Doughnut Fix, Book 2: The Doughnut King (Coming May 2019)

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Superfudge meets The Lemonade War in the second book of this charming, funny, and heartwarming series about growing up, family, change, and as always, doughnuts.

Tris Levin thought moving from New York City to middle-of-nowhere Petersville meant life would definitely get worse...only it actually got better. But just when things are looking up, problems start rolling in.

His doughnut business has a major supply issue. And that's not the worst part, Petersville has its own supply problem, it doesn't have enough people. Folks keep moving away and if they can't get people to stay, Petersville may disappear.

Petersville needs to become a tourist destination, and his shop could be a big part of it, if Tris can keep up with demand. There's only one solution: The Belshaw Donut Robot. If Tris can win "Can You Cut It," the cutthroat competitive kids' cooking show, he can get the cash to buy the machine. But even with the whole town training and supporting him, Tris isn't sure he can live with what it takes to takes to win. --from the publisher

336 pages          978-1492655442           Ages 8-12

First title in this series:  The Doughnut Fix, Book 1

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After successfully launching a doughnut shop in the small town of Petersville, New York in The Doughnut Fix, Tris and his friend Josh are still struggling with some problems. They can't get enough doughnuts made to keep up with demand, and disappointed customers are starting to leave negative comments on their website.

Tris' mother's restaurant and the rest of the town, however, have the opposite problem-- not enough customers, and businesses closing in the town. The solution to both problems might come from the television cooking show, Can You Cut It. If Tris could get on the show, the prize money could be used to buy a doughnut robot, and there would be good publicity for the town.

While Tris loves to cook, he is less than thrilled about being on the show, especially when one of the hosts, Cheff JJ, turns out to be someone who worked with his mother in the city and wasn't very fond of her. Despite competitions involving dicing onions, putting together a dish with only one ingredient, and navigating the reality show drama some participants are intent on bringing, Tris perseveres, knowing that Petersville is counting on him. Back in town, residents are painting, coming up with new businesses, and investigating publicity opportunities. Will all of it be enough to keep things going?

Strengths: I love the discussions of Tris and Josh's business model, and the fact that they are really trying to run a successful business. Tris even reaches out to a possible investor who has revitalized another small town, which shows a lot of initiative. Books about children who DO things are always my favorite, and the altruism of wanting to save Petersville when Tris originally was not happy about moving there is nice to see. The town itself sounds like a fun place to be, with interesting and unusual characters, Tris' friends and family are all invested in his success, and everything that happens seems possible, if slightly far fetched. This is a happy, positive book about working hard in order to succeed, even when things don't always go your way!

Weaknesses: There's less focus on the family now, which I sort of miss. Tris' sisters and parents were all fairly amusing, but there wasn't enough time to include their issues when The Doughnut Stop and Petersville had so much going on. I guess my one quibble would be this: if Tris' mother's restaurant isn't doing well, why doesn't she put more of her effort into The Doughnut Shop? From the point of the story, we want Tris to be the one to save the day, but from the point of the family's continued existence in Petersville, wouldn't that make more sense? What I really think: Definitely glad to have this series to hand to readers and suspect there is one more book that could be written about Tris and Petersville.

Reviewed by:  Karen Yingling, Library Media Specialist, Ohio USA

See more of her reviews:  msyinglingreads.blogspot.com

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