From the Desk of Zoe Washington by Janae Marks is a standalone juvenile fiction book about a girl who loves to bakes journey to get to know her convict father.
When Zoe Washington receives a letter from her biological father on her twelfth birthday, she isn’t sure what to write back. Her father is a convicted felon, serving a sentence for a horrible crime. She has never met him and he has never met her but he says he’s innocent and Zoe can’t help but being curious.
Secretly, Zoe begins a correspondence with Marcus and becomes all but obsessed with discovering whether he is guilty or innocent of his crime. That, and convincing her parents that she’s ready to audition for the Food Network’s Kids Bake Challenge, Zoe Washington has a busy summer ahead of her. But can she do it?
This is a prime example of a misleading title. I saw a colleague recommend this book and picked it up purely from looking at the cover. So I was quite surprised when it had absolutely nothing to do with journalism or writing for a newspaper or anything. I totally missed the cookbook, cupcake and cake poster in the background, but the girl on the cover just screamed “journalist” to me. All that being said, this was a good book and a really good audio book.
I was almost lost toward the middle-end of the book, when I kept cringing knowing the “uh oh” moment was coming. And I did find Zoe a little naïve here and there but overall, I liked her as a character.
The baking elements of this story where really great. I loved Zoe’s internship at the bakery and her Fruit Loop creation. Yum! There was also a really good balance, in terms of believability, with Zoe’s relationship with Marcus.
Overall, this was a fun read and would probably appeal to both boys and girls around 4-6th grade.
That’s all for now!