Title: The Doughnut Fix
Author: Jessie Janowitz
Series: The Doughnut Fix, book 1
Major Themes: Baking, Cooking, Family, Business, New York
Synopsis: Tristan’s parents move the family to a remote village that has nothing—not even a restaurant—and Tristan realizes that in order to be able to eat life-changing doughnuts, he will have to make them himself.
What a fun story! All of my children loved hearing chapters from The Doughnut Fix as I was reading it. None of us have ever read it before, so it was new to everyone, including me. We didn’t know what a treat we were in for.
Tristan’s life is quite predictable. It’s Saturday morning, so he is choosing the dessert he will make next week, and then the family goes out for breakfast at the same place they always go on Saturday morning. Then, his parents drop a bombshell. They’re going to go for a drive. When they stop, in front of an old house, they announce to the children that they’re buying this house, three hours drive away from New York City where they have always lived. The children are aghast. This was not in their plans at all. Jeanine just knows her life is ruined. There won’t be gifted and talented classes for her in the school in that country village.
The day after moving into their new home, Tristan bikes into town. He finds a single street with only a few buildings, but the hardware store advertises chocolate cream doughnuts. When he discovers that they don’t actually have them, he knows that there is nothing worthwhile in this little town. Because he really, really needs chocolate cream doughnuts, and to make life in Petersville worth living, he sets off on a quest to learn to make them. In the process, he works at setting up a business, and makes many friends.
There are so many layers in The Doughnut Fix! Though there is much conflict between the children, I love the way they always pull together and work together when needed. Though their parents didn’t seem to see the need to talk to the children about big changes coming up in their lives, they are present and involved when needed, although they allow their children to explore and figure things out for themselves, too. I loved what the parents did with the two oldest children when the school recommended that they not start until the beginning of the next semester—basically homeschooling. Tristan learned a lot about friendship through the course of the story. He also learned about what it takes to set up a business. That is worked so naturally into the story that children will not even realize they are learning about it. And then there are the chocolate cream donuts and the quest to perfect them…. Don’t be surprised if you’re hungry for them when you finish this book! Also, be sure to check out the recipes at the end.
WARNING: In chapter 12, two of the children get into a fight that gets somewhat violent.
Listening Level—Ages 5 – 8, 8 – 12, Family Friendly
Reading Independently—Ages 8 – 12