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.
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