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Sweet Treats & Secret Crushes Hardcover – November 1, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 5-8–As a blizzard bears down on New York City just in time for Valentine's Day, a storm of a different kind is brewing in the apartment building above Chen's Kitchen. Seventh-graders Olivia, Kate, and Georgia are best friends who are struggling to find common ground as their relationship begins to change. Olivia has liked Phillip Becker-Jacobs for two years, and she records everything he does and wears in her Observation Notebook. Kate flits from crush to obsessive crush, and Georgia stays quiet to avoid letting her secrets slip, even to her best friends. An unexpected snow day offers the girls a chance to reconnect by baking “magic” fortune cookies designed to help everyone in their building feel loved. As they deliver the treats, they discover many truths: about boys, parents, and one another. Greenwald's second foray into the drama that is seventh grade delivers more than is implied by its saccharine title. The lives of the well-formed characters come alive against the backdrop of a New York City building where neighbors are strangers. Fortune-cookie fortunes become the plot's catalyst, as chapters alternate among Olivia, Kate, and Georgia, offering readers varied perspectives on the events. This is a title that mothers and daughters can confidently read together without major blushing.–Colleen S. Banick, Tomlinson Middle School, Fairfield, CT. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

Seventh-grade Brooklyn neighbors Olivia, Georgia, and Kate are BFFs, even though they are very different. Olivia is introspective and observant, Georgia is quiet and timid, and Kate is outgoing and bossy. Together, they hope that Valentine’s Day will finally bring some developments with their crushes, but their plans are frustrated when a for-once-unwelcome snow day keeps the girls at home. Then Georgia’s mom teaches them a famously secret fortune-cookie recipe, and the day unfolds unexpectedly after the girls decide to distribute cookies to neighbors. Primarily set over one day, the story features the characters’ engaging, alternating narratives and distinct personalities and provides intimate, lively explorations of well-drawn themes, from family and friend troubles to growing self-awareness and the challenges and joys of connecting with others and building a community. The trio’s romantic ups and downs tie the story together, but this is also an affectionate, insightful ode to friendship. An enjoyable, sure-to-be popular read. Grades 5-8. --Shelle Rosenfeld

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 5 - 9
  • Lexile Measure: 650L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Harry N. Abrams (November 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810989905
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810989900
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,534,430 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Sweet on Books on February 15, 2011
Format: Hardcover
* Sweet Treats & Secret Crushes is a terrific and light tween book you can be happy about putting into your daughter's hands.

* If you are ok with putting stories about boys and crushes into your middle reader's hands, then this is a great one to start with. Note the girls in this story don't have much interaction with boys, they mostly just talk about them.

* While the title might seem otherwise, the main theme here is friendship and girlfriends, not boys.

* This is an entertaining story and perfectly timed for Valentine's Day.

The main characters in Sweet Treats & Secret Crushes are three seventh grade girls who have been best friends forever. Georgia is the quiet one, Kate is the loud, somewhat trouble-making one and Olivia is the bookish reporter type, always jotting down her observations in her notebooks. The story is set within the apartment building where the girls live in Brooklyn and it takes place all on one day - Valentine's Day. But this isn't your usual Valentine's Day, this is a snow day. Given that New York City schools almost never close, this is a special event. (Clearly this book was written before this crazy winter (2011) we are experiencing right now here in NY!) The girls are equally excited and disappointed. A snow day is great, but now they won't get an opportunity to see the boys they have crushes on at school. They will have to wait a whole year for another Valentine's opportunity to mingle with them on the most romantic (read: over-hyped) day of the year.

Georgia's parents own a restaurant called Chen's Kitchen and it is located on the first floor of the building.
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By . on June 13, 2013
Format: Paperback
Things I liked about this book:
-It was cute, fun, and light-hearted.
-Since it was written from alternating perspectives I could really relate to all the girls.
-I found it very interesting the way each of the girls assumed things about what the others were thinking about her, and then in the next chapter (from the perspective of a different girl) you saw that that wasn't the case at all.

Things I disliked about this book:
-It got kind of boring after a while. This book was pretty predictable and I got bored with it halfway through.
-I think it was a bit young for me and I'm in 8th grade. I think it would be good for 7th graders though.
-I got frustrated with the characters. As I was reading, I kept getting frustrated with how little the girls knew about boys and how to talk to them. I mean, I'm sure I was the same way in 7th grade, but I just wished I could have been plopped into the story so I could have given them some major advice right then and there.

Overall, this was a good book and a cute story. It didn't have any major flaws and it had good themes about friendship too. But it's probably better for girls younger than me.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Maggie Knapp on February 10, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I love it when a book cover and title are perfectly in synch with the book's content. SWEET TREATS AND SECRET CRUSHES, with its glitter cover and tasty title seems to promise a fast and frothy read-- and this book delivers. The story follows three best friends, 7th graders in the same NYC apartment building. Each is experiencing various moments of feeling left out or no longer fitting in. When a snowstorm on Valentine's Day shuts down schools and businesses, the girls decide to make friends (and maybe boyfriends) in the building by delivering homemade fortune cookies. This lighthearted dessert of a book touches on some serious topics, but the reader who will enjoy it most is someone looking for a skim-the-surface "cheer you up" read.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Misha on November 21, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Thirteen year olds Kate, Georgia and Olivia have been best friends since the time their families moved into the same apartment in Brooklyn. But their friendship has got strained after being separated into different clusters in seventh grade. When a blizzard threatens to spoils the Valentine Day celebrations, the girls decide to distribute homemade fortune cookies throughout their apartment in an effort to unite the apartments residents like the old days and maybe even bring love and happiness into their lives. Perhaps this may also be their chance to strengthen their weakening friendship by realising why they had been such good friends.

Though the characters are easily distinguished , the author fails to actually bring the characters alive for readers. The readers can easily connect to the characters as at one time ,the readers would also have gone through the same situation and changes that the main protagonists face. Though they are best friends they are completely different from each other. Kate is the self obsessed one and does not notice much except the latest gossip, Georgina is the shy and the introvert one who can't easily speak her mind and Olivia is the observer who just observes but never takes action even when it comes to talking to her crush of two years, PBJ. Out of these three I like Olivia the best who is also my favourite character of the book and the character I could connect most with. I also liked Mrs. Chen, Georgina's mom, as she is both understanding and practical, and also knows just what to do to get moods up when anyone is feeling down.

Though the book is sweet and enjoyable, it is very predictable from the beginning to the end. It is a book which can be read if you want something for light reading.
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