Eggs over Evie by Alison Jackson, Tuesday Mourning |, NOOK Book (eBook) | Barnes & Noble
Eggs over Evie

Eggs over Evie

4.4 16
by Alison Jackson, Tuesday Mourning
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Twelve-year-old Evie Carson lives with her mom. In an apartment across the lake, Evie's celebrity-chef dad is starting a new life with his young second wife, Angie, who's expecting twins. To make matters worse, Evie's dad has custody of the beloved family dog. Navigating her new family situation is difficult, and Evie turns to her love of cooking as a way to stay

Overview

Twelve-year-old Evie Carson lives with her mom. In an apartment across the lake, Evie's celebrity-chef dad is starting a new life with his young second wife, Angie, who's expecting twins. To make matters worse, Evie's dad has custody of the beloved family dog. Navigating her new family situation is difficult, and Evie turns to her love of cooking as a way to stay connected to her father. Through cooking classes, Evie finds an unexpected friend in Corey, whose eccentric aunt Shanti might be able to make everyone a little happier. Evie learns to look outside herself, help others, and make friends where she never thought she could (she also learns to make a pretty darn good soufflé!).

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“* An appealing book with an authentic voice, particularly when discussing the upheaval and discomfort caused by divorce, as well as the effort and good will required to smooth the transition.” —School Library Journal, starred review

“Evie tells her story with a pinch of humor and a dash of vulnerability, sifting together the people in her life and blending them into a surprising new family . . . Sweet and savory.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Relationships are at the heart of this appealing, illustrated chapter book.” —Booklist

“Evie's narration is emotionally perceptive without being sappy, and the emphasis on roles and relationships yields solid character development that serves to move the story forward. Each chapter is followed by a recipe, and the cooking frame adds organization and appeal to the story.” —The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, RECOMMENDED

School Library Journal
Gr 4–6—Thirteen-year old Evie Carson loves to cook, which is fitting for the daughter of a renowned celebrity chef. Now that her parents have divorced and her father is living with his new wife on the other side of town, Evie spends a lot of time in the kitchen, and her mom has even signed her up for summer cooking classes at the rec center. It's been a year since her dad moved out and took their dog with him, but now there are twins on the way, her stepmother is trying to be her friend, and her mother is going on her first date since the divorce, so Evie is feeling just a little bit out of sorts. Although she and her mom have finally begun to fill the empty places left by her father's departure, it takes a crotchety neighbor, a handsome cooking partner, some rescued animals, and a lot of recipes to make the future seem as inviting as the past. Each chapter is headed by a quote from a celebrity chef that portends the events to come and concludes with a recipe for whatever Evie is preparing. Spot illustrations appear throughout. This is an appealing book with an authentic voice, particularly when discussing the upheaval and discomfort caused by divorce, as well as the effort and good will required to smooth the transition.—Teri Markson, Los Angeles Public Library
Kirkus Reviews

After her father moves to a condo and marries a younger woman, 13-year-old Evie fills the void by cooking. When her dad went, he took the dog and all traces of their family with him, leaving Evie and her mom to "fit into all those empty corners of the house." Evie's dad writes cookbooks and hosts a food-channel show, so cooking is the "little piece of him" she can keep. As she worries about her mother, who's starting to date, her new stepmother, who's pregnant with twins, and her elderly neighbor, whose cat has died, Evie therapeutically bakes soufflés, brownies and biscuits. In a summer cooking class taught by an ex-hippie, Evie discovers that if she follows the right recipe, life will work out. Evie tells her story with a pinch of humor and a dash of vulnerability, sifting together the people in her life and blending them into a surprising new family. The cooking motif cleverly extends throughout with quotes from famous chefs, Evie's recipes and culinary spot art. Sweet and savory. (bibliography of kitchen wisdom) (Fiction. 8-12)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781429996013
Publisher:
Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Publication date:
11/09/2010
Sold by:
Macmillan
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
224
File size:
751 KB
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt


Chapter One “There is fabulous cooking, good cooking,
mediocre cooking, and bad cooking.”

—James Beard

I like to cook early in the morning. No one’s around to distract me. Nobody’s telling me what ingredients to add or leave out. Time doesn’t exist. I measure, I pour, I beat, I blend. My mind is uncluttered.

And this morning was no exception. I knew that by noon it would be too hot to cook. Sweat already tickled the hairs on my neck, running down the insides of my arms as I whipped up my latest culinary masterpiece. The last time I’d tried making this particular soufflé, it caved in like a crater on the moon. But I knew now what I had done wrong. Soufflés depend on eggs and time. Not one second should be wasted between the beating of the whites and the opening of the oven door. A sudden draft might be deadly.

Well—no danger of that today, I thought. Any draft, sudden or not, would be a welcome change. Mom had told me this heat wave might go down in the record books as the hottest in Clermont Lake’s history. And she was probably right. But hot was hot. Especially when your mother was trying to save money on electricity by turning off the air-conditioning.

I’d been hanging around the house since school let out for the summer, “making a mess in the kitchen” (her words, not mine) and being slovenly in general. Chocolate chip cookies with pecans and coconut were my specialty, but I’d baked enough of those in the past few days to fill a moving van. And, to tell you the truth, I was moping a little too. I was bored and hot, nearly as deflated as last week’s soufflé disaster. And I missed my dog.

Mousse is a big fat mutt of an animal, sort of a mix between a chubby retriever and a beagle, with some Great Dane thrown in to scare people. Dad was the one who named him. He said that if you let that dog loose during hunting season, someone might mistake him for a moose and try to shoot him. Mousse. A cooking term, naturally.

My father is David Carson, the renowned celebrity chef. He writes cookbooks for a living, in addition to a syndicated newspaper food column called “Carson’s Cuisine.” He also hosts a weekly television show on the local food channel, educating all of Clermont Lake’s early risers on the mysteries of how to separate eggs or grate lemon peels. My dad loves to cook, just like I do. The big difference is…he’s really good at it. Another difference is…he doesn’t do any of his cooking in our house anymore.

Dad moved out about a year ago to live in a high-rise condominium on the other side of the lake. A trial separation was what he and Mom called it. Yeah, right. He was dating his young editor, and everyone knew it. Mom in particular. I mean, how could she not know? Long before Dad announced his departure, it was always “Angie” this and “Angie” that. And, oh, guess who called me the other day? And…do you know who happened to be in Toronto when I was speaking at that cooking symposium? More persistent than the flu. That was Angie.

And now Dad was living with her. Married to her, actually. With a baby on the way. But that wasn’t even the worst of it. He’d taken Mousse with him. Our dog’s abduction was all part of the “separation agreement,” although I’d never agreed to any of it. Dad insisted that if Mom got custody of me, then he should get custody of Mousse. It was only fair, he argued. Meaning his thirteen-year-old daughter was a fair trade for a dog? Even a stupendously smart and wonderful dog, like Mousse.

And what about Mom? She’d given up a music career in New York. Now she taught piano to a bunch of tone-deaf kids whose mothers had read somewhere that studying music would elevate their child’s IQ. Well, from the noises I heard coming out of our music room every afternoon, those IQs needed more help than my mom could ever give them.

This is not to say that I could play the piano any better. I was also tone deaf. Something else I’d inherited from my father. But as far as I knew, my IQ was okay. I took a career aptitude test in middle school last year and was told I would perform well in sales or animal care. Not a single word about cooking.

That pretty much wiped out my future dreams of Parisian culinary schools, so Mom came to the rescue. She enrolled me in a teen cooking class at the local rec center this summer. And, to make the testing people happy, I pinned up posters around the neighborhood advertising my pet-sitting services: EVIE CARSON: PET-SITTER, PET-WALKER, AND PART-TIME CHEF.

Only one customer called me up. Mrs. Hamilton from next door. That figured. I’d already been feeding her mangy cat for two years, ever since Mrs. Hamilton fell and broke her hip. For a while, the poor woman couldn’t walk without wheels attached to her. But she was doing a lot better now. I mostly went over to try out my new recipes on her, and to search for Millie, the fugitive cat who was always sneaking out of the house.

Mrs. H complained about that cat night and day. And the woman hated everything I made for her, though I think she enjoyed the attention. Once I caught her slipping Millie one of my Swedish meatballs, but she denied it, as if I’d insulted her or something. Right. Like I wasn’t insulted? Those meatballs were one of Dad’s specialties. Of course, I found out later that I’d accidentally added baking soda to the recipe, instead of salt. Still, Millie ate it, so my meatballs couldn’t have been that awful.

I was thinking of taking my soufflé next door later this morning, if the whole thing didn’t cave in like Mount Vesuvius. Or I could share it with Mom, if she woke up in the next hour or so.

I glanced at the wall clock over the refrigerator. Ten o’clock. Why wasn’t she out of bed yet? Then I heard her laughing. Mom was in the music room, talking on the phone. And I couldn’t help thinking that it was good to hear her laugh. She used to do that all the time, especially when Dad made breakfast for us. Mom and I would always gag and cough, like the food was really terrible, and then he’d pretend to be offended.

Enough of that. Dad wasn’t here. He was across the lake, cooking breakfast for his pregnant wife and serving the scraps to my dog!

Mom walked into the kitchen, sniffing the air.

“Soufflé again?” she said with a smile.

“New and improved,” I answered. “I promise.”

Mom poured herself a cup of coffee and sat at the table, opening the newspaper. We both knew that this was Saturday, the day when Dad’s food column appeared in part four. But she made quite a show of avoiding that section.

I rummaged around in the fridge for some orange juice and gave the carton a hefty shake. Then I filled a glass and sat down next to her.

“Doing anything special today?” Mom asked with a yawn.

“I might go over to Mrs. Hamilton’s later.”

Mom grimaced. “Take her something sweet.”

I grinned. “She’ll probably feed it to her cat.”

The timer went off, and I opened the oven door a crack. So far, no Vesuvius. After putting on a pair of oven mitts, I carefully lifted the soufflé from the rack and set it on the counter. Mom walked over and peered down.

“It’s puffy,” she said encouragingly.

“That’s the crown,” I informed her. “The soufflé is supposed to be eaten immediately, before it falls.” I’d picked up that piece of information from one of my father’s cookbooks. And not only his. I’d been reading cookbooks since I was ten. Famous chefs offer lots of great advice on cooking. And on life too, if you think about it, since their kitchens are their world.

Mom examined my creation. “I’m ready, if you are.” She grabbed two clean plates from the dishwasher and I carried my soufflé to the table. I let it rest for a moment between us, thinking how great it would be if Dad could be here to see this. It was his own recipe, after all. And he’d be so pleased to see that I’d pulled it off.

“Not bad,” he might say. Or, “Soufflés can be tricky.” Which is high praise, coming from the creator of “Carson’s Cuisine.” Because my father always insists that no recipe is perfect.

The phone rang. Mom frowned. I got up to answer it.

“Hello? Evie? Is that you?”

“Yes, Mrs. Hamilton. Is everything all right?”

“Well, that’s just it. I don’t know. I can’t find Millie. Could you come over and look for her?”

I snuck a peek at the soufflé. Good, still puffy. “We’re having breakfast. I’ll be over in about twenty minutes.”

I could sense her scowl, boring into me through the telephone. Mom was right. That woman did need something sweet.

“She’s been gone since last night,” Mrs. H said angrily, as if Millie’s disappearance were somehow my fault.

“Okay, I’ll be right over,” I said. “Would you like me to bring some of my soufflé?”

Silence. She had already hung up.

Turning, I caught sight of my mother’s expression. Deflated now, sort of like the newly sunken mess on the table in front of her.

“I’m so sorry, honey,” she said, eyeing the caved-in soufflé. “Can we still have some?”

I suddenly felt caved in too. Maybe it was better that Dad wasn’t here to see this, after all. “Might as well,” I replied. “Mrs. Hamilton’s cat doesn’t seem to be around to eat any of it.”

By the time I got to Mrs. H’s house, the temperature outside must have reached ninety-eight degrees. Sweat trickled down the backs of my legs and into my sneakers. Maybe I’d call my friend Karyn later. She lived in an apartment complex with a swimming pool.

As I entered the yard, I surveyed the area for Millie the cat. Not up in the oak tree. Then I inspected the front of the house. No cat on the roof or in the eaves. I listened for cries of distress. Once I’d found Millie caught in the rain gutter, hissing angrily, but she wasn’t there today. That crazy cat was meaner than its owner. And older. She was probably on her ninth life already. Oh, well. Maybe Millie had found her way back home since Mrs. H’s phone call.

There was no response when I rang the bell, but Mrs. Hamilton was nearly deaf, so I figured she simply hadn’t heard. I knocked on the door. Loudly. Still no answer. Carefully, I cracked the door open. It groaned in protest.

“Evie? Is that you?”

Mrs. H was calling from somewhere in the back of the house. Her voice sounded funny. As if she were talking through a tin can.

“Evie!” she called again, with more volume this time.

I hurried into the back bedroom, where I found Mrs. Hamilton sitting on the floor, breathing heavily.

“Well, what are you staring at? Help me up!” she demanded.

I bent down and grabbed her by the elbows, but I was afraid they’d snap in my hands. I reached for her shoulders, and her ice-cold fingers gripped my arm as I lifted her onto the bed. She was as light as a potato chip. Lighter than her cat. And I was scared.

I sat on the bed next to Mrs. Hamilton and waited for her breathing to slow. “Are you all right?” I asked. Talk about stupid questions.

“Of course I’m all right,” she grumbled, smoothing the skirt in her lap with trembling fingers. “I thought I’d look for Millie under the bed. But once I got down there, I couldn’t get back up.”

“Maybe I should call my mom.”

“You’ll do no such thing. I’m fine. Fit as a fiddle.”

I knew better than to argue with her.

“Did you bring any of that whatever it was you were making with you?” Mrs. Hamilton asked. The old woman’s breathing was back to normal, along with her nasty disposition.

“No,” I said apologetically. “I can run back home and get some.”

“Never mind,” she barked. “Just find my cat.”

I had no idea where to start. “When did you see her last?”

“How should I know? My memory’s not that good. I fed her last night, though. I remember that.” But Mrs. Hamilton didn’t sound as if she remembered it at all. She sounded unsure, and frightened.

“Okay,” I said reassuringly. “So Millie hasn’t been gone too long.”

I helped Mrs. H stand up and then led her into the kitchen.

“Can I get you anything? Some water, maybe?”

“Just find my cat!” she repeated, and I could see that her rapid blinking was barely holding back tears. How long had that cat really been gone, I wondered?

I opened the back door and a gust of hot air stung my face, like steam. The lake’s surface rippled in response, and I wondered if the cat had somehow wandered in and drowned.

With one hand shading my eyes, I scanned the yards along the shoreline, then stepped outside.

“Millie!” I yelled. “Millie! Where are you?”

No answer. All I heard was the soft rhythm of water lapping against sand.

EGGS OVER EVIE Copyright © 2010 by Alison Jackson

Meet the Author

Alison Jackson is the author of several books for young readers, including If the Shoe Fits, and I Know an Old Woman Who Swallowed a Pie. Ms. Jackson, a former librarian, lives with her family in Orlando, Florida.
Tuesday Mourning has illustrated the covers of over fifteen chapter books and has a few of her own children's books in the works. She lives with her family in Knoxville, Tennessee.


ALISON JACKSON has been a children's librarian for thirty years, both in California and Florida. After graduating with honors from the University of California, Mrs. Jackson attended San Jose State University, where she received a Master's Degree in Librarianship.
Tuesday Mourning has illustrated the covers of over fifteen chapter books and has a few of her own children’s books in the works. She lives with her family in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Eggs over Evie 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best book ever! Btw it was around 200 pages hoped this helped(:
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read this book many times! I LOVE IT ^_^
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good book. You should really read it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Should i buy this book? I think i might? If you think i should make your comment topic yes
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amaze awesome totes cool whatever you want to call it super good read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is great for young chefs....(or really any non-cook people themselves), and I know its really a pain to read a super long review, so I'll just keep it short and simple: This is a great book that even comes with about 20 free recipes! (Delicious ones, too! I made them all and loved them!) And is great for age groups 10—13, or higher or lower, it can go either way. Absolutely addicting, I stayed up half the night reading it! It has about 210 pages, and is a realistic fiction.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
How long is this book ? Reply to: bookworm
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I did not read it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved how Evie doesn't tell the story in a way that makes you feel sorry for her. I've read a lot of books about girls with divorced parents, and this is one of the only ones that doesn't sound too cheesy. The only thing I didn't like is that the book wasn't as eventful as I would like. If you told a summary it would be pretty short because there aren't that many main events, but the events that did happen were written in a great way!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really like this book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You should read this book
Jane Shea Mannard More than 1 year ago
I loved this book it was so great
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Looks like i should buy
Nina Menon More than 1 year ago
I read the sample and it was good, but how many pages is the real book?