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Donut Days Hardcover – August 6, 2009

4.4 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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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


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

"Teens will enjoy this lighter look at some serious issues of faith and family." --School Library Journal

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 830L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Putnam Juvenile; 1 edition (August 6, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399250662
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399250668
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 1 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,112,431 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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Format: Hardcover
This is the author's debut book and it is a fabulous start! The character is likeable, you can relate to her. The author's personality comes through clearly in the book and in the character herself. Once you start reading this book you will not be able to put it down! It wraps you up in the character and her world and you just want to stay. It's a great read, hands down. Besides, who doesn't like donuts?!?!?

If you haven't already, it is highly recommended to check out Ms. Zielin's other book The Implosion of Aggie Winchester. Another great read that you won't want to put down. Definitely an author worth watching for new books!
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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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Format: Hardcover
A book about donuts has to be fabulous or at the very least entertaining. Donut Days was both fabulous, entertaining, and hunger-inducing. Before I start my review, I would like to warn those of you who are on diets: Donut Days will be a very difficult book for you to read! You should just give up counting calories for a day and indulged in some mouth watering donuts. You better believe, that is exactly what I did!

Donuts aside, Donut Days is a very compelling and thought provoking book. With interwoven themes of religion and friendship Donut Days is so much more than a book about a girl who likes to eat donuts.

Some of my favorite things about Donut Days were how to issues of family and religion are handled. This is truly high praise coming from me. I'm the girl who did a poster project on evolution vs. intelligent design for her anthropology class. I'm not the least bit religious, but it is still an interesting topic that fascinates me. Emma has always been at odds with many of the people at her parents' church- including her own parents. Emma doesn't dress up or act like any of the other girls and having faith is not something that comes naturally to her. I think that this is what made Emma such a believable character for me. Emma doesn't take things at face value. Emma questions everything including the belief system that she was raised with.

Some of the other secondary characters were tougher for me to relate to. Especially Emma's intelligent-design defending ex-best friend. There was one scene in the class room when, I wanted to leap into the book and smack her over the head with a biology textbook. Violent reactions aside, the story started to pick up for me when Emma meets a gang of born again bikers at the donut camp. I loved this group of people.
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