The school year is coming to an end but your access to great books continues all summer 24/7. Take a look at all the reading recommendations and resources here in the Summer Reading Newsletter
Fiction Featuring Food
Romance isn’t my jam but I’ve been expanding my reading reach. Evidently tender tales that include as much family and friendship as romance are a sweet spot for me especially when served with a side of something delicious. This spring has presented a cornucopia of food related reads. As we start thinking of summer, it’s got me thinking of food trucks. So, here’s a list inspired by food and optimistic for what this summer may hold.
I really enjoyed these newly published titles:
Donuts and Other Proclamations: release date June 8
“It is liberating, no? You are not special. No one is just waiting for you to show up. No expectations. You are free to figure out what you love and … fling yourself at it.”
As Oscar prepares to graduate from high school, he is more interested in working his grandfather’s food truck, his independent study in the food lab and charting his professional cooking path than planning any kind of college study. His focus and quiet work is disrupted by Lou and her “schoople situation”: hundreds of apples thrown away daily in the cafeteria.
I really enjoyed this book. It’s marketed as a romance and there is absolutely that element here. But, this book is so much more. The larger focus is Oscar’s relationship with his grandfather, their complicated family relationships and Oscar’s desire to blaze a professional path that doesn’t involve college. Oscar and his friends are likeable and relatable. His struggles will ring true for many. Two content warnings: a persistent theme is the death of Oscar’s father to drug overdose; the protest that explodes violently may surprise readers expecting an all over warm read. While I initially balked at that serious, dangerous turn about 80% in, it completely made sense and serves the ultimate goal of helping Oscar figure out his path forward while providing him the confidence to pursue it. An enjoyable read that is both tender and funny, it wrangles some tough situations with a delicate hand. There’s a lot to love.
Beck thought being born in the bathroom of Hot n’ Crusty pizza was humiliating, The annual photo ops and the title “bathroom baby” just wouldn’t go away. Then she discovered her only job prospect at 16 is the promised job at Hot n Crusty. Her ascension to “Pizza Princess” takes that embarrassment to a whole new level. It also consumes all her free time. So, she can no longer work on her romance prospect with Mac. But Hot n’ Crusty holds more than a couple of surprises. Beck finds unexpected friends, resilient old allies, a new romance and a lot of personal discovery.
A light hearted book about understanding yourself and owning all your quirks. It’s Kind of a Cheesy Love Story is full of likeable characters you want to celebrate. The villains are not overly cruel. Much of the plot tension is related to misunderstandings and trying to live someone else’s expectations. Sure to be a hit with your romcom readers and those who enjoy a warm fuzzy story. Easily passes to upper middle grade readers.
Linh and Bao have known each other for years but never become friends because their families own competing restaurants. Gossip, rumors and grudges keep them apart until an unexpected journalism assignment finds them working together on a series of illustrated food reviews. Part complicated, forbidden romance; part mini class on finding your own thing and nurturing your passion even when the people around you don’t understand, A Pho Love Story is a read that allows for warm fuzzy feels while encouraging deeper consideration of immigrant experiences.
Bao collects words. They spill through the story. Linh collects color and light, they shine everywhere she goes but not always back at herself. Told in alternating voices, Bao and Linh share the narration as they navigate their parents’ expectations, their path to the future beyond high school and figuring out how to be their own authentic selves and what that means when it doesn’t match what their families expect of them. A light romance anchored by family, community, and some secrets.
I can’t wait to dig into these:
Somewhere Between Bitter and Sweet: Penelope dreams of running a restaurant but her traditional Mexican-American parents have other plans for her. Xander works for her dad’s restaurant when his immigration status is challenged. Both navigate love, identity and finding a path home.
The Secret Recipe for Moving On: Ellie works to remake her social circle after her boyfriend dumps her on the first day of school. She finds a surprising new collection of friends while competing in a Life Skills class baking competition.
Kisses and Croissants: Mia plans to spend the summer in Paris pursuing her dream to become a professional ballerina, but nothing goes according to plan. And then she meets Louis in the “City of Love”.
A Taste for Love Liza struggles to meet her mom’s demanding expectations. To prove herself, she enters the competition sponsored by her mom’s bakery only to discover that all the contestants are Asian American men chosen as potential dates by her mom.
On the waitlist at your library? Here are some older titles to enjoy while you wait.
I loved these:
Permanent Record: I have so many good things to say about this book earlier. But, it made this list because of food. As Pab manages the disasters and conflicts of his life, he maintains an Instagram account where he posts pictures of snack foods paired with shoes. It got me thinking. I absolutely tried Flake, HiChews (never going back to Starburst again), and Takis while reading.
The Way You Make Me Feel: Clara pulls a prom related prank that goes too far. Her punishment is to work her dad’s food truck for the summer with her arch nemesis Rose. As a result, Clara will also lose her amazing opportunity at exotic vacation with her Internet Influencer mom. A book about self discovery, friendship, and family.
And can’t wait to dig into these:
What I Like About You: Halle has a great online friendship with Nash, developed while publishing her blog under super cool persona “Kels”. But, when her real life self meets him in person, can she get over the awkward and be real?
The Music of What Happens Max and Jordan are opposites that may attract if they can get their secrets and family drama out of the way. Working on a food truck may give them an opportunity to explore the chemistry that may bloom into romance.
The Summer of Jordi Perez When Abby falls for her fellow intern, Jordi it’s sure to create complications since the two girls are both competing for the same job and falling for each other at the same time.
Geekerella A retelling of the traditional fairy tale involving a SciFi cosplay ball, the Magic Pumpkin Food Truck and a heart throb looking to reinvent himself.
Surprising Power of a Good Dumpling Anna Chiu supports her family and works at the family restaurant while taking care of her mother who struggles with crippling mental illness. When she meets the new delivery boy, she believes life could be normal just for a minute.
Hungry Hearts Hungry Hearts : 13 Tales of Food & Love A collection of short stories about family, culture and the power of food.
Students in Kristy Kopf’s Painting classes reinvented the covers of their favorite books in the style of selected artists. We are excited for the opportunity to select some of these works for permanent display in the High School Media Center. We’d be happy for you to help us choose. Take a look at all the designs below. Click through the image to the entire slideshow. Then vote on your favorites here.
Sponsored by the News Literacy Project, this event is designed to build awareness about misinformation and build critical thinking skills around what we experience online. We’ve been sharing tools all week. Here’s a summary in case you missed something or want to revisit. We are highlighting some of The News Literacy Project’s valuable resources here. But, be sure you investigate all their resources available to everyone, not just students here.
Evaluate Your News Literacy Skills
Challenge others to a News Literacy Duel. Compare scores and see who wins. Then, look to the tools below to improve your scores and build your News Literacy Toolkit.
- Test your News Literacy Fitness
- Take the Quiz: How News Literate Are You?
- Take the Quiz: Should You Share It?
- Take the Quiz: Fighting Falsehoods on Social Media
- Take the Quiz: Can You Make Sense of Data
- The Easiest Quiz of All Time
Build Your News Literacy Toolkit
- Add a fact checker to your media feed. Here are a few we use often. Many of these are available across multiple platforms Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, etc. Look for them where you spend the most time online.
- MediaWise Follow them on Instagram here @mediawise
- Snopes Make sure to look at their TikTok tab. Follow them on Instagram here @snopesdotcom
- Politifact Follow them on Instagram @politifact on Instagram
- Build your News Literacy Skills. The News Literacy Project has a great set of infographics that deliver quick visual tools. We use these often:
- Types of Bias
- Sanitize Before You Share
- Speak up without a showdown
- Where on Earth
- Balance your consumption of media and challenge some of your biases in a good way. We like these that look at news from multiple angles:
- AllSides News provides balanced news, diverse perspectives, and real conversation.
- FlipSide Archive archived topics for The FlipSide daily email that provides thoughtful points from the left, right, and in-between across 30+ news sources.
- ProCon Sponsored by Britannica this provides balanced reporting on an indexed set of topics
January Book Club Subscription boxes are available now. We have room for a few more people to read with us this month. We are reading A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder. Pippa chooses to examine a local murder / suicide hoping to find her friend innocent. She discovers a trail of secrets, hidden cruelties, and more violence than she expected. We have some surprises waiting for you while you read. Discussion is scheduled for February 10th at 4:00. We will meet via GoogleMeet. Books will be available in the Media Center beginning Jan. 1. The Book Club subscription “box” includes a copy of the book to read (to be returned to the library later) and some bookish goodies to keep. Now is a great time to try something new. Email Mrs. Cucchetti at email@example.com for more information and to sign up.
Book Club is reading Girl, Serpent, Thorn during the month of December. Discussion is scheduled for December 17th at 4:00. We will meet via GoogleMeet. Books will be available in the Media Center beginning Dec. 1. Trying something new this month, we are experimenting with a subscription box. Anyone who signs up by December 1, will get a Book Box subscription which includes a copy of the book to read (to be returned to the library later) and some bookish goodies to keep. Now is a great time to try something new. Email Mrs. Cucchetti at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and to sign up.
Click on the image to see all of our spooky season suggestions.
No longer limited by testing in the Media Center space, Book Club has chosen to keep reading in May.
We are reading Damsel: a new spin on the fairy tale princess theme. “… there is more to the legends of the dragons and the damsels than anyone knows–and that the greatest threats to her life may not be behind her, but here, in front of her.” – from Goodreads
Our next meeting is scheduled for May 21 at 10:30 a.m. Contact Mrs. Cucchetti for more info.
Book Club continues remotely. Never had the opportunity to read with us, but now you have some time? Looking for a great read to distract you or provide a little escape? We are here for you. The April book selection is a brand new book from Adam Silvera, Infinity Son.
“Balancing epic and intensely personal stakes, bestselling author Adam Silvera’s Infinity Son is a gritty, fast-paced adventure about two brothers caught up in a magical war generations in the making.” – Goodreads
We will meet again virtually on April 23 at 10:30 a.m. OHHS students can email Mrs. Cucchetti for access information for the meeting.
You can access a digital copy now using the OHHS digital collection. If you’ve never used it before, here’s a quick start guide. If you are already using the Hoopla app with your Cincinnati Public Library account, you can access it there. Still need help or a copy of the book? Email Mrs. Cucchetti.