Page Turner for 8-12 Year Olds

I have read a lot of books, but “The Truth About Twinkie Pie” by Kat Yeh is really, really good. Once you start it, there’s no stopping, the book reaches out and grabs you.

When the book begins, the real-world life of Gigi, a 12-year-old girl, touches you to no end. Even after you finish, the troubles of Gigi’s world, the real world, haunt you and make you think. When you finish, you feel like begging the author: sequel, sequel, sequel.

Have you ever wanted something that you knew you couldn’t have? Gigi does. She desperately wants her Mama alive. Her older sister DiDi, who’s about 10 years older, tells her that Mama died when their trailer in Verity, South Carolina, burned down. Their dad has always been out of the picture. Mama’s recipes keep her living in Gigi and DiDi’s lives.

Fast forward to when Gigi is 12. DiDi has won one million dollars and moved them 800 miles to a New York “walking town.” Gigi is smart, so DiDi enrolls her in a really good school in town. All her life Gigi has kept to herself, at lunch she studies, at home, she studies.

When DiDi signed her up for this school, Gigi decided to change her name to Leia. So when she trips over Trip (no joke, that’s his nickname!) who is really cute, her life takes a turn for the better. Then she meets Mr. McGuire, who because of her real name, Galileo Galilei, invites her to join the Stargazers club. There she meets Haven and Allie and becomes really good friends with them.

Leia’s sister starts hanging out with Mace at the hair salon where DiDi works. Mace is a stuck-up, popular girl at school who has parents that no doubt have really good jobs. When Leia and DiDi start fighting, things don’t get better. Leia wants to get DiDi a tube of Cherries in the Snow lipstick, the only kind their Mama would wear, so they could always have a piece of their Mama with them.

Leia finds a list of places where she can get the lipstick and places a call, only to find out that another woman with DiDi’s name, Delta Dawn Barnes, has also placed an order for the lipstick in Verity, South Carolina where their trailer burned to the ground years ago.

Leia decides to go there with Trip who has become a very good friend. Leia seeks the truth. But when there are so many lies woven around her, how can she do this?

I would recommend this book for readers in fifth grade and above. Even adults would enjoy it. I cannot wait for the next Kat Yeh book!