Giana de Laurentiis launched her Recipe for Adventure book series for tweens this fall. The books follow the adventures of Emilia, 12, and her brother Alfie, 11. The first one is set in Naples! and the second in Paris! Those books are out now and the third book, Hong Kong!, will be released on Jan. 7, 2014, and New Orleans! will be next. (I know, that's a lot of exclamation points.)
My tween read the two books currently available and liked them both, giving them both two
thumbs forks up. Amazon.com says the books are intended for readers ages 7-11. While my 11 year-old enjoyed the books, she felt like they were more at a 4th grade reading level and would be great for ages 8-9. They are all 144 pages long and include 2 recipes at the end of the books.
I know my tween really did like the books because after she finished reading Paris!, she asked if she could start reading Naples! Wanting to read more books in a series is what I consider a success. I think it helped that the reading level is a bit below where she is now. Short chapters with some pictures mixed in made for easy reading, and there's nothing wrong with that on occasion.
My tween and I agreed that it would have been better if de Laurentiis had included more recipes. Naples! included recipes for zeppole and pizza and Paris! book had a crepe recipe and hot chocolate recipe. It would have been fun to have something a bit more interesting than hot chocolate but not quite as difficult to make as zeppole, which is fried and requires parental assistance.
The recipes would pair nicely with kitchen accessories if putting together a gift set, such as a fun mug to go with the French hot chocolate or a pizza cutter to go with the pizza.
I liked that the books revolve around the value of travel, of family and of fresh food.
My tween said that both books "were really good. I'd give them an 8 out of 10. They're both intriguing, but Paris! is the best of the two. The descriptions were really good so I felt like I was in those cities. You do learn some interesting facts about the location but I didn't feel like I was in history class, which was good. There was a lot of talk about the food, food, food. In the beginning it is fun but it got a little old towards the end."
Note: We did not receive anything for this post. We heard about the books and I checked the Paris! book out of the library for my tween Francophile foodie. If someone would like to send us to Paris (with or without an exclamation point), however, we would not object. All opinions are our own.
Please like Tween Us on Facebook.
If you would like to get emails of Tween Us posts, please type your email address in the box and click the "create subscription" button. My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.