The premise: There's no place Alice Anderson would rather be than with her Aunt Polly and in her aunt's pie shop. But when Aunt Polly suddenly dies, Alice is lost and lonely. Adding to that, Alice's aunt left her world-famous piecrust recipe to her fat, disagreeable cat Lardo, and Aunt Polly left Lardo to Alice. Nothing makes any sense anymore.
What keeps readers reading: The mystery. Pie is clever! And fun too. Someone is after Lardo, thinking he holds the key to the million dollar piecrust recipe. And everyone in town is suddenly baking pies, thinking they will be the next award-winning pie baker. But in the middle of it all is a girl who simply wants to set things right.
What I loved: The friendship that develops between Alice and a boy named Charlie. It lets readers know that even when we've lost someone dear, there are others who fill in our empty places.
For more middle grade recommendations, check Shannon Messenger's links.
Happy middle grade reading!