Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Hot Lunch by Alex Bradley

Main Characters: High school sophomore Mollie Ollinger
Location: Undefined
Time period: Contemporary
Genre: YA Fiction, School, Humor

Blue-haired Mollie Ollinger is a bad-tempered brat. She has no friends and does not try to make any. She wears her oversized headphones every moment she possibly can in order to shut everyone out. When a teacher assigns a teamwork assignment and pairs Mollie with blond, perky Cassie, Mollie refuses to work on the assignment or even to talk to her. Bad feelings escalate between the two and after they have a food fight in the cafeteria, their punishment is to work in the cafeteria helping to prepare the school lunches. That doesn't stop their sniping at each other and before they know it, the cook quits and they are left totally in charge.

Mollie is really unlikeable at first, but not irredeemable. Slowly, she recognizes her own faults and begins to learn to open up and trust others. As one of her classmates tells her, she has been using her meanness as a shield to keep from being hurt. Once she begins to let her shield down she finds that she is much happier.

Interspersed in the story are some simple recipes to try--I'm looking forward to trying the tomato soup, but I'm not sure about the cream puffs.

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