Summer of a Thousand Pies

Summer of a Thousand Pies

A heartfelt contemporary middle grade novel, perfect for fans of The Thing About Jellyfish and Fish in a Tree, about a girl who is sent to live with her aunt and must try to save their failing pie shop.When twelve-year-old Cady Bennett is sent to live with the aunt she didn’t even know she had in the quaint mountain town of Julian, she doesn’t know what to expect. Cady isn...

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Title:Summer of a Thousand Pies
Author:Margaret Dilloway
Rating:

Summer of a Thousand Pies Reviews

  • Andrew

    This beautiful book is going to stay in my heart forever, and I already know will be one of my top favorites this year. When Cady goes to live with her Aunt Shell after her father is arrested, her whole world flips. She has a bed, a room, and there's always food. There's also The Great British Bake Off to watch. Through this summer of change, she vows to bake a thousand pies at her aunt's pie shop, befriends an undocumented family, thinks about her dad, and embraces this sweet & exciting sma

    This beautiful book is going to stay in my heart forever, and I already know will be one of my top favorites this year. When Cady goes to live with her Aunt Shell after her father is arrested, her whole world flips. She has a bed, a room, and there's always food. There's also The Great British Bake Off to watch. Through this summer of change, she vows to bake a thousand pies at her aunt's pie shop, befriends an undocumented family, thinks about her dad, and embraces this sweet & exciting small town life where your neighbors lend a hand. Award worthy, any realistic reader will fall in love.

  • Kelly 💜☕️

    LOVED this middle grade book... full review to come!

  • Madeline

    Oh what a wonderful story!

    I loved every word!

    The characters were so endearing.

    I will truly miss this family.

    Thank you Margaret Dilloway and Goodreads for a free copy of this terrific story!

    My new book definitely enjoys its new home!

  • Samantha (WLABB)

    Rating: 3.5 Stars

    Cady had to grow up fast. As the child of an addict, she knew homelessness, abandonment, and hunger. All things I wished she had never known. When her father was taken into custody, she was placed in the care of an aunt she never knew she had, and that was when Cady started to see things a little differently.

    First and foremost, I really did like Cady. She had it tough, and because of that, she had trust issues. Her mother died, her father was unreliable, and she was forced to d

    Rating: 3.5 Stars

    Cady had to grow up fast. As the child of an addict, she knew homelessness, abandonment, and hunger. All things I wished she had never known. When her father was taken into custody, she was placed in the care of an aunt she never knew she had, and that was when Cady started to see things a little differently.

    First and foremost, I really did like Cady. She had it tough, and because of that, she had trust issues. Her mother died, her father was unreliable, and she was forced to depend on herself. Given her history of being in and out of the foster care system, being homeless, and being bullied, among other things, she was still able to maintain some sort of optimism.

    Which was why I loved seeing her grow and flourish once she moved in with her aunt Shell and her partner, Suzanne. Cady had to learn a lot about living with a family and trusting people, but she did, slowly but surely.

    Her connection to Shell was very special. Shell was a little hard on the outside, but she shared her love of baking with Cady, and Suzanne was there to nurture when needed. Together, they were a great team, and it wasn't just Suzanne and Shell, who were there for Cady. There was actually a big community element in this book, which was quite lovely, and reinforced the idea, that it's ok to accept help from others, when you need it.

    I did feel like there were a lot of side issues incorporated into the story, which didn't necessarily fit with the central plot. I understand the author may have felt compelled to included these issues, but I didn't feel they advanced Cady's story, and I thought that in a book packed with quite a few issues (and almost 400 pages in length), it made the story longer than it needed to be, and it dragged a little under all that weight.

    Overall, this was a lovely story of family, friendship, and community. The final event was so joyful, and it warmed my heart seeing everyone pull together.

    *ARC provided in exchange for an honest review.

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  • Madison

    Summer of a Thousand Pies is a sweet middle-grade contemporary novel. A story about family and belonging, set amongst the backdrop of food, glorious food, Summer of a Thousand Pies touches on some deep and troubling themes such as homelessness, financial hardship, and the constant fear and struggle to belong faced by illegal immigrants. With diverse characters and a strong -if a little too headstrong at times- lead characters, Summer of a Thousand Pies is sure to delight young readers.

    Cady knows

    Summer of a Thousand Pies is a sweet middle-grade contemporary novel. A story about family and belonging, set amongst the backdrop of food, glorious food, Summer of a Thousand Pies touches on some deep and troubling themes such as homelessness, financial hardship, and the constant fear and struggle to belong faced by illegal immigrants. With diverse characters and a strong -if a little too headstrong at times- lead characters, Summer of a Thousand Pies is sure to delight young readers.

    Cady knows what it is like to go without, or to be judged for living in her dad’s van rather than a house like everyone else. So when her dad is arrested and she is sent to live with her aunt, Cady knows she just has to survive a few months until her dad will come to get her. But Cady’s aunt Shell is nothing like she expected, and having the freedom to eat as much as she likes and explore Shell’s property is a new experience for Cady. But the best bit is Shell’s pie shop, where Cady can help out, learn to make pies and finally get to try some of the recipes she has collected over the years. But Shell’s pie shop is being threatened with overwhelming debt and Cady wants to do everything she can to rescue the new home and family she has come to love so much.

    If you are looking for a book that features cooking and recipes, then Summer of a Thousand Pies is perfect. Cady is mad about baking. From growing up in an environment with limited food and poor cooking conditions to moving in with her aunt, Cady discovers a whole new world of techniques, ingredients and the celebration all things cooking. The Great British Baking show is featured a lot, and Cady experiments with recipes and mixing new ingredients. Each of the main recipes she tries are included in the back of the book, along with notes from Cady herself about the ingredients or tips for following the method.

    But Summer of a Thousand Pies isn’t just about cooking and food. It is also about family. Cady slowly comes to understand and love her aunt Shell, warms to Shell’s effusive partner Suzanne and learns about friendship and getting along with others as she becomes friends with Jay, who, along with his family, also lives and works with Shell. From the pie shop’s customers to the town’s people, Cady’s summer is spent learning about others’ lives, feelings and how to live with people, rather than shutting them out.

    There is so much to discuss, so many layers to this story. Whether it’s Jay, who fears being forced to leave the US due to his illegal immigrant status, homelessness, alternative families, financial hardship, or Cady’s growth to someone who considers others and controls her emotions, Summer of a Thousand Pies has something that will touch every reader.

    The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.

    Find more reviews, reading age guides, content advisory, and recommendations on my blog

  • Laura (bbliophile)

    This was such a lovely story! Full review to come.

  • Susan

    This book is sweet and will help to start a conversation about a few of life's difficulties, including homelessness. I really enjoyed the main character, Cady. I think kids will identify with some of her fears even though they may not experience the same challenges she does. Cady's story might also bring about compassion and more understanding for those kids whose families might be struggling. Plus, the pie references are great for anyone who likes to bake! Recipes included!

    DRC provided by the p

    This book is sweet and will help to start a conversation about a few of life's difficulties, including homelessness. I really enjoyed the main character, Cady. I think kids will identify with some of her fears even though they may not experience the same challenges she does. Cady's story might also bring about compassion and more understanding for those kids whose families might be struggling. Plus, the pie references are great for anyone who likes to bake! Recipes included!

    DRC provided by the publisher and edelweiss.

  • Sarah

    An excellent and engaging story about a young girl dealing with the effects of her father's mental illness and the ensuing instability. When her father is arrested, twelve-year-old Cady is sent to live with her aunt, the proprietor of a pie shop. Nestled in the mountains above San Diego, in the town of Julian, Shell's Pies is struggling to stay afloat. As Cady and her aunt Shell navigate the boundaries of their burgeoning relationship, Shell simultaneously attempts to keep her shop in business.

    An excellent and engaging story about a young girl dealing with the effects of her father's mental illness and the ensuing instability. When her father is arrested, twelve-year-old Cady is sent to live with her aunt, the proprietor of a pie shop. Nestled in the mountains above San Diego, in the town of Julian, Shell's Pies is struggling to stay afloat. As Cady and her aunt Shell navigate the boundaries of their burgeoning relationship, Shell simultaneously attempts to keep her shop in business. Cady, wary of assistance and angry about her circumstances, comes to learn there are people worth trusting in this world, people who care deeply about her well being.

    Over the course of one summer, young Cady bakes one thousand pies (and a few cakes for good measure) learning much about herself in the process. In fact, it is Cady's developing baking skills, creativity, and concern for a friend with celiac disease that just might be the ticket to the shop's success.

    This middle grade novel is perfect for foodie fans, viewers of The Great British Bake Off, and anyone who enjoys a good coming-of-age tale. Several recipes are included.

  • Andy Winder

    When I saw the cover for Summer of a Thousand Pies, I thought I'd be settling into a fun and lighthearted middle grade contemporary. I was wrong. This is a beautiful, important book, but it doesn't deal with easy themes. Cady's mother has died and her grief-stricken father descends into alcoholism to the point where she has to live with her Aunt Shell. Her aunt's pie shop is run with equal amounts of passion and joy, but it isn't easy to thrive as a small bakery. And Cady's new friend Jay, whose

    When I saw the cover for Summer of a Thousand Pies, I thought I'd be settling into a fun and lighthearted middle grade contemporary. I was wrong. This is a beautiful, important book, but it doesn't deal with easy themes. Cady's mother has died and her grief-stricken father descends into alcoholism to the point where she has to live with her Aunt Shell. Her aunt's pie shop is run with equal amounts of passion and joy, but it isn't easy to thrive as a small bakery. And Cady's new friend Jay, whose parents are undocumented and works at Aunt Shell's bakery, depends on the pie shop staying open to keep from going homeless.

    But that doesn't mean that this book is free of uplifting moments. Thanks to her aunts and her new friends, Cady's is able to let down her guard and trust the people she loves the most for the first time in her life. Through baking and immersing herself in life with Aunt Shell, Cady is able to heal from the loss of her mother and her father's mental health issues. Summer of a Thousand Pies is an example of how middle grade can delve into just as real and heartbreaking issues as YA, as well as queer representation, in a way that's appropriate and helpful for its young readers.

    This is hands-down one of the best and (no pun intended) sweetest LGBT middle grade books I've read. I'd recommend it to elementary and middle school students in particular but also teachers who are looking for a way to introduce LGBT characters to their students in a compassionate and normalizing light.

  • Ms. Yingling

    E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus

    After the death of her mother, Cady's father has found it hard to keep a job, stay away from alcohol, and to provide Cady with a stable home and supervision. He has enrolled her in a very good school, and her teachers are understanding and supportive, but when she gets in trouble for defending another student and her father shows up to the office inebriated, Cady ends up with children's protective services. They locate a sister of her mother's Cady didn't know ab

    E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus

    After the death of her mother, Cady's father has found it hard to keep a job, stay away from alcohol, and to provide Cady with a stable home and supervision. He has enrolled her in a very good school, and her teachers are understanding and supportive, but when she gets in trouble for defending another student and her father shows up to the office inebriated, Cady ends up with children's protective services. They locate a sister of her mother's Cady didn't know about, and soon Cady is whisked away from San Diego in the country to live with her aunt Shell and her companion Suzanne. Cady would love to cook and has a cookbook of her mother's, so she is enthralled that Shell has a pie shop. She meets Jay, the son of a woman who works for Shell, and they start hanging out at the shop and doing some baking. Cady misses her old school and Jenna, her first grade reading buddy who has various health issues including celiac disease but is glad to be in a house with a steady source of food. She also is glad of some connection to her mother. The pie shop is not doing well financially, and along with learning how to bake, Cady and Jay try various ways to help the shop, such as new flavors and marketing techniques. It's important to Jay, because his family is undocumented, and they survive because they live in Shell's housing and work at her shop. They eventually realize that there aren't many gluten free pies in their area, and do a cost-benefit analysis with a helpful older shop patron and realize that, with his help, the business can expand and succeed.

    Strengths: I loved the small town setting and the involved townspeople. The intricacies of running a small business are well addressed. Jay and Cady have a very nice friendship. Cady has a difficult life but manages to move forward, while still reminiscing about the good things in the past.

    Weakesses: While all of the different issues are handled realistically and well, there are a lot of them. No one really blinks at same sex parenting, but we also have drug and alcohol issues, as well as immigration ones on top of the financial insecurity. And, of course, yet another father so bereft that he can't function. It's a lot of heavy topics to have in one book.

    What I really think: Even though this had a lot of sad things in it, it was still fairly hopeful. Since Kids Who Do Things is a always a popular topic, and the cover of this is adorable, I'll buy it for my readers who like a good cooking story.

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