If you’re a fan of eating (that would be me) or cooking (not so much – but I felt inspired after reading this book) - All Four Stars will take you on a mouthwatering tour of foods from around the globe. You can’t help but be swept up in Gladys passion for cooking and giggle at her exploits.
I just can't think of enough ways to say how adorable this book is.
I would recommend it to foodies of course, but also to anyone, young or old. Having a passion for something you love is a universal feeling and you won't be able to resist falling in love with the determined Gladys Gatsby. I seriously want to adopt that girl!
Four stars for All Four Stars!
Meet Gladys Gatsby: New York’s toughest restaurant critic. (Just don’t tell anyone that she’s in sixth grade.)
Gladys Gatsby has been cooking gourmet dishes since the age of seven, only her fast-food-loving parents have no idea! Now she’s eleven, and after a crème brûlée accident (just a small fire), Gladys is cut off from the kitchen (and her allowance). She’s devastated but soon finds just the right opportunity to pay her parents back when she’s mistakenly contacted to write a restaurant review for one of the largest newspapers in the world.
But in order to meet her deadline and keep her dream job, Gladys must cook her way into the heart of her sixth-grade archenemy and sneak into New York City—all while keeping her identity a secret! Easy as pie, right?
Release date: July 10, 2014
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All Four Stars Excerpt
Gladys jumped. Her stomach began to churn queasily, like it did after eating the greasy takeout her parents brought home most nights from Sticky Burger or Fred's Fried Fowl.
"Yes?" she said as bravely as she could.
Her father knelt down beside the sofa. "Let's start at the beginning," he said. "Can you explain what, exactly, you were doing in the kitchen?"
Gladys told the truth. "I was making crème brûlée."
"Crumb broo-lay?" Gladys's dad looked up at his wife quizzically, but she just shrugged. "What is crumb broo-lay?"
Gladys sighed. If a dish wasn't on the menu at one of the fast-food joints in town, her parents didn't know it existed. "It's a dessert," she explained. "A custard with a crust of burnt sugar on top. Brûlée means burnt in French."
"So now we have curtains brûlée, huh?" Gladys's dad laughed at his little joke. But her mom didn't seem to think it was funny as she stepped forward to take over the interrogation. She had white extinguisher powder on her face, and her red lipstick was smeared. The combination made her look like a clown--a scary clown.
"Gladys," Clown-Mom said, moving her hands to her hips, "who taught you how to make this crumb...thing?"
Gladys took a deep breath. "I taught myself," she said. "I've seen chefs do it on TV, and I found the recipe in one of my cookbooks, so--"
"So you thought you'd just drag your father's blowtorch out of the garage and take a crack at it?"
"No!" Gladys cried. "I mean, I didn't just...decide to do it and go get the blowtorch. I planned it really carefully. Normally I'm a very good cook."
"Normally?" Her mom raised one powder-dusted eyebrow.
Gladys's dad jumped back in. "Gladdy," he said quickly, is this the first time you've been cooking on your own?"
Tara Dairman is a novelist, playwright, and survivor of the world’s longest honeymoon (2 years, 74 countries!). Thanks to her travels, parts of her debut middle-grade novel, All Four Stars, were written in a mall in Brazil, a guesthouse in Morocco, and coffeehouses in Argentina, Cameroon, Gabon, and Tanzania. Revisions took place in the slightly less exotic locale of her parents’ basement in New York.
The book, which tells the story of an 11-year-old restaurant critic moonlighting for New York’s biggest newspaper, will be published on July 10, 2014 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons, an imprint of Penguin.
Tara’s plays have been produced professionally in New York and Dublin, Ireland, as well as at various universities, and have been shortlisted for prizes such as the Heideman Award (Actors Theater of Louisville), the Jerome Fellowship (The Playwrights’ Center, Minneapolis), and the Princess Grace Award. She has a B.A. in Creative Writing from Dartmouth College and is represented by Ammi-Joan Paquette of the Erin Murphy Literary Agency.
With the traveling bug appeased (for now), Tara has finally settled down in Colorado, where she lives with her husband and their trusty waffle iron.
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