Wednesday, September 18, 2013

What's Cooking at the Gingersnap Bakery?


It’s 1944 and Jayna’s brother, Rob, has to go off to war. Unfortunately, he is her only family because her parents died in an accident years before. Rob gives her a funny shaped rock he says looks like her, and he mentions that when he comes back they’ll go to Brooklyn because he thinks there is a chance they have a grandmother living there. Jayna is worried about Rob, and she is unhappy that she has to stay with their landlady while he is away. Jayna starts seeing a ghost with pink nail polish who tells her to find the recipe book hidden in Rob’s closet. The book is old and has a picture of a woman in it that Jayna hopes is her grandmother. After she receives a telegram that her brother’s boat is missing, she overhears their landlady complaining about needing to take care of her. She is distraught, but the ghost whispers in her ear that she should go to Brooklyn and find her grandma. The ghost tells her not to pack the recipe book, but to carry it because she is going to lose her suitcase. But what could the ghost know? Jayna takes her savings and hops a bus to Brooklyn with her beloved turtle. The trip isn’t easy, but she finally makes it to the bakery, Gingersnap. When she sees the owner, Elise, she knows this is the woman from the recipe book- only Jayna is too scared to tell her who she is and to ask if they are related. Elise shows Jayna kindness and allows her a place to rest. Has Jayna found her grandma? Will she be able to stay with her forever? Is there any way that Jayna will ever see Rob again? Who is the ghost and how does she seem to know what will happen to her? You will definitely root for Jayna and hope that she finds her happy ending.

I would recommend Gingersnap by Patricia Reilly Giff to anyone who enjoys historical fiction in grades four and up. I was lucky enough to listen to the audio of this wonderful book narrated by Olivia Campbell. She did an excellent job capturing Jayna’s voice and personality. The variety of voices for the different characters helped the book come alive for me. It was so fun stepping back in time and hearing about radio shows and actors from so long ago. This book reminded me how hard it was for the people who were displaced during the war and how brave kids needed to be during that time. Jayna is pretty grown up for her age, and she knows that life isn’t easy. War makes people have to grow up sooner, and that is sad. I would have a difficult time if my brother was fighting in a war, and I didn’t know what would happen to me if he didn’t come back. I could easily connect to Jayna and enjoyed her personality and amusing comments. She is someone I would be friends with, and I would love to have some of the delicious soup she makes throughout the story (the recipes are a great addition). My mouth also watered at all the delicious cakes and cookies that Elise made, even with war rations. I have to admit that this story made me tear up at more than one part, but that just added to the realistic nature of the book. This was a heartwarming story with lessons that ring true for all of us. I only wish I could pop by Gingersnap Bakery and have some coffee and cake with Jayna and friends.  

Has anyone else read Gingersnap? Or have you read another book Patricia Reilly Giff? A special thanks to Alex from The Children's War for introducing me to this fabulous book!

Happy Reading!
~L

28 comments:

  1. I don't actually think I've heard of this book before, but you definitely have me curious about it now. The audio sounds brilliant - I'll probably try to get it in that format. Thanks for the helpful review! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sam, Thanks so much for stopping by! We hope you enjoy the story : ) ~ L

      Delete
  2. Thanks for the kind shout out. I really liked this book when I read it. It leaves you wondering whether it really was a ghost or not. I am glad you also like it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Alex, Thanks for introducing us to this story. It was a great read. : ) ~ L

      Delete
  3. Great shout-out for this book. I definitely want to check it out now. I haven't heard of this author before, but I love historicals set in this era :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Meradeth, It was a fascinating story. Thanks for stopping by to share your thoughts with us. : ) ~ L

      Delete
  4. Sounds like a story of many ups and downs. I do enjoy historical novels so hopefully I can pick this up soon! The mention of a bakery makes me salivate though I'd just had supper ...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Claudine, It definitely takes you on a journey. The bakery is awesome. Great to hear from you! ~ L

      Delete
  5. +JMJ+

    I've recently become fascinated by 1940s radio series, so I think I'd enjoy this book for that historical detail. =)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Enbrethiliel, We hope you like it! Thanks so much for stopping by to share your thoughts with us. : ) ~ L

      Delete
  6. Sounds like a great story. Thanks for posting.

    Nas

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Editors At Work, Thanks! It's great to hear from you. : ) ~ L

      Delete
  7. Replies
    1. Hi Kelly, Thanks! It's great to hear from you! ~ L

      Delete
  8. You have made this book sound wonderful!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Patty, Thanks! It was a great story. : ) ~ L

      Delete
  9. Aw, glad you enjoyed this book :) It sounds pretty awesome. Sorry that it was sad, though. <3 but ohh. Yummy cakes? Wants :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Carina, Thanks for stopping by! We always enjoy hearing from you. : ) ~ L

      Delete
  10. This would make my mouth water as well

    ReplyDelete
  11. Replies
    1. Hi Cherie, It was a fascinating read! Thanks for stopping by. : ) ~ L

      Delete
  12. Very sweet story. I hope in the end it is her grandma.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Donna, You will have to read it to find out! Thanks so much for popping by to share your thoughts with us. : ) ~ L

      Delete
  13. Ooh! Actual recipes in a book? I love when authors do that. I've always wanted to try a recipe from a book. This sounds like a great historical fiction story. I usually stay clear of books with war looming over the protagonist but this sounds too good to pass up! I really hope the brother comes back and for you to tear up means I will really enjoy this story even if it might possibly break my heart a little. Lovely review (:

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HI Adriana, Me too! We hope you enjoy it. Thanks for stopping by to share your thoughts with us. It's always a pleasure to hear from you. : ) ~ L

      Delete

Thank you for stopping by and commenting. We love to hear your thoughts! Fairday's Blog is no longer accepting awards. We appreciate all the nominations that we have received and are honored to have been mentioned! Happy Reading!

Twitter Bird Gadget Twitter Bird Gadget