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Sizzle [Kindle Edition]

Lee McClain
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $9.99
Kindle Price: $3.99
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Book Description

Sizzle . . . or burn? Linda Delgado has the best nose in all of Arizona—for cooking, that is. She may be only fourteen, but Linda loves making fresh Mexican food with her aunt Elba and blogging about food with her best friend, Julia. But after Aunt Elba suffers a ministroke, Linda is catapulted across the country and into a whole new life. In Pittsburgh, living with bossy Aunt Pat and her seven kids, Linda feels completely out of place. Worst of all, Aunt Pat is a local celebrity with her own TV show, Cooking from Cans—and she won’t let Linda in the kitchen. Linda might go loco if she doesn’t get some fresh food—like now. Then Linda finally gets her chance to sizzle—alongside cute-guy-with-a-secret Dino Moretti (who even smells delicious) and her jealous cousin Chloe. Linda’s new life is about to heat up fast.

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 6-9-Linda Delgado's life is about to change. The 14-year-old has been living with her Aunt Elba in Arizona, going to school, spending time with best friend Julia, and working in her aunt's small Mexican restaurant where the emphasis is on wholesome meals made using fresh ingredients. When her aunt falls ill and eventually closes her restaurant, Linda is sent to Pittsburgh to live with a distant aunt whom she has never met. When she arrives, she finds a large family headed by Sir Dad and Aunt Pat, and seven boisterous children-foster, adopted, and one biological daughter named Chloe who's not pleased to have another addition to the family. Aunt Pat is a well known TV chef (Cooking from Cans) and creates all meals, both on TV and at home, using mostly canned ingredients-the total opposite of what Linda is used to. And she doesn't want any help from Linda. Other challenges for the teenager include dealing with a gruff aunt and a somewhat distant Sir Dad as well as adjusting to a new family, a new school, new friendships, a budding romance, sibling rivalry, and more. Laura Hamilton's reading of McClain's novel (Amazon Children's Pub., 2011) is authentic, capturing the talkative energy and mostly funny voice of a likeable young girl, as well as the typical teen angst and drama. This appealing, lively story concludes on a feel-good note, complete with a recipe for delicioso empanadas at the end.-Mary Oluonye, Shaker Heights Public Library, OHα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

Linda Delgado has always resented working in the Arizona restaurant owned by her aunt Elba, who has raised her since Linda’s mother died. When Aunt Elba’s health begins failing, the 14-year-old Latina is forced to live in Pittsburgh with Aunt Pat, who has her own food show (Cooking from Cans) and a large family of adopted kids. When not sparring with Pat over rights to her kitchen, competing with roommate Chloe for the attention of popular Dino (who has his own secret food connection), or simply trying to fit into her new high school, Linda keeps in touch with Arizona friend Julia through a social networking food website and uses her culture and personal experiences to comfort a grieving youngster in the household. This light fare, told in a chatty first-person narration, dishes up a feel-good ending as Linda learns to appreciate compromise in friendship, family—and, of course, food. Joan Bauer’s Close to Famous (2011) and Ramin Ganeshram’s Stir It Up! (2011) offer more foodie fiction. Grades 6-9. --Angela Leeper

Product Details

  • File Size: 374 KB
  • Print Length: 193 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0761459812
  • Publisher: Two Lions (January 5, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #195,760 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Novel for Young Teens October 30, 2011
This novel is easy to read, has a plot the moves along nicely, and treats a lot of teen issues from different perspectives, highlighting the different sides of these complex issues without becoming preachy. The protagonist (Linda Delgado) is forced to move from being the only child in the care of her beloved Aunt (whose "tough love" she does not always appreciate at the time) in the Southwest to a distant relative (Pat) whose world view is almost the polar opposite of hers, and who presides over a raucous extended family in Pittsburgh, into which LInda struggles to belong (a struggle made more difficulty with her questioning if she even wants to belong). Food plays a large role in this novel, as different characters attitudes towards food and cooking affect their relationships with each other. Her desire to recreate the Mexican food that her Aunt made from scratch clashes with Pat's cuisine that is focused on ease of preparation. Complicating the matter is that Pat is the star of a local TV show based on "cooking from cans", so that her livelihood depends upon this cuisine, and Linda inadvertently threatens that livelihood. Add to this the mix of high school relationships and jealousies, as well as different attitudes towards foods expressed by high schoolers, and you have an entertaining story that shows how teens grapple with peer pressure as well as complicated relationships with their parents. This book would be especially appropriate to help teens think about food in a new way, from the association of certain foods with good memories to being open to new experiences based on food.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable Realistic Fiction for Tweens November 21, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Linda Delgado is Hispanic girl living with her aunt Elba and helping her aunt run her restaurant. All this changes suddenly when Elba begins to have health problems. Elba arranges for Linda to move from her Arizona home to Pittsburgh with a cousin that already has a large family. Linda's love of cooking healthy foods is challenged when her new "mom" Pat makes food only from cans. Pat is the star of a local cooking show and she and Linda have very different opinions about what makes food tasty. Linda faces other issues as well - being in a new family with a step-sister who isn't nice to her, and being interested in a boy from school.

I appreciate that Sizzle is a novel that presents some real problems in a way that is not too preachy. The novel has nothing inappropriate in it, either, so even though Linda is a teenager, younger readers could easily enjoy this book. The storyline is fairly predictable, which bothered me at times as an adult reader, but is something that tween readers will no doubt overlook. Overall, a very enjoyable read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great for young foodies, otherwise just okay November 5, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Sizzle is an entertaining story that is sure to appeal to young readers, especially those with a fondness for cooking and who probably spend a lot of time watching Food Network. It's a pretty simple tale, loaded up with be entirely too many contrivances for my taste, but full of many opportunities to learn valuable lessons about life. Part of the story is told in social media back and forth, which was only moderately effective.

Perhaps my main problem with this book is that I found nearly all of the characters to be pretty unlikable. Linda is a young snob, full of herself and way too caught up in her own concerns to notice the world around her. While she learns a valuable lesson by the end, by the time we got there I was very tired of hearing from her! The adults in Linda's life weren't much better, providing guidance with a strange combination of love, avoidance, and threat.

There are enjoyable moments here, and I will admit that all the food talk was entertaining and squeaked this one up to a three star rating. The lessons about being grateful for what you have, being respectful of others opinions, and valuing family are all important. This is a short, quick read which will appeal to reluctant teen and tween readers. There is talk of crushes, hotness, and a bit of hand holding, but otherwise no content concerns for parents. This was not one of my favorites; however I can easily see how it will hold great appeal for young foodies.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yummy children's book September 29, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Sizzle by Lee McClair follows Linda who is forced to move from her aunts home in New Mexico where she cooks spicy Mexican food on a daily basis to Pittsburgh with her Aunt Pat (the Queen of Cans) and her very large family. Linda must learn to deal with a new school, a new family and somehow try to make her love of cooking work with an Aunt that doesn't use fresh food.

I loved reading about Linda, a Hispanic girl living as a foster child and trying to figure out how to navigate a different world. The descriptions of the food that she makes are mouth watering. I finished this book in an afternoon, unable to put it down.

Appropriateness: There is no adult content in this book. There is a bit of romance and boyfriend talk (enough that it would probably turn off boys). I would recommend this book to readers 9-13. It's a good book to talk about what makes a family and how compromise can work when trying to work through differences.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't ring true August 9, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This story is told in the first person by a 14-year-old girl named Linda. Her unmarried mother died when she was a baby, so she was raised by her aunt. They live in a "trailer" and scratch out a living running an out-of-the-way restaurant in Arizona. Linda's aunt becomes ill (there is mention that she had a "mini stroke," but it is never elaborated what her chronic condition is) and arranges for custody of Linda to be legally transferred to "Aunt Pat," the distant sister of her cousin's husband.

Linda's new family is not very welcoming, and there is a huge amount of conflict over differences of lifestyle. Linda is a food snob and publicly makes fun of Pat's cooking, even though it is Pat's livelihood. Linda develops a romantic interest in a boy at her new school, but her same-age cousin likes him, too. All the ends are neatly, if unsatisfyingly, tied up by the end up the book.

The storyline is okay, and the use of blog entries almost as illustrations provides a welcome break periodically throughout the book. However, there were numerous things I didn't like. First of all, Linda's aunt has acted in the role of her mother for her entire life, yet she still somehow plays as just her aunt. She has a health problem, so she sends away her "daughter" to live with unknown shirttail relatives? Further, she seems unbothered that Linda is having trouble settling in with her new family and is profoundly unhappy. What "mother" would do that? It just doesn't really ring true.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Cute!
This book was so cute! I would recommend it to anyone- it was that good! It teaches you how to cook some Mexican foods!
Published 50 minutes ago by Houston Shopper
4.0 out of 5 stars Friends, Family, and Food
This is a nice book for the almost-teenage set. It follows the trials and tribulations of Linda Delgado, as she is forced to move across the country, deal with family issues, and... Read more
Published 5 months ago by LH422
3.0 out of 5 stars An unordinary kid.
A story of an unordinary kid, with a gift, no ordinary gift, and how that gift fits into the world around her.
Published 6 months ago by L. Perry
4.0 out of 5 stars A really good way to use social media
In this book, Linda's food blogging is highlighted in little blurbs that are short and sweet. I want to applaud this book for being able to mix in Social Media without being... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Ashley Mott
4.0 out of 5 stars good read for younger audiences
Sizzle is about the dynamics of family and friends. The book is clearly for a young audience so, as an adult, you may have to be forgiving for mild character development and... Read more
Published 7 months ago by guitfiddleblue
4.0 out of 5 stars Arizona Teen Food Blogger takes Pittsburgh by storm
LInda Delgato has a good life despite some setbacks. When her guardian become unable to care for her, she is forced to accept the kindness of a long lost aunt and her large... Read more
Published 7 months ago by VW Smith
4.0 out of 5 stars ages 13 to 14
I found this story very true to life.

14 year old Linda has been raised by her Aunt on the borderline of poverty. Read more
Published 7 months ago by E. B. MULLIGAN
4.0 out of 5 stars Quick enjoyable read
If you're a fan of cooking you'll probably enjoy this book. It's young and modern with some social media elements brought into it. Read more
Published 8 months ago by T Rose
4.0 out of 5 stars Sweet story, excellent for kids who cook
Linda's life is nearly perfect. She lives in Arizona with her aunt, working in a family restaurant, and cooking delicious food. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Jennifer Miller
4.0 out of 5 stars Delisious
I loved reading about Linda, a Hispanic girl living as a foster child and trying to figure out how to work a different world. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Trevor L
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More About the Author

Lee McClain grew up in Columbus, Ohio, attended Ohio State University, and earned her Ph.D. at the University of Colorado. She teaches in the MFA program at Seton Hill University. Her tween daughter and niece keep her up-to-date on the eye-rolling YA world. Visit her online at

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