picture surfaces showing a much younger Minnie and a friend, and the four children set out to find the friend and hope that she has a cookbook. After seeing the sights in New Orleans and eating lots of good food, Alfie and Emilia do exactly that, save the day, and head back home to await their next adventure.
Strengths: This is a fun, easy series that would be great in elementary schools. I like how they showcase a lot of different cultures and talk about the food there, as well as other elements.
Weaknesses:Older readers might find it odd that the children just randomly travel around magically. This doesn't address anything about Hurricane Katrina, which seems like a huge lack to me. I think that all of the elements of New Orleans culture are correct and treated with respect, but since I know absolutely nothing about it, I can't be sure. I've been permanently scarred by the Horn Book article "Are We Doing It White?"
What I Really Think: Bought the whole series, and my 6th graders are enjoying them. These short, easy series books are doing well in my library this year.

List copied from, which is now my source for series books in order!

3.84 of 5 stars 3.84 avg rating — 118 ratings — published 2013 — 5 editions book 1

3.92 of 5 stars 3.92 avg rating — 76 ratings — published 2013 — 5 editions book 2

4.0 of 5 stars 4.00 avg rating — 36 ratings — published 2014 — 5 editions book 3

4.0 of 5 stars 4.00 avg rating — 18 ratings — published 2014 — 4 editions book 4

4.33 of 5 stars 4.33 avg rating — 6 ratings — published 2015 — 3 editions book 5

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