Do you have a foodie kid who loves to cook or bake? Or maybe you have a child who isn’t interested in foodie topics yet. No matter what, these fictional foodie chapter books and middle grade books are sure to delight and inspire more time in the kitchen.
Food Related Beginning Chapter Books (Ages 6 to 9)
Tales for Very Picky Eaters by Josh Schneider (ages 5 – 7)
A picky eater’s dad presents the options for eating — like dirt and chewed gum, and other disgusting things that actually make the boy’s regular food seem not so bad after all. Now that I think about it, I should have done this with my picky eaters… HILARIOUS.
Finley Flowers Original Recipe by Jessica Young
ages 7 – 10
3rd grade Finley wants to win a cooking contest so she can give the prize (free pizza for a year) to her best friend, Henry, for his birthday. She insists she doesn’t need ideas or help which turns out to be a disaster as well as a valuable learning experience. Charming illustrations accompany this sweet story of friendship.
How to Feed Your Parents by Ryan Miller, illustrated by Hatem Aly (ages 5 – 7)
Matilda’s parents are picky eaters so she learns to cook in hopes that she can show her parents there’s more to eat than pizza and burgers. She cooks dishes like gumbo, sushi, and croquettes. Yum!
Recipe for Adventure #1 Naples! by Giada De Laurentiis (ages 6 – 9)
Time travel back to Naples, Italy with siblings Emilia and Alfie where they discover a world of pizza and help a new friend and his family with the important missing ingredient. Includes two recipe cards. It’s a beginning chapter book about food that takes readers on a fun cooking adventure!
For Emme, Baked with Love by Joy Laura Dower (ages 6 – 9)
Sweet both literally and figuratively, this series revolves around a special bakery and baker named Daisy who makes a difference in the lives of her customers. In this story, Emme is struggling with her parents’ separation and her argumentative two best friends. Daisy knows just what to cook and to say to help Emme find peace with her situation. I really liked that the ending was realistic and didn’t have Emme’s parents reuniting.
The Cupcake Diaries by Coco Simon (ages 7 – 10)
Each of the books in this series follows a different girl. In this first story, Katie is devastated when her BFF returns from camp with a new group of friends. So Katie decides to find other kids who seem lonely and start The Cupcake Club.
Rutabaga: The Adventure Chef, Feasts of Fury 2 by Eric Colossal (ages 7 – 10)
This is a delightful, quirky book about a young chef and his magical cooking pot named, uh, Pot. Rutabaga has several crazy adventures — finding the secret ingredient for a special soup (spider webs?!) and stopping costume-stealing, nasty gubblins from taking over the kingdom, and such. Each story comes with a recipe although they’re as kooky as these stories! Bubbling Bog Fondue with stinky cheese and Gubblin Snot! (smoothie) are just a few of the culinary delights shared in this book. Yum?
Middle Grade Books with Food, Baking, and Cooking Themes
Pie in the Sky by Remy Lai (ages 8 – 12)
Eggs over Evie by Alison Jackson (ages 8 – 12)
Evie is struggling with her parent’s divorce. She’s not feeling so great about her dad’s new family-to-be and her mom’s first date. She cooks and starts every chapter with a quote from a famous chef then ends each chapter with a recipe. You’ll enjoy this middle-grade chapter book Evie’s journey of self-discovery.
The Baking Life of Amelie Day by Vanessa Curtis (ages 8 – 12)
I enjoyed this book so much! The writing flows, the plot is engaging, the characters are fascinating — especially Amelie — and learning about living with Cystic Fibrosis is quite eye-opening. Amelie loves to bake (could you guess from the title?) and she’s made it to the semi-finals of a teen baking contest in New York City. Unfortunately, her health deteriorates (which happens when you have CF) and her mom won’t let Amelie compete. You won’t just love this story but also want to try the various recipes throughout the book –I love when authors do that.
Lights Camera Cook! by Charise Mericle Harper (ages 8 – 12)
Who will win this cooking contest reality show? Find out what happens during the show as the four contestants cook and compete. Readers will also find cooking tips such as how to cut with different techniques. Chapters are interspersed with one-on-one, first-person monologues from the kids, narrating what’s happening. It’s a fast-paced narrative with drama and dialogue.
All Four Stars by Tara Dairman (ages 8 – 12)
Recipe for Disaster by Aimee Lucido (ages 8 – 12)
A heart-warming story about family, faith, forgiveness, and learning to define yourself instead of letting others define you. Hannah, a girl who loves cooking and food, wants to figure out what being Jewish means. Since her mom forbids her to be Jewish, her Grandma helps her secretly study the Torah with Aunt Yael, a rabbi and a woman her mom considers to be evil. She’s upset that her dad and brother argue all the time, that her BFF dumps her, and that her new friend Vee experiences anti-Semitism graffiti on her house. I love Hannah’s view of people and the world as recipes as well as the important and relatable questions about heritage and faith.
Measuring Up by Lily LaMotte, illustrated by Ann Xu (ages 8 – 12)
A beautiful graphic novel story of food, a close-knit, multigenerational family, finding your place in a new culture and country, and staying proud of your heritage…Cici moves to the U.S. from Tawain and wants her A’má to come, too. She hopes to win the grand prize in a cooking contest and use the money to buy her A’má a plane ticket. Cici wants to cook American food like her cooking contest partner…She learns from Julia Child but in the end, Cici returns to her Tawainese roots to win the contest.
Bliss by Kathryn Littlewood (ages 8 – 12)
This magical realism book series was a bedtime favorite read for us. In Rosemary’s family’s bakery, there’s a magical cookbook the kids aren’t supposed to use. But when the parents are away, the aunt arrives and gets cooking– using the forbidden enchanted recipes. But the kids will learn the hard way that Aunt Lily isn’t who she says she is nor does she have their best interests at heart. Action, adventure, magic, and cooking!
The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart by Stephanie Burgis (ages 8 – 12)
Roll with It by Jamie Sumner (ages 8 – 12)
Narrated by Ellie a girl who loves to bake, who has CP (cerebral palsy,) and who rolls through life in a wheelchair, she hates having an aid at school who’s supposed to help her with everything including going to the bathroom. When her mom moves them to Oklahoma to help care for her grandfather, she makes friends with other trailer park kids — the first friends ever. It’s a sweet story about taking risks, the importance of finding your tribe, and growing up.
Pie by Sarah Weeks (ages 8 – 12)
We loved this food story! Alice’s Aunt Polly, the Pie Queen of Ipswitch, dies and leaves her famous secret pie recipe to her grumpy cat, Lardo. Now Alice needs to figure out the recipe while she grieves her aunt. It’s a coming-of-age, warm-hearted story set in a close-knit community.
Confectionately Yours series by Lisa Papademetriou (ages 8 – 12)
Baker’s Magic by Diane Mahler (ages 8 – 12)
An evil mage takes over the country, destroying trees and crops to grow his tulips. When Bree learns of this, she vows to help the trapped princess escape to find the council of magicians using her newly developed baking magic! This is a wonderful story with a lovely ending.
The Wizz Pop Chocolate Shop by Kate Sauders (ages 8 – 12)
When Liz and Oz inherit a house with a chocolate shop, they inherit adventure, chocolate, and magic.
Close to Famous by Joan Bauer (ages 8 – 12)
In her new town of Culpepper, Foster bakes for a local coffee shop and as she does, her reading challenges are revealed. Foster works hard both in baking and in learning to read. The story is inspiring and heart-warming.
Neil Flambe and the Marco Polo Murders by Kevin Sylvester (ages 8 – 12)
Arrogant, yet endearing, 14-year old chef Neil Flambe is known for his keen powers of smell – especially by the police detectives who need Neil’s help with a series of mysterious murders of chefs in the area. The clues lead to something about a trip of Marco Polo and spices. An aromatic read.
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