Gut Reaction

We rated this book:


It is never easy to be the new kid, but when it’s middle school and part way into the school year, it’s doubly hard. Tess loves her new stepfather but still misses her dad, who died suddenly a few years ago. She honors his memory by baking, his great love and vocation. But suddenly, when Tess tastes her baked goods, she gets terrible pains in her stomach and has other digestive problems.

She is trying to navigate a new school, find a way to make some friends, and now this! But she’s too embarrassed to tell anyone, even her mother. She finally makes some friends thanks to her baked goods and is invited to be in a prestigious baking contest, but then her illness puts her in real crisis. Everything is so hard!

Kirby Larson and her daughter, Quinn Wyatt, have written an important book for middle-graders about living with Crohn’s disease. The writing is exceptional, the characters are well-rounded and endearing, and the story, with themes of loss, grief, friendship, and family, is most compelling. The background of baking and the baking contest really highlight Tess’s battle with her illness. This deserves readership beyond middle-graders. Don’t miss this book.

Reviewed By:

Author Kirby Larson, Quinn Wyatt
Star Count 5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 272 pages
Publisher Scholastic Inc.
Publish Date 05-Mar-2024
ISBN 9781338893137 Buy this Book
Issue February 2023
Category Tweens