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It's Raining Cupcakes
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It's Raining Cupcakes

4.5 294
by Lisa Schroeder

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Twelve-year-old Isabel is dying to get out of her small town of Willow, Oregon, and travel like her best friend, Sophie. But when Isabel’s mother decides to open up a cupcake shop across town, Isabel is once again stuck in Willow for the summer…until she learns of a baking contest where the finalists get an all-expenses paid trip to New York City to


Twelve-year-old Isabel is dying to get out of her small town of Willow, Oregon, and travel like her best friend, Sophie. But when Isabel’s mother decides to open up a cupcake shop across town, Isabel is once again stuck in Willow for the summer…until she learns of a baking contest where the finalists get an all-expenses paid trip to New York City to compete in the final bake-off. But Sophie is also entering the contest, and Isabel’s mother has reservations. Can Isabel finally realize her dreams of leaving Willow without hurting two of the most important people in her life?

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 4–7—If 12-year-old Isabel becomes a finalist in the Baker's Best Baking Contest, she'll finally get to do something she's always wanted to do—travel. Her Chocolate Jam Tarts are delicious and original but her stressed-out mom wants her to create a cupcake recipe for the contest instead. Mom's store, It's Raining Cupcakes, is about to open and a winning entry from her daughter would be an excellent way to advertise, especially since the competition—Beatrice's Brownies—is moving into their little Oregon town. Isabel will have to be resourceful and unrelenting if she wants to make their dreams come true by transforming an old Laundromat into a successful venture. Schroeder includes interesting secondary characters: Isabel's grandma is never without a homemade hat, Stan the barber always leaves scenes with a knock-knock joke, and Isabel envies her wealthier friend Sophie's opportunities to enjoy sports, music lessons, and travel. This story is partially told through notebook entries and through postcards and letters Isabel receives from her flight-attendant aunt and from Sophie when she's at camp. The ending is upbeat but it leaves readers hanging about the outcome of the contest and fails to include Isabel's recipe that moves her to the next level of the competition, though it includes two others. This story about making dreams come true may encourage young girls to set goals and go after their own dreams.—Tanya Boudreau, Cold Lake Public Library, AB, Canada
Kirkus Reviews
Isabel's mother, lacking the "gumption gene" so evident in her plucky 12-year-old daughter, has lots of good ideas but gives up easily and retreats to her bedroom whenever life presents any kind of obstacle. Thus does adventurous Isabel frequently find herself tiptoeing around in the role of caregiver to her parent when she would rather be out seeing the world. When Mom conceives a plan to open a cupcake bakery in their Oregon hometown, Isabel throws herself into helping make her mother's dreams come true, even when it imperils her own dream of winning a baking contest for kids in New York City. With the aid of a few stock characters (the loyal best friend, the wise grandmother, the kind-hearted neighbor), Isabel finds a way to remain true to herself while helping her mother overcome her own limitations. Isabel's voice is direct and endearing; with gentle wit and clarity, she describes her own foibles as well as others'. A deft portrayal of the frustrations of a functional child tethered to a dysfunctional adult. (Fiction. 8-12)

Product Details

Publication date:
Edition description:
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Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

It's Raining Cupcakes

By Lisa Schroeder


Copyright © 2010 Lisa Schroeder
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9781416990840

?Chapter 1

red velvet cupcakes


The whole cupcake thing started a couple of years ago, on my tenth birthday. My mom tried a recipe for red velvet cupcakes with buttercream frosting. She said, ?Isabel, this recipe comes from a very famous cupcake shop in New York City called St. Valentine?s Cupcakes. We?re going to make these cupcakes for your party!?

Now, my mother isn?t big on birthday parties. Since I was six, I?ve pretty much planned my own party, from the handmade invitations we deliver right down to the candy we put in the goodie bags.

But baking is what Mom loves. And it?s the one thing we?ve liked doing together. She told me once there?s something really satisfying about throwing stuff into a bowl and watching a mess turn into something wonderful. And she?s right. There is.

That year for my birthday party, only four girls were coming for a sleepover: my best friend Sophie, plus two other girls from school. With such a small group, Mom thought cupcakes made more sense than a big cake.

Those cupcakes turned out delicious. Better than delicious. Amazingly fabulous. And from that day on, all Mom could talk about were cupcakes. Dad and I listened, because we were just glad she was talking about something. When she started talking about opening a cupcake shop, we listened and nodded our heads like it was the best idea ever. I don?t think either of us really thought it was the best idea ever. But after years of trying odd jobs here and there, and complaining about how they were too easy or too hard, too weird or too boring, too right or too wrong, it was nice to hear good stuff for a change.

The talking turned into more than talking last year, when she convinced Dad to buy an old Laundromat with an apartment upstairs. It?s called a walk-up apartment, and they?re more common in big cities, like New York City or Chicago, than the town I live in: Willow, Oregon, population 39,257.

Mom didn?t see a Laundromat. She saw a cute cupcake shop where she could make cupcakes every day and finally be happy. I think that?s what she saw. I?ll admit, I didn?t see that at first.

We moved into the apartment right away, even though the cupcake shop wouldn?t be ready for awhile. Mom and Dad took out a loan and hired a contractor to do the work downstairs.

As a bunch of big, burly guys hauled the washing machines out of the building and into a large truck, I asked Mom, ?Where will they go to wash their clothes now??

?Who?? she asked.

?The people who brought their baskets of dirty laundry here every week. Where will they go??

She looked at me like I had a washing machine for a head. ?Well, I don?t know, Isabel. But it really doesn?t matter, does it? I?m sure there are other Laundromats in town.?

?Seems like running a Laundromat, where people wash their own clothes, would be a lot easier than running a cupcake shop, where you have to bake all the cupcakes.?

Mom sighed. ?I don?t want a Laundromat. Who would want a Laundromat? I want to bake cupcakes. I want people to walk into my warm, wonderful shop and tell me how much they love my cupcakes. Besides, it won?t just be me doing all the baking. Grandma?s going to help. And you can even help sometimes.?

Maybe it was the fact that this new adventure had forced me to move away from my best friend, Sophie, who?d lived right next door. Maybe it was the fact that my mother expected me to help without even asking if I wanted to. Or maybe, deep down inside, I didn?t think Mom would be able to pull off this cupcake thing. All I know is I still wasn?t sold.

?But I don?t get it, Mom. Do you really think people are going to want to eat cupcakes in a place where they used to wash their dirty, stinky socks??

This time she looked at me like she wanted to shove a dirty, stinky sock into my mouth. ?Isabel, Dad assures me we can turn it into an adorable cupcake shop. Let?s not look back at what?s been, but look ahead to what might be. Okay??

Was that my mother talking? I must have given her a funny look, because she shrugged and said, ?I heard it on TV. I thought it sounded good.?

While Mom and Dad were busy getting the shop ready and organizing the apartment, I?d ride my bike up to the public library for something to do. I?d sit at a table right next to the travel section and read books about the places I wanted to visit someday.

See, my aunt Christy is a flight attendant. She sends me cool postcards from all over the world. When she came to visit last time, I asked her if she liked her job, and she said she doesn?t just like it, she loves it. She gets to meet interesting people and see fascinating places. I asked her if she thought I could be a flight attendant someday, and she smiled real big and said, ?You would make a fantastic flight attendant, my dear Isabel.?

As I read those books, I?d dream of taking a cable car ride through San Francisco, or watching a Broadway play in New York City, or eating pastries outside a cute little caf? in Paris. Compared to those places, our town of Willow seemed about as interesting as dry toast.

I?d never been anywhere outside the state of Oregon. Grandma calls me a native Oregonian, like it?s something to be proud of. What?s there to be proud of? The fact that I own three different hooded coats, because it?s the best way to be ready when the sky decides to open up and pour?

A couple of days after we moved in, Dad and I went to the dollar store because he needed to buy some clipboards and pads of paper for him and Mom. He said there was a lot to do in the coming days, and he wanted to help Mom stay organized. Dad is good at making lists. Not just good. He?s the King of Lists. He usually scribbles them on whatever he can find?the back of an envelope, a corner of the newspaper, a piece of toilet paper. I thought it was sweet how he wanted to help Mom out and buy real paper for a change.

While he scoured the store for list-making supplies, I wandered down the aisles with a single dollar bill, looking for something interesting to buy. In a bin next to dollhouse-size bottles of shampoo and conditioner were a bunch of white plastic wallets with tiny pictures of suitcases on them. I picked one up and opened it. A piece of paper was stuck inside that said, ?Passport Holder.?

I imagined a girl like me eating a bowl of soup at a restaurant in Athens, Greece. Suddenly she bumps the bowl, and soup spills all over the table. She gasps when she notices her passport is sitting there on the table. But then she breathes a sigh of relief, because she remembers she bought a passport holder at the dollar store to keep her passport safe. She opens it and finds the passport perfectly soup free.

Of course I had to buy it. Even if I didn?t have a passport to put inside the passport holder.

When I got home, I put little pieces of paper inside it to make a mini-notebook. I carried it around with me everywhere, and whenever I had a thought about traveling, I wrote it down. This is what I wrote the first day:

I want to go
on many journeys.
I want to meet interesting people
and experience new things.

As I wrote that in my passport-holder-turned-notebook, I realized something important. If I ever wanted to get past the Oregon-Idaho border, I needed to make a plan. A fantastic, incredible, big moneymaking plan.

And I thought turning a Laundromat into a cupcake shop was hard.

? 2010 Lisa Schroeder


Excerpted from It's Raining Cupcakes by Lisa Schroeder Copyright © 2010 by Lisa Schroeder. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Lisa Schroeder is the author of the teen verse novels The Day Before; I Heart You, You Haunt Me and its companion novel, Chasing Brooklyn; Far from You; and the teen prose novel Falling for You. She is also the author of the middle grade prose novels It’s Raining Cupcakes, Sprinkles and Secrets, and Frosting and Friendship. She lives in Beaverton, Oregon. Find out more about Lisa and her books at LisaSchroederBooks.com or on Twitter at @Lisa_Schroeder.

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It's Raining Cupcakes 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 294 reviews.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Twelve-year-old Isabel dreams of getting out of Oregon, but with her mom opening a cupcake shop in their small town, Isabel knows she's not going anywhere. Things start looking up when Isabel learns about a baking contest with a trip to New York City as the prize. If she can come up with a winning recipe, her dreams of travel might come true. Unfortunately, her best friend, Sophie, decides to enter the contest, too. This doesn't bode well for Isabel, as things always fall into place for Sophie. Though Isabel has an amazing chocolate tart recipe, her mother wants her to enter a cupcake recipe to help promote the shop. Isabel's summer is turning out to be a roller coaster ride of decisions and life-altering events, and she isn't enjoying the thrill of it all. I loved this novel! What a delight to follow Isabel and the other characters on a sweet journey of discovery. Schroeder does a great job of creating likable characters, and her descriptions had me drooling and craving cupcakes. Thank goodness she rewarded my reading with cupcake recipes at the end of the book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this last year, and i thought it was excellent! It kept me on my toes, i couldnt put it down!!! I deffinitly recommend for middle-schoolers.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is amazing but will lweave you hanging.... luckly there is a sequel: 'Secrets and sweet treats'! Hope this author writes more in this series!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a very good book for 9-12 aged girls to read if you like this book you should read" sprinkles and secrets " a sequal to this book or also try the CUpcake club seris start with "katie and the cupcake cure" another seris of good books about cupcakes!!!!!
Maria Bernhardt More than 1 year ago
I read this book not reading the back and thinking it was a domb book! I was wrong! This is one of the best little girl and preteen books Iv ever read!!!! I was very inspired and made some of the cupcakes from the book! The were yummy!!!! Read this book!!!!
Danea Tyler More than 1 year ago
This book tells more than a story about cupcakes but enjoy the people you meet as much maybe more as the place or places you are. It's amazing how a mother can transforme enough to go over her fear of flying to with her daughter on a trip to certant place that I'm not going to tell. It is one of the most insorational stories that I've read even for a book about cupcakes. And that's coming from a ten almost eleven year old girl.
Mell98 More than 1 year ago
12-year-old Isabel desperately wants to get out of Oregon, where she has spent all her life. When Isabel's mother opens up a cupcake shop in their small town of Willow, Isabel thinks it will be another dissapointing summer. Until her best friend, Sophie, informs her of a baking contest. If Isabel can come up with a winning recipe, she'll get a trip to New York City and will compete in a bake-off. The problem is, Isabel wants to enter her Chocolate Jam Tarts recipe, without dissapointing her mother. The reader will learn how Isabel feels throughout her journey, and will learn to never quit and follow your dreams.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An awesome book that contains whst all good books shold have
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book,its AWSOME!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was good and some parts were really funny. I liked it a lot and I would recommend this book to ages 9 to 12. It is very entertaining.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is such an aweome book! You should DEFINITELY read it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Must get i havethis book in real life and i love it i defenetly recomend.
Susan Jerue More than 1 year ago
Omg so good
Holly Doig More than 1 year ago
If you love this book then you'll love 'Cupcake Queen' by Heather Helper
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I luvluvluvluvluvluv this booooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooook!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Its great and i think everybody will like it if they like cupcakes
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good book, and a quick read
Isabel Adams More than 1 year ago
Great book and my name is Isabel also!!!!!!!!!!!!
Deysi Montero More than 1 year ago
i love it but its gets boaring at some points
Mari Sweeney More than 1 year ago
This book is full of cute things that actually happen in a 12 year old girls life. This book is one of my favorite's and after you read it this should be one of your favorites too! GREAT for all ages.
Frienship-Lover More than 1 year ago
I recommend this book to girls who like friendship books! I love this book!
KidsLeadGirl More than 1 year ago
This book is about Isabel who lives in a town called Willow, in Oregon. Her mother gets a crazy idea to open up a cupcake shop in town, but relies heavily on her daughter and husband to motivate her once the shop is a reality. Isabel would love to travel, but her mothers lack of 'gumption,' or follow-through, on things has prevented her family from going on trips. Isabel helps her mom with opening the shop, and enters a dessert recipe into a kids cooking contest, because the finalists get to go to New York City. Lots of life lessons in this book, and examples of how to stay positive when life gets frustrating.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Hey. I'm Max."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She waits for Max her new master
Anonymous More than 1 year ago