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From the Desk of Zoe Washington by Janae Marks

Updated: Jan 7, 2022


Zoe Washington has big plans for the summer. She is going to spend the summer practicing her baking and then audition for The Food Network's Kids' Bake Challenge! These plans did not, however, include getting a birthday letter in the mail from her murder-convicted birth father who has been in prison for Zoe's entire life. As Zoe begins secretly communicating with her father, she learns that the justice system isn't always right.


AGE RANGE INTERMEDIATE



THEMES

Baking

Prison

Unconventional families

Friendship

Family

Law

Racism



OVERALL RATING 8/10

The themes covered in the book were very interesting and important, and I think they were handled in a good way. The main character (Zoe) did seem too naïve, though. As a twelve year-old, she had never realized that people could be wrongfully convicted, and she baked constantly, but couldn't imagine inventing her own recipe. She just didn't seem like a real person to me. I think the book is worth reading, just not super engaging.



PROS

Deals with important issues

Good emotional expression in characters

Interesting story



CONS

Zoe doesn't seem like a real kid

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