by Sarah Weeks
Scholastic, $16.99, 184 pages

When Alice Portman’s beloved aunt Polly, an award-winning pie maker with a heart of gold, dies unexpectedly, she leaves a puzzle behind. In her will, Polly leaves the secret of her famous pie-crust to her bad-tempered cat, and leaves the cat to Alice. Now Alice and her friend Charlie must solve the mystery of the missing recipe before their pie-crazy hometown goes to pieces.

“There were a couple of surprising things about Polly Portman’s will.”

A genuine, heartfelt, downright wonderful book, PIE is truly a joy to read. Colorful characters and hilarious antics combine with explorations of coming of age and grief to create an appealing and well balanced story. Alice’s imperfect relationship with her mother and understated, but poignant, struggle to come to terms with the loss of her aunt, also give surprising depth to this otherwise lighthearted mystery. Each chapter of Alice’s adventure begins with a unique pie recipe. Bakers of all ages will enjoy trying out these delicious, sometimes unusual, pies. A gentle story about family, loss, love, and, of course, pie, Sarah Weeks’ beautiful book is sure to make any reader’s day a little brighter.

Reviewed by Elizabeth Goss