Monday, August 30, 2021

MMGM- History is Delicious and One Kid's Trash

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday
and #IMWAYR day 
Lurie, Josh. History is Delicious
August 10th 2021 by Honest History
E ARC provided by Netgalley

In this vibrantly colored nonfiction book, we are introduced to foods around the world. This starts with a nice introduction to how food develops over time, and is arranged by continents, but also includes information on things like "Table Settings Around the World". A selection of major countries is represented; for example,The Americas includes food from Mexico, Brazil, and Peru, with a listing of indigenous ingredients like chocolate, corn, and tomatoes! Different dishes are described for each country, and at the end of the chapter, there is a recipe for corn tortillas by restaurateur. The "Dining Do's and Don'ts" is very helpful. Celebrity chefs are included in the Europe section, with the history of pizza being discussed in the Italy one. Who knew that carbonara only goes back to the 1950s? There's lots more information, as well as a very complicated recipe for Picky Reader's all-time favorite-- hummus!
Strengths: With bright colors, mouth-watering illustrations, and bite-sized bits of information, this will be a great book for students who don't feel much like reading, but need something to pass the time in study hall. I like to hand students this kind of book instead of Guinness World Record books, since there is a lot of great historical information. I've always found reading about food fascinating, even if I don't like to cook. This book is a great help if one is inclined to visit a variety of ethnic restaurants!
Weaknesses: There are some ingredients in some of the descriptions that I had to look up online. Since this ended very abruptly with the recipe for hummus, perhaps there is a glossary and index in the finished book. 
What I really think: I was thrilled to see this available in hardcover from Follett, and will hand this to readers who gobble of Zachman's There's No Ham in Hamburger or other food related books. 

Sumner, Jamie. One Kid's Trash
August 31st 2021 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers
E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus

Hugo's parents have moved him from Denver to a smaller town where his aunt and uncle live, and where his father has taken a job as a ski instructor. It's nice to be near his cousin, Vijay, and middle school wasn't all that great in the city. Still, Hugo is on the small side, having been born prematurely, and he is often picked on, so wary of his new school. It's easier having his cousin around, but he still runs afoul of the much larger Chance. On the bright side, he gets involved with the new school newsletter, which Em is very excited about. Things are a bit rough at home, with his parents doing a lot of late night "whisper arguing" and his father spending long hours working at the ski resort. His mother decides to start her therapy practice back up, and decides to work from their house, which is a bit of an adjustment. At school, Vijay discovers that Hugo has a unique talent-- he can tell a lot about a person from their garbage, using information his mother has imparted to him, and can use his "garbology" skills to help people navigate situations. This earns him some prestige, and he starts to feel at home in his school. There are still problems, such as the newsletter not doing well and Em struggling with some personal challenges, run ins with Chance (including one in an epic dodge ball game), and the continued tense atmosphere at home. Still, he feels more at home and more empowered than he did at school. When several incidents put his new life in jeopardy, will he be able to use his new sense of agency to continue the kind of life he wants to have?
Strengths: This was a fun, humorous novel that included a few serious topics without slowing down the pace. I thought that the ways the parents' jobs impacted Hugo's life was very nicely done, and including a cousin (whose mother is Indian, although most of the rest of the cast presents as white) brought in some interesting moments. The garbology was a clever gimmick, and Hugo really uses it to his advantage. It reminded me a bit of Boelts' 2011 The P.S. Brothers, where a lot of the book centered on pooper scooping! The teachers and administration all seem very supportive and understanding even though Hugo occasionally gets in trouble, which is nice to see in a middle grade book. The school newsletter is handled in a very realistic way. 
Weaknesses: Chance was a bit stereotypical; I'm really waiting for a book where the bully is someone more like Hugo. Small, smart kids can be wily, and would make excellent emotional bullies because teachers would be less likely to believe it of them. 
What I really think: I thought that this was going to be about recycling in a school, so I started at a disadvantage, and Hugo began the book as a challenging character. I wasn't quite convinced about the garbology, but this was a solid, humorous middle grade novel that I think many readers of Richards' Stu Truly, Uhrig's Double the Danger and Zero Zucchini, and Costner's My Life as a Potato will like. 

I normally wear a lot of preppy styles-- polos, oxfords, pleated skirts. Love the lace sleeves and chiffon hem on this, even though it's not what I usually wear! Still hot in Ohio.


  1. One Kid's Trash looks really good (and I totally see why you would think it's a book about recycling!!). I hope we get a copy, locally. I really like those lace sleeves, too. And very pretty colors!

  2. That's exactly the kind of thing I wear, and exactly my favourite colour!

    History is Delicious sounds like a great book to get the grandkids I don't have yet! (We're a very foodie family and love ethnic foods of all kinds.)(No pressure on my kids to reproduce or anything! Ahem.)

  3. I would enjoy both Delicious and One Kid's Trash. Being able to tell something about someone via their trash, is a clever hook. Never heard the word "garbology" before. Both books sound entertaining. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Both of these books sound wonderful! One Kid's Trash sounds like a clever story—I get what you mean about the bullies, though. History Is Delicious sounds great as well. And I love your outfit for the day—the lace sleeves are great! Thanks so much for the great post!

  5. Thanks for the reviews. History is Delicious sounds unique and very interesting, although they could have included Poutine from Canada, eh? One Kid's Trash also sounds like fun and with some unique ideas. I might just check them out. I love the teal top with the lace sleeves. Very pretty.

  6. The trash book sounds interesting! (I'd like to see a non-stereotypical bully too...)

  7. Stays hot in NC well into October.