ALL YOU KNEAD IS LOVE, by Tanya Guerrero, Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR), March 30, 2021, Hardcover, $16.99 (ages 8-12)
A girl learns about love, life and the complexities of family in Tanya Guerrero’s All You Knead is Love.
Twelve-year-old Alba doesn’t want to live with her estranged grandmother in Barcelona.
But her mother needs her to be far, far away from their home in New York City. Because this is the year that her mother is going to leave Alba’s abusive father. Hopefully. If she’s strong enough to finally, finally do it.
Alba is surprised to find that she loves Barcelona, forming a close relationship with her grandmother, meeting a supportive father figure, and making new friends. Most of all, she discovers a passion and talent for bread baking. When her beloved bakery is threatened with closure, Alba is determined to find a way to save it — and at the same time, she may just come up with a plan to make their family whole again. —Synopsis provided by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
The setting for All You Need is Love is excellent. Tanya Guerrero transports readers to the streets of Barcelona. The senses come alive with her descriptions, especially in the bakery. Some familiarity with baking is helpful, but the author does a fine job of describing the processes.
All You Knead is Love is a balancing act. Alba is coming to terms with the trauma she faced at home, and there is a lot of emotional pain spread throughout. Guerrero does a fairly good job balancing the heavier moments, but this could be a hard/triggering read for someone who has faced a similar situation.
While I enjoyed All You Knead is Love, I found myself questioning the suggested age range. The book feels older than 8. It’s hard to picture my daughter reading it one year from now. Everything skews older. Alba feels older. She’s on the cusp of being a teenager, but some of her actions/reactions push the reading age up to 10 or 12 and up.
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