A preteen girl struggling with ADHD must stick with a summer taekwondo class to prove that she s dedicated enough to pursue her true passion: cake decorating. "Read more...
A preteen girl struggling with ADHD must stick with a summer taekwondo class to prove that she s dedicated enough to pursue her true passion: cake decorating. "
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2014-02-10
- Reviewer: Staff
Van Vleet, the author of several nonfiction books for children, takes a strong first step into middle-grade fiction with this novel about an 11-year-old with ADHD. Eliza's parents dash her dream of taking a summer cake-decorating class with a celebrity TV pastry chef, saying that it's too expensive and that she will soon lose interest. Resolute, Eliza strikes a deal with them: if she fills (and keeps) the spot in a taekwondo class that her brother quit, she can take the cake class in the fall. Developing the concentration, memory skills, and self-confidence that the martial art demands is an enormous challenge for the easily distracted Eliza; some readers may grow tired of the detailed accounts of Eliza's taekwondo classes. But the story's other tangents—including Eliza's longing for acceptance among her peers, her pain at being snubbed by her best friend, and her resentment of her mother's preoccupation with her job—are easy to identify and sympathize with. Lively dialogue, quick-moving snippet-style chapters, and believable family interactions give this story additional kick. Ages 7–11. (Feb.)