I haven’t reviewed many books geared toward late elementary age students, but when I saw the information on Cake: Love, Chickens, and a Taste of Peculiar by Joyce Magnin, I just had to read it!
Let me explain. Cake tells the story of Wilma Sue, who has been bounced around in foster care. When she is moved to the home of sisters Naomi and Ruth, she wonders how long it will last.
Since I was a foster parent, and I have an adopted daughter, I really wanted to see what Cake was all about.
About Cake by Joyce Magnin
As I mentioned above, Cake is the story of Wilma Sue, a foster child who moves in with sisters Naomi and Ruth. She isn’t sure whether the sisters really want her there or whether they want a Cinderella-type servant girl.
There are some strange things that happen at Naomi and Ruth’s house, though. For one thing, the sisters bake cakes that have strange (and very positive) effects on people. Wilma Sue desperately wants to discover the secret ingredient that makes the cakes so special.
Wilma Sue also meets Penny, a neighborhood girl who is mean on the surface, but seems to need…something.
How will Wilma Sue deal with all the changes in her life?
Cake is published by ZonderKids.
My Take on Cake by Joyce Magnin
Cake is an endearing story. It’s filled with eccentric characters, a fun storyline, and enough imagination to keep a young child reading. Underneath the surface, though, there is an underlying theme of God’s providence. Can God have a plan for a girl who has been rejected by her mother?
Wilma Sue will resonate with many young girls who are unsure of themselves and where they fit into the world. Cake will gently show them that God has a plan, even when life seems less than ideal.
Another big theme in Cake is compassion. As Naomi and Ruth introduce Wilma Sue to people in the neighborhood…people who are judgmental, gossips, and downright mean…Wilma Sue learns to look underneath the surface to see the person God created.
Despite the underlying theme of God’s plans for people, the references to God are not over the top. It is clear that Naomi and Ruth are Christians. They were missionaries in Africa, and Naomi frequently sings old hymns. The sisters and other members of the community also attend church. But Cake is a book about the action of loving your neighbor, rather than preachy words.
When I received this book, I wasn’t sure I’d like it, as I generally like realistic books above imaginative ones. But Cake is well done. I’m putting it on the shelf to save for my two year old, so we can read it together when she gets older.
*Disclosure: I received a copy of Cake in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are 100% my own. This posts contains affiliate links.