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review: “donut days” February 6, 2010

Posted by Katie in reviews.


Donut Days by Lara Zielin.
Putnam Juvenile // Hardcover // 256 pages.
Reviewed from library copy.

Emma has got a dilemma. Even though she’s been brought up as a Christian (and her mom’s a minister), she wants to study journalism and she doesn’t want to go to a Christian college. The only catch is that her father refuses to pay for a non-Christian school. Enter the new donut shop opening in her town — and the scholarship contest for the best article about the event. The only problem is that everything around Emma’s world is dissolving as the shop opens, forcing Emma to question her faith and her family.

This book surprised me, honestly. I was expecting a little, fluffy book about donuts and instead was drawn into Emma’s problems and the problems of her community. That’ll teach me to judge a book by its cover!

The plot is simple — clean — and I think the book will work well with reluctant readers — I devoured the book in one sitting.

What really made the book for me were the characters that Emma found in the donut camp, waiting for the donut shop to open. These characters were just the right amount of reality blended with a bit of whimsy. (Like a Christian biker gang. Yeah.) I loved learning what brought everyone to the donut camp through Emma’s interviews.

The family issues in this book are ones that a lot of teens will be able to relate to. Teens struggling with what they want versus what their parents want will find a sympathetic narrator in Emma.

I did want a bit more character development for supporting characters, but the development and growth that Emma experiences definitely kept me engrossed until the end.

A good buy for public libraries (great for tweens reading YA!). Looking forward to further titles from this debut author.

SWAN catalog
Lara Zielin




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