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Bliss Hardcover – February 14, 2012


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Bliss + A Dash of Magic: A Bliss Novel + Bite-Sized Magic: A Bliss Novel
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 870L (What's this?)
  • Series: Bliss
  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books; 1St Edition edition (February 14, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062084232
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062084231
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.2 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (127 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #197,781 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Quite delicious and very funny.” (Wall Street Journal)

“Middle-grade readers who enjoy slapstick humor and fantastical adventures will get a generous helping of each here in what amounts to an impressive debut.” (Boston Globe)

“The children’s attempts at magic and the subsequent flubs simply make this cannot-put-it-down delectable.” (Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA))

“Delicious and exciting.” (Washington Post)

“A heroine with baking in her blood and a zany plot liberally sprinkled with humor blend into fun family adventure. Lighthearted bliss.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“Littlewood’s first novel mixes the sincere and the silly with entertaining results.” (Publishers Weekly)

“Humor abounds in this sweet story that stresses the importance of family, and readers will enjoy getting to know the eccentric Bliss family. ” (School Library Journal)

“This sweet (but never syrupy) story has surprising substance and broad appeal. A humorous tone, clear, thoughtful writing, and a brisk pace will also ensure that this one is gobbled up quickly.” (Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books)

About the Author

Kathryn Littlewood is a writer, actress, comedienne, and bon vivant who lives in New York City, works often in Los Angeles, and has a sweet tooth for pain au chocolat and sweet novels for middle-grade readers. This, her third novel, joins Bliss and A Dash of Magic in the Bliss trilogy.


More About the Author

Kathryn Littlewood is a writer, actress, comedienne, and bon vivant who lives in New York City, works often in Los Angeles, and has a sweet tooth for pain de chocolat and sweet novels for tween readers.

Customer Reviews

This book was a fun read.
Jo
It does drag somewhat, but I think the originality of the story and the development of most characters carry it.
Lynn May
For me, the book was pretty predictable, which is not a bad thing.
bookworm1858

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Tabitha VINE VOICE on August 29, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I love baking, so I was really looking forward to this story. It was cute enough, I suppose. Rosemary's insecurities definitely felt real and believable, and they explained her naiveté and poor choices. Though some of the issues she overlooked felt contrived (like the tart and the key at the end), so that was disappointing.

I also could not get over some of the plot points of the story--it takes much more than an hour or so to prep a bakery for the day, and bakeries open *much* earlier than 8:30am (because everyone is at work by then). So those running a bakery often have to start preparing well before the sun comes up. I also did not buy it that Rose wouldn't have a way of getting in touch with her parents immediately (they were in another town baking, where there's plenty of phones and cell coverage). The logical part of my brain kept kicking in and pointing out these inconsistencies, keeping me from enjoying the story.

My eight year old son read this book and said that it doesn't really `get good' until the halfway mark. I have to agree. Not much happens in the first half, but once Rose and her brothers break out the cookery booke it gets more interesting. My son found it funnier than I did because the humor is definitely geared toward a younger audience.

In the end, though, neither my son nor I were interested enough to seek out the next book when it comes out.

Age appropriateness: there are no incredibly tense moments, so I think this book would appeal to grade-schoolers who have advanced reading skills.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I just finished reading this to my children and was so disappointed I felt compelled to write a review for other parents contemplating this book.

The plot is obvious. It is, as another reviewer noted, the Sorcerer's Apprentice. Magician parents go away and kids wreak havoc messing around with magic in the absence. At 384 pages, the development for such an obvious plot line is slow and plodding. Is the lead character, Rose, endearing or sympathetic? Not really. There are certainly points that are hilarious, and my kids laughed uproariously. But they seemed infrequent during the many nights of reading.

Of course I won't give away the ending. What I will say is Chapter 18, the final chapter, swings wildly in tone from moment to moment. It swings from high tension to relief and humor back to high tension bordering on terror and then a flat, almost 'oh well' ending. The radical shifts in tone were jarring, and to my mind, incredibly unsatisfying. On top of all that, there was a critical plot point left unresolved and lingering like the Empire Strikes Back. I'll admit I could be conditioned for children's book to have satisfying, clearly resolved endings.

Upon finishing the last line, my nine and seven-year old looked at me and said in unison, "That's the end? Really?" Maybe the requisite sequel will be redeeming, but my two cents is that there is a high probability you will be disappointed with Bliss.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By MLA on August 28, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book has some funny ,sad,embarrassing, romantic, and so over all I love this book and I bet the next one is even better than this one !!! I hope u love ed this book as much as I do please read this book and I think you will want to read the next one to
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Richard Staats on February 5, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Note: the first time I posted a review of Bliss, I received something like five positive reviews over a two week period and then seven negatives within three days. I took my review down for awhile and then wrote a very similar review, and I was lucky only to get one negative mark in a two month period. I wanted to add this note up front. It appears that there is some kind of "flame war" going on between the various reviewers. (Just for the record, I don't have a stake in this fight. I just want to write an accurate review. I promise to not review any of the other comments on this book.)

Kathryn Littlewood has put together a cute chapter book that revolves around the Bliss family.

The Bliss family runs a local bakery, but all is not as it seems.

The family has a secret that has been passed down from generation to generation since the Middle Ages.

Beware fair reader for spoilers follow!

The protagonist in the story is Rose, short for Rosemary. She has three siblings, Parsley Bliss (Leigh), Sage, and Thyme (Ty). They are the children of Purdey and Albert Bliss, and the Bliss family runs a magical bakery.

From curing the swine flu to causing true love, the Bliss family can do it all using the Cookery Booke. The Cookery Booke is a tome of magic spells that create food products with amazing properties.

Rose learns about the magic spells used to bake her family treats when she is ten years old. Ever after that time, Rose dreams of casting magic spells through baking.

Her big chance comes when her mom and dad are called away to a nearby town to bake up magical treats to cure the flu.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Bookphile TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 3, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
When I read the premise of Bliss, I was very intrigued. It sounded like such a fun idea: would the temptations of her family's magical bakery prove too much for young Rose Bliss? My daughter and I read the book over the course of several months and, though reading it in short chunks didn't help, it never really captured me the way I might have thought. Minor spoilers to follow.

I think the biggest problem with this book is it's far too wordy. It felt to me like there was a lot of filler that could have been trimmed, which would have made it a tighter, more compelling story. Since it's middle grade, I found it kind of odd that it delved into minutiae that struck me as the sort of details only adults might fully be able to appreciate. I know a lot of these things went straight over my daughter's head.

What I did like about the novel was Rose. I'm sure most kids can identify with feeling a little invisible at times. The book has some good things to say about the way people tend to fills the roles they're assigned. Rose is seen as the mature, responsible one, and she is, but she chafes under the weight of those expectations. She's likable and sympathetic, yet flawed in a way that makes her seem entirely real. Why wouldn't she find it hard to refuse someone who makes me feel like she exists? I really enjoyed her and thought her character was deftly handled.

Another strong point was Rose's relationship with Aunt Lily. Littlewood isn't heavy-handed about presenting Aunt Lily in a very self-serving way, but my daughter picked up on the subtext. We talked a lot about Aunt Lily and whether Rose really saw Lily as she actually was.
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