A while back, I was contacted by a publicist at Simon & Schuster about reviewing a soon-to-be released book by a new author, Hallie Durand. Due to related plans (and their subsequent complications, the details of which I won’t bore you with) I’ve waited so long to publish my review that I believe Dessert First is already available for purchase. No matter. Read to the bottom of this entry to find out how you can win your own ARC copy!
Dessert First is the quirky story of a third grader whose nickname happens to be Dessert. That she is a member of a self-proclaimed “food family,” then, should come as no surprise. Her family owns a restaurant, Fondue Paris, and mealtime is a big deal at her house. She has three younger siblings who have nicknames as unusual as hers, and her third grade teacher’s name is Mrs. Howdy Doody! Dessert has the usual schoolhouse nemesis and the usual little brother problems, but the real complication in the book stems from a school fundraiser in which the students must give up something they love in order to raise money to build a school treehouse. Dessert disappoints her parents, is understood and counseled by the very unique Mrs. Howdy Doody, and in the end, a batch of Double Decker brownies saves the day.
This is a fun book that will appeal to early gradeschoolers, especially girls. It reminds me a little bit of Clementine (my review here). The only reservation I have about this book is that Dessert calls her school rival a ” **tch” (one that rides on a broom, not the other one), and I take issue with that, especially in a book for younger children. Of course, I encourage parents to read books with their children and discuss any issues that might be problematic. I think that this book is still a fun and worthwhile read, and I look forward to more from Hallie Durand.
As a part of this experience, Simon & Schuster sent me three more copies of the advance reader’s copy (ARC) of Dessert First to give away here at Hope Is the Word. What fun! Leave me a comment telling me your favorite dessert, and I will randomly choose three winners to receive a copy of this book. This giveaway will remain open until Sunday night, May 24, at midnight CST. (ETA: This giveaway is for U.S. residents only; shipping to other countries is cost prohibitive. Sorry!)
But wait! There’s more! In addition to all of this, I had the privilege of interviewing Hallie Durand, and I will be publishing that interview on Friday, May 22. Come back to read more about the writing mind behind this fun, new children’s series!
Filed under: Juvenile Fiction