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Author: Carrie and Sheryl Berk| Website
Publication Date:October 1st, 2012
Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
My Interest: Review Request
Source: Publisher
Age Group | Genre: MG |  Contemporary, Realism, Foodie
Series: Yes, The Cupcake Club
Pages: 157

I was contacted by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky a couple of weeks ago with the opportunity to participate in the Cupcakes & Crushes Blog Tour.

Since it involved a fun middle grade book and cupcakes…the baker in me said yes!  Recipe for Trouble is the second in the series, so I picked up Peace, Love and Cupcakes last week for my Marvelous Middle Grade Monday. But this read… let’s just say it involves a little something for you! And no, I’m not shipping out Lexi’s “Bake Me I’m Yours” cupcakes.

I was graciously provided a copy via the publisher, Sourcebooks Jabberwocky. I was not compensated in any way for my review (cross my heart) nor did I promise a good rating. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% mine.


This time around, the PLC (that’s peace, love, and cupcakes) girls are back for a fun year full of baking. Or at least that’s what Lexi thought. Her BFF Kylie is back from a summer at camp and has the idea to mix in a few not-so-sweet ingredients–her new friends!  Then there’s the issue of the school play, Romeo and Juliet. Shy Lexi has not only been cast as the star, but her real-life Romeo is playing opposite her! If only her kitchen confidence would show up on the stage. It sounds like fifth grade is a giant recipe for trouble.


As much as I fall into the world of YA, I’m a lover of middle grade at heart. And every once in awhile I discover a book that I just fall in love with. Ok…so, I pretty much love just about any middle grade book I read, but some are just adorable.

Recipe for Trouble just happens to be one of those books. Firstly, the author Carrie is only nine years old. How awesome is that!? The Cupcake Club is a collaboration between Carrie and her mother, Sheryl. I love how they are writing the series together because it’s an awesome example of teamwork for readers.

Plus, with Carrie’s input, the characters are super realistic. Kylie, Lexi, Jenna, and Sadie remind me of my own friends and I when I was young. They are up to date with music (Justin Bieber…Lady Gaga anyone?) and even have secret crushes. Which just happens to be the main plotline of Recipe for Trouble. Poor, shy Lexi has the biggest crush on Jeremy so she breaks out of her shell to bake for him. It’s the perfect way for a middle school crush to play out, and what is really great about it is the girls of PLC work together. I LOVE the message of teamwork and friendship in this novel…and I’m not going to say anymore for fear of giving away the secret!

The only issue I had with the story is that the girls run their own business and still manage to get good grades in school. This year, they have about 5,000 cupcakes to bake for all the orders they have lined up. I sort of doubted that four fifth grade girls could bake that many cupcakes, especially their standing order of 300 cupcakes every Monday morning for a local bakery. However, this series is based on Carrie’s own experience as a baker so perhaps it is possible?!?!  Then again, that is the adult in me thinking. For a middle grade novel, Recipe for Trouble offers readers a chance to dream… it IS possible to be a great baker. It’s possible to be and do anything you want! One just needs a good set of friends.

I give this novel a 5, and it is definitely one I would have on my library classroom shelves. In fact, I hope to have the whole series to pass on to my own daughter someday. After all, I’ve got to share my love of cupcakes with someone!
I would recommend it to any kid who loves to bake, and dreams of icing swirls and sprinkles.

If you like this novel, you might like….

Close to Famous by Joan Bauer


Pie by Sarah Weeks

Final Thoughts

[for ratings system, please check out my Bookshelf]

Now…for the fun part!


Sourcebooks Jabberwocky has kindly offered to give one lucky reader a copy of Recipe for Trouble! So, I’m making this giveaway simple…no fancy widgets, tricks, or extra sites.

leave me a comment telling me what cupcake YOU would bake for your crush!

The giveaway will run until next Thursday, October 25th, and I’ll pick a winner using random.org.  I’ll announce it on Friday!

Hopeful reading!