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Stir It Up: A Novel

by Ramin Ganeshram

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1575139,254 (3.83)2
Thirteen-year-old Anjali dreams of hosting a televised cooking show featuring foods based on her Hindu and Trinidadian heritage, but when an opportunity presents itself, she will have to defy her family to go to the audition. Includes recipes.

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Showing 5 of 5
  lcslibrarian | Aug 13, 2020 |
Summary & Review:
In Stir it Up Anjali dreams to be a chef of Caribbean Islander traditions. She must hid these passions from her parents because they feel that this professional dream is below her potential. Anjali's grandmother supports her dreams of becoming a chef and helps teach her the traditions and customs of the Caribbean Islander culture. The book contains many extra textual features including full recipes that the reader may follow to cook their very own Caribbean Islander inspired meals. ( )
  acahil3 | Dec 10, 2014 |
This was a sweet, short novel about a teenager from Trinidad who helps in her parents' restaurant and dreams of becoming a celebrity chef. Against her parents' wishes, she enters a reality show cooking contest for kids. Although I loved her love of cooking, the details of the reality show were all gloss and no substance; they didn't have her parents sign a contract, which would NEVER happen in real life but which was necessary for the sake of the plot, and she only had to go through two rounds of three kids cooking before a winner was declared. The book felt rushed to an ending. For these reasons, I gave it only 3 stars. So much unfulfilled potential! ( )
  amysisson | Jul 1, 2013 |
This charming book for ages ten and over will have you salivating for Caribbean food. The protagonist, 13-year-old Anjali Krishnan, originally from Trinidad, helps out in her family’s roti shop, Island Spice, in a Queens, New York neighborhood full of other Trinidadians and Guyanese families. Anjali calls cooking her “soul’s work.” She dreams of having the first television show about Caribbean food. Her inspiration is her grandmother, Deema, who attends classes with Anjali at New York’s Institute of Culinary Education.

Anjali’s parents are not supportive of her dream to be a celebrity chef; they think it is beneath her. So when Chef Nyla from the Institute tells Anjali about a Food Network contest for “Super Chef Kids,” Anjali enters on the sly. She doesn’t tell her parents until she is chosen as a finalist. Anjali has two important issues at stake: she wants to win the contest, and she also wants to win her parents’ understanding and support.

Evaluation: While the main character is Trinidadian, her fellow schoolmates in Queens are a veritable United Nations collection. I loved all the diversity in this book and all the information (particularly regarding food, of course) about other cultures.

My nieces love to cook, so I think they would identify with Anjali, and perhaps even want to try the great-looking recipes included in the text. The author knows of what she writes: she is a food writer, cookbook author and professional chef trained at the same place her protagonist attends, the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City. ( )
1 vote nbmars | Jul 2, 2012 |
Decent novel about pursuing your dreams, and the obstacles that land in your way. I was a little disappointed in the way Anjali's lie is handled and so easily forgiven. It was a big lie, and I felt like there wasn't a lot of fallout from that. That instance struck me as unrealistic. But overall, I enjoyed Anjali's character, and her love of cooking is infectious. I also love that the recipes were included with the text. I can't wait to try some of them out! ( )
  shazzerwise | Feb 29, 2012 |
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My heart pounds as I race around the kitchen with Deema, filling orders, trying not to get behind. It's a race that only we can win. "Start the pholouries!" my father yells. We are a jumble of bees - buzzing, bumping into each other, building something sweet and solid.
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Thirteen-year-old Anjali dreams of hosting a televised cooking show featuring foods based on her Hindu and Trinidadian heritage, but when an opportunity presents itself, she will have to defy her family to go to the audition. Includes recipes.

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