Yesterday was Julia Child's birthday. She would have been 101. To celebrate the woman who made French cooking totally normal, here are some great YA books about cooking.
My Cup Runneth Over: The Life of Angelica Cookson Potts by Cherry Whitock. Angel is larger than life (physically and mentally) which can be hard when your mother's a former supermodel. Lots of mother/daughter drama, but Angel wants to be a chef and shines in the kitchen with the family cook-- there's a recipe after every chapter. I've made several and they're tasty. Follow it with My Scrumptious Scottish Dumplings.
Cupcake by Rachel Cohn. Cyd's back in New York, living with her brother Danny, and searching for the perfect cupcake. She thinks about culinary school, but then she breaks her leg and can't move. And then Shrimp shows back up. The final book in a trilogy, start with Gingerbread.
A Banquet for Hungry Ghosts: A Collection of Deliciously Frightening Tales by Ying Chang Compenstine. This book isn't just Imperial China. A collection of short and gruesome ghost stories that tend to feature revenge from beyond the grave, this book spans most of Chinese history. Each story comes with a historic note and recipe. The stories are not for the faint-hearted, but everyone should try the recipes-- Compenstine has written several cookbooks.
Like Water for Chocolate: A Novel in Monthly Installments with Recipes, Romances, and Home Remedies by Laura Esquivel. Tita is the youngest daughter, and therefore destined to stay at home forever and care for her aging mother. Nevermind that Tita and Pedro are in love, but Pedro must marry her sister. Tita speaks her emotions in her food and each chapter contains a recipe. Published for adults, this was a favorite of mine in high school.
Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously by Julie Powell. Stuck in a dead-end job and generally unhappy about life, Julie Powell decided to cook her way through Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and blogging about her experiences. This is her memoir, interspersed with a biography of Child. Written for adults, teens will enjoy this one of trying to find your place after college.
Pizza, Love, and Other Stuff That Made Me Famous by Kathryn Williams. Sophie loves being in the kitchen at her family's DC restaurant. She's willing to leave it behind to be a contestant on a new teen cooking show, but soon finds herself in some serious competition and off-camera drama.
Relish: My Life in the Kitchen by Lucy Knisley. Lucy's father is a foodie, her mother a chef. Lucy grew up immersed in the food scene of New York City and Rhinebeck. She thinks of her life and memories in terms of food and that's how she presents them here-- complete with illustrated recipes.
Stir It Up by Ramin Ganeshram. Trinidadian-Indian-American Anjali loves helping in her parents' restaurant and taking cooking classes with her grandmother. Her parents don't understand how deep her passion for food really is though, until she enters a contest to get her own show on the Food Network.
Getting the Girl: A Guide to Private Investigation, Surveillance, and Cookery by Susan Juby. Someone mandates which girls are blackballed and then ostracized by Sherman's high school, and he's had enough. The aspiring chef is spying on who he thinks is responsible in order to bring him down.
There's more Julia love tomorrow, so stay tuned!
Links to Amazon are an affiliate link. You can help support YA Reading List by purchasing any item (not just the one linked to!) through these links.