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Donut Days Paperback – September 16, 2010

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Speak (September 16, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0142417211
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142417218
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 6.5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,589,405 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 7–10—Donuts, friendship, corruption, religion, love, and motorcycle gangs all figure into this sweet, satisfying treat of a first novel. Emma, a pastor's daughter who is about to start her senior year, has some serious questions to figure out. A member of the family's Living Word Redeemer church has challenged her mother's right to preach, throwing her whole family into turmoil. Emma might be in love with a boy whose father just happens to be the one causing all the trouble. She has also had a falling out with her best friend. Emma wants to study journalism at a non-Christian college, which her father refuses to pay for. How do donuts figure into all this? A donut chain is opening a new store in Emma's town, and people are streaming in from miles around to camp out for the opening. When the local paper offers a scholarship to the student who writes the best article on the event, Emma is determined to win. Her ambivalence about religion is addressed with sensitivity; she respects her parents' faith while also questioning their beliefs about evolution and the Bible. The overall tone is airy as Emma interviews die-hard donut campers, including a born-again motorcycle gang, and admits her feelings to the object of her affections. Teens will enjoy this lighter look at some serious issues of faith and family.—Miranda Doyle, San Francisco Unified School District END --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


-Zielin+s lighthearted yet substantive portrayals of Emma+s struggles with God, family, and friendship ring absolutely true.+ -Kirkus Reviews

More About the Author

I write contemporary young-adult and romance novels. By day, I keep the zombie apocalypse at bay. By night, I bedazzle stuff I probably shouldn't. Okay, only one of those things is true.

I'd love it if you stopped by my website,

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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See all 15 customer reviews
The character is likeable, you can relate to her.
Just Another Mom
I would recommend this book to young readers, and even older readers that just love to read.
Jamie Harrington
Originally bought this book as a gift for my niece.
K. Demas

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By bookworm1858 VINE VOICE on December 20, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Summary: Emma is the daughter of evangelical minister parents who is having quite the difficult time. Her mom may lose her position as co-preacher at their church, one of her friends is newly hot and in love with her, her best friend isn't speaking to her, and her parents have announced their financial support only if she attends a Christian college. This takes place over a three day period as people camp out to see the opening of a new donut store.

I really liked Emma-she was very likable and I enjoyed her feelings about her parents. She feels completely left out over the things that are happening that will affect her. But the end promises hope for a stronger family unit and reevaluation of how each views the others.

At the donut campout, I really enjoyed her interactions with Bear and his evangelical biker gang. They showed a more human face of Christianity. Most are able to realize that they are not perfect and they do not act like they are. They just try their best to live out Jesus' teaching and improve themselves.

Her friendships are not as important. Lately it seems like I've read a lot of books where the female main character is not speaking to her friends due to a fight and thus female friendship is not important to the book. I'm not trying to single this book out because I feel like I've seen that a lot; this just happens to be the review where I'm writing about it.

I also thought that not all of the subplots got enough attention. I would have liked more with the hot guy in love with Emma; I thought it got short shrift. I also would have liked more with her younger sister, who was adorable in the little we read about, and the sibling rivalries that always seem to appear in families.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Carly E. Wells on September 21, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Lara Zielin's Donut Days is fun, clean read for a young adult audience or adults who enjoy YA fiction. Donut Days' plot is well-constructed. Each of the minor characters who are developed have a significant relationship to the narrator, Emma Goiner. Emma is a likable narrator who learns and develops in the story along with her friends and family. What is especially pleasing about Emma is that she is truly humbled by what she learns, even though at the same time she humbles others by what she teaches them, a refreshing combination in a story.

As other reviewers have already written extensively about the plot, I won't repeat that here. I will reinforce that Emma's story revolves partially around her evangelical Christian family and community. However, this should not be taken to mean that this book is targeting a Christian audience over any other religious background; a good reader will recognize that it isn't. But Emma's very religious family and friends influence her life as much as any child's ethnic or religious background influences him or her- and Emma's family and friends are intensely involved in their faith. However, this background is used to allow Emma and others to explore their faith, question it, and ultimately try to see the world through multiple lenses, which is a lesson for any person.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mint910 VINE VOICE on August 23, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Donut Days had a lot going for it. Emma is your everyday girl with her own set of problems but has a great sense of humor to get her through them. I really appreciated Emma's struggle over her religion, I feel like I don't see that side of religion enough. Like Emma talks about in the book sometimes things are glossed right over and not really talked about in the church. And I really liked seeing her question her relationship with God. And the book is written in such a way that you don't need to be a Christian to understand Emma's struggles. Along with that I thought Emma's fight with her best friend seemed real and brings up a good question. What do you do when you don't agree with your friend's viewpoint but want to be there for them as a friend?

I thought the setting of a donut camp for the opening of a donut store was fabulous. And yes, those really do happen, a few years ago I remember a lot of news coverage for a similar opening! I did find it a bit odd that her parents would let her stay overnight in a tent alone with a bunch of strangers around though at the donut camp. The group of evangelical bikers she meets there were wonderful characters. I loved how their experiences helped Emma think about her own faith and her own future.

Besides Emma, I loved the character of Jake. A friend that wants to be more. I actually would have liked to have seen more of him. But what a nice guy, in the book he does something that most people would probably not even consider but he knows it's right and does it. And he's just one of the great cast of characters there supporting Emma including a lovely bear of a biker, a cute little sister and loving parents.

Overall a great story of faith, friends and donuts!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By TeensReadToo on August 20, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Emma Goiner's father informs her one night that the only universities her college fund will help support are those that her parents approve of. In other words, any secular school is OUT.

Both of Emma's parents are pastors at Living Word Redeemer, so they expect Emma to be guided by their choices. But Emma knows they are disappointed in her. Since her baptism not so long ago, she's yet to speak in tongues. And she's inflamed that the church can be influenced by the wealthiest member of the congregation.

So it's with these thoughts in her mind that she's determined to win the Paul Bunyan Press contest.

The paper is holding a competition. Crispy Dream Donuts is opening a new store, and the paper is offering a college scholarship to the best story written about the opening. Emma isn't sure what angle she will take with her story, but she's going to camp out and interview people who are also camping there waiting for the celebration.

It's during her time at Donut Camp that Emma learns more about herself than she ever expected. She encounters a Harley group that turns out to be the most unusual group of Christians she could imagine. And she meets a couple that have been camping for thirteen days, hoping that with the RV Crispy Dream will give a prize to the person who has logged the longest time at camp. And, though she struggles with herself, she winds up calling on Jake, a boy who had declared his love for her not so long ago, only to have her remain speechless and leave him hanging.

During the time at Donut Camp, Emma's parents have to fight for their own dreams. Mr.
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