Close to Famous – Joan Bauer

7992862Close to Famous by Joan Bauer

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
First Published: February 1st, 2011
Publisher: Viking BFYR
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 9+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Food, Family


When twelve-year-old Foster and her mother land in the tiny town of Culpepper, they don’t know what to expect. But folks quickly warm to the woman with the great voice and the girl who can bake like nobody’s business. Soon Foster – who dreams of having her own cooking show one day – lands herself a gig baking for the local coffee shop, and gets herself some much-needed help in overcoming her biggest challenge – learning to read . . . just as Foster and Mama start to feel at ease, their past catches up to them. Thanks to the folks in Culpepper, though Foster and her mama find the strength to put their troubles behind them for good. Continue reading

Hope Was Here – Joan Bauer

19027140Hope Was Here by Joan Bauer

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
First Published: September 11th, 2000
Publisher: Puffin
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 10+
Pacing: Slow
Genres & Themes: YA, Family, Romance, Realistic Fiction


When Hope and her aunt move to small-town Wisconsin to take over the local diner, Hope’s not sure what to expect. But what they find is that the owner, G.T., isn’t quite ready to give up yet – in fact, he’s decided to run for mayor against a corrupt candidate. And as Hope starts to make her place at the diner, she also finds herself caught up in G.T.’s campaign – particularly his visions for the future. After all, as G.T. points out, everyone can use a little hope to help get through the tough times… even Hope herself. Continue reading