The Cupcake Diaries: Katie & the Cupcake Cure by Coco Simon Age: 8-12 Genre: Fiction Simon & Schuster, 2011 ISBN: 9780329858797 / 140 pages Find this book at your local library
Its Katie’s first day of middle school and she is excited to go, and even more excited to see her best friend Callie during their walk to the bus stop. But that morning, Callie isn’t at their meeting spot, instead, Callie is hanging out with a new group of friends in the PGC (Popular Girls Club). Now Katie is left to figure out middle school without her best friend by her side. With the help of cupcakes and new lunchtime pals, Katie soon manages to make the best of an awful start.
First off, my cover of this book isn’t as cheesy or 80s inspired as the cover in this post. The cover of the book I read, the Follet Bound edition, has an illustrated Katie holding a stack of book with cupcakes on top. The cover aside, I found this book to be highly enjoyable. It’s a cross between The Babysitters Club and The Mother-Daughter Bookclub. The Cupcake diaries currently has 4 books in the series, and each book is told through the perspective of one of the different Cupcake Club members, like the BBC. This series is similar to the Mother-Daughter Bookclub in that the protagonist’s best friend ditches her for a shiny new group of friends.
Katie deals with the typical frustrations of a new school. New class schedule, a locker that won’t cooperate, mean girls, and strict teachers. Although she’s been snubbed by her best friend from childhood, Katie quickly recovers, finding a new group of friends and forming a new identity for herself in middle school. I also like how involved the mom’s are in this book. Katie’s mom is strict, but accommodating to Katie’s change of friends. The moms insist on meeting each other before the girls are allowed to hang out at each other’s houses, but even though the mom’s are strict in that regard, they let the girls do what they want during their cupcake baking sessions. Their isn’t much of a dad presence in this book. Both Katie’s and Mia’s parents are divorced and we don’t hear anything about Emma’s or Alexis’ dads. Callie’s dad makes a short appearance to proclaim his love for vanilla cupcakes (which is helpful later on in the book). What I also like, is that the book is a contemporary fiction piece. The girls send text messages, the parent’s IM & work from home, the girls go online to look at fashion magazines. Very typical with modern-day life. Kids who pick up this book today will immediately connect with one of the four girls and their experiences at school and at home.
The book also includes a cupcake recipe and a preview for the next book in the series. I, for one, am really craving a cupcake and a coffee with a group of my best girlfriends after having read this book.