Sweet Treats & Secret Crushes

Sweet Treats & Secret Crushes

4.3 53
by Lisa Greenwald

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When a blizzard threatens to ruin Valentine’s Day, three seventh-grade friends make and distribute fortune cookies to their lonely neighbors—and confront the secrets they’ve been keeping from one another.


Confident Kate doesn’t notice much but the latest gossip, and shy Georgia can’t say out loud what’s


When a blizzard threatens to ruin Valentine’s Day, three seventh-grade friends make and distribute fortune cookies to their lonely neighbors—and confront the secrets they’ve been keeping from one another.


Confident Kate doesn’t notice much but the latest gossip, and shy Georgia can’t say out loud what’s always on her mind. They’re joined by observant, careful Olivia, whose epic, single-minded crush on PBJ (real name: Phillip Becker-Jacobs) is starting to frustrate the other two. Using fortune cookies that mysteriously always seem to speak directly to the person who opens them, the three girls try to work together to bring some love to their building, while reminding each other why they’re such good friends to begin with.

With all the right ingredients to appeal to tween girls, this is an irresistible confection from an emerging talent.

"The trio’s romantic ups and downs tie the story together… an affectionate, insightful ode to friendship. An enjoyable, sure-to-be popular read." –Booklist

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In a lighthearted story about the ups and downs of friendship, Greenwald (My Life in Pink & Green) again proves that she has an insightful eye (and pen) when it comes to the minds of tween girls. Three dissimilar but tight-knit seventh graders--nosy Olivia, high-strung Kate, and reserved Georgia--who live on the seventh floor of a Brooklyn apartment building, find themselves trapped and restless on a snowed-in Valentine's Day. They hatch a plan to deliver homemade fortune cookies to their neighbors, hoping to bring some camaraderie to the building. As the day progresses, though, they only succeed in annoying each other. Greenwald alternates among the three girls as narrators, skillfully showing how insignificant frustrations can lead to big meltdowns. The girls' voices are distinct; outgoing Kate, for example, often laments about Olivia's multiyear-obsession with a boy: "he needed to know she had gone off the deep end." All's well that end's well, and the girls not only get closer by the last page but revel in seeing their neighbors do the same. Ages 10–14. (Nov.)
Children's Literature - Jody Little
When a blizzard closes school on Valentine's Day, best friends Olivia, Kate, and Georgia are determined to make the best of their day. Together they make fortune cookies and distribute the cookies to their neighbors in the apartment building. As the girls meet new neighbors and discuss all their problems, they begin to look at their own relationships with one another. Observant Olivia has a long-time crush on a boy, called PBJ, who has never spoken to her. Outgoing Kate longs to be part of the in-crowd and desperately wants to spend time with Brendan. Shy Georgia has a secret crush on a family friend, Kevin. Olivia worries that she is losing her friends when Kate suddenly tears a page from Olivia's precious observation journal. Kate wants desperately to find Brendan which makes both Georgia and Olivia think Kate no longer wants to be their friend. Georgia is distraught when she learns that Olivia found a paper on which Georgia wrote about her crush on Kevin, the family friend. As the day continues and the girls spread Valentine cheer with their cookies, all three learn each others' secrets and fears. At the end of the day, each girl, in her own way, recognizes the fortune of true friendship. Told in alternating first-person point of view, the author creates a fast-paced, angst-filled, middle grade novel within which a reader may see a glimpse of herself. Reviewer: Jody Little
Julee Phillips
Olivia, Kate, and Georgia are seventh graders and best friends who revel in the possibility of a Valentine's Day full of romance. But when a winter storm derails their plans to realize their Valentine dreams at school, they learn that a holiday about love and relationships doesn't necessarily have to be romantic. They bake and deliver fortune cookies to total strangers throughout their apartment building. Ironically, as they begin to build new friendships and acquaintances, they each come to accept the fact that their friendships with each other are experiencing some growing pains and changing in uncertain ways. In this novel directed at tween girls, Greenwald captures the uncertainty that comes with growing up. Chapters are narrated by each character on a rotating basis, giving the reader a well-told story that encompasses the day's events and what it means to not just have a friend, but be a friend. Reviewer: Julee Phillips
School Library Journal
Gr 5–8—As a blizzard bears down on New York City just in time for Valentine's Day, a storm of a different kind is brewing in the apartment building above Chen's Kitchen. Seventh-graders Olivia, Kate, and Georgia are best friends who are struggling to find common ground as their relationship begins to change. Olivia has liked Phillip Becker-Jacobs for two years, and she records everything he does and wears in her Observation Notebook. Kate flits from crush to obsessive crush, and Georgia stays quiet to avoid letting her secrets slip, even to her best friends. An unexpected snow day offers the girls a chance to reconnect by baking "magic" fortune cookies designed to help everyone in their building feel loved. As they deliver the treats, they discover many truths: about boys, parents, and one another. Greenwald's second foray into the drama that is seventh grade delivers more than is implied by its saccharine title. The lives of the well-formed characters come alive against the backdrop of a New York City building where neighbors are strangers. Fortune-cookie fortunes become the plot's catalyst, as chapters alternate among Olivia, Kate, and Georgia, offering readers varied perspectives on the events. This is a title that mothers and daughters can confidently read together without major blushing.—Colleen S. Banick, Tomlinson Middle School, Fairfield, CT
Kirkus Reviews
Seventh-grade friends Olivia, Georgia and Kate can't wait for Valentine's Day. Olivia hopes that Phillip Becker-Jacobs, the constant subject of her Observation Notebook, will give her a handmade valentine; Kate is convinced her latest crush will ask her out; and Georgia is looking forward to a special dinner at Chen's Kitchen, her family's restaurant. When a blizzard disrupts their Valentine's Day plans, the girls, stuck in their Brooklyn apartment building, try to salvage the day by making fortune cookies in Chen's Kitchen and delivering them to their reclusive neighbors. Olivia, Georgia and Kate hope the treats will spread some cheer and bring everyone together, but as the day progresses, they find their friendship falling apart, and the building feels as lonely as ever. Olivia has always believed there's a bit of magic in Chen's Kitchen's cookies, and that's exactly what the girls need to stop Valentine's Day from being a complete disaster. As told in their alternating voices, Olivia, Georgia and Kate's escapades—filled with nosy parents, pesky siblings and plenty of boy drama—will resonate with young teens. The story is as sweet as the treats the girls dole out. (Fiction. 10-14)

Product Details

Abrams, Harry N., Inc.
Publication date:
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
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File size:
4 MB
Age Range:
10 - 14 Years

Meet the Author

Lisa Greenwald is the author of My Life in Pink & Green, which earned a starred review from Kirkus. She works in the library at the Birch Wathen Lenox School on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. She is a graduate of the New SchoolÆs MFA program in writing for children and lives in Brooklyn, New York. Visit her online at www.lisagreenwald.com.

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Sweet Treats & Secret Crushes 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 53 reviews.
Sweetonbooks More than 1 year ago
. Sweet Treats & Secret Crushes is a terrific and light tween book you can be happy about putting into your daughter's hands. . If you are ok with putting stories about boys and crushes into your middle reader's hands, then this is a great one to start with. Note the girls in this story don't have much interaction with boys, they mostly just talk about them. . While the title might seem otherwise, the main theme here is friendship and girlfriends, not boys. The main characters in Sweet Treats & Secret Crushes are three seventh grade girls who have been best friends forever. Georgia is the quiet one, Kate is the loud, somewhat trouble-making one and Olivia is the bookish reporter type, always jotting down her observations in her notebooks. The story is set within the apartment building where the girls live in Brooklyn and it takes place all on one day - Valentine's Day. But this isn't your usual Valentine's Day, this is a snow day. Given that New York City schools almost never close, this is a special event. (Clearly this book was written before this crazy winter (2011) we are experiencing right now here in NY!) The girls are equally excited and disappointed. A snow day is great, but now they won't get an opportunity to see the boys they have crushes on at school. They will have to wait a whole year for another Valentine's opportunity to mingle with them on the most romantic (read: over-hyped) day of the year. Georgia's parents own a restaurant called Chen's Kitchen and it is located on the first floor of the building. The Chens are also disappointed with this snow situation, because Valentine's Day should be one of the biggest days of the year for them, and now that's ruined. The girls make the best of it. Mrs. Chen teaches the girls how to make the homemade fortune cookies that Chen's Kitchen is famous for, and the girls have a ball. While making the cookies Mrs. Chen regales the girls with stories of what the building used to be like - when neighbors knew each other and gathered in the hallways for meals and gossip. The girls cannot even imagine an environment like that. They probably wouldn't have even met each other if they didn't live on the same floor and go to the same school. The girls hatch a plan. They decide to pass the fortune cookies out to all their neighbors as they will most likely be home, everyone is snowed in. The girls hope the friendly gesture and the yummy, slightly magical treats may just bring some of that friendliness back to the building. Kate also heard her crush, Brendan, may be visiting the building! The girls have a long day filled with the angst of seventh grade girl friendships, especially when boys are introduced into those friendships. The author handles this with great care and really respects the age and the dramas that go along with it. Her characters don't really even interact with their crushes, but they sure do talk a lot about them! However, after a long day of meeting all kinds of neighbors, the girls ultimately come to realize how valuable their friendship is and that boys shouldn't take away from that. I love that message! It's a good one for girls heading into this age group.
i-girl More than 1 year ago
This book was good, but I was a little dissapointed everything happened on the same day basically. There's no action or majical fairies if that's what you're looking for, and the only sweet treat is the fortune cookies. It's a great book though, and i recomend it to those who enjoy a story about real life and friendship.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When a blizzard ruins Valentine’s Day and three middle school girls are stuck making Fortune Cookies and giving them to their lonely neighbors-they tell each other the secrets they’ve been keeping from each other.They were disappointed because they were ready to give their crushes in school a fortune cookie with a special message in it.The three main characters of the book are Kate,which is the one who keeps up with all the gossip and a troublemaker,Georgia is the quiet one,and Olivia is like a book reporter,she always writes down her observations in her notebook.The book is called Sweet Treats and Secret Crushes and it’s by Lisa Greenwald.This book is for ages 10 and up and the genre of it is fiction.They learn to make the cookies because Georgia’s parents own a restaurant in the same apartment on the first floor.After a whole day of making Fortune cookies and meeting all their neighbors,they realize how close they are to each other and that boys shouldn’t change that.I would say that the book is well paced and well written.I thought that this book was fantastic and it had a great ending.I would give this book 5 stars because of how it digs deep into the girl’s life and the problems they’ve had.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a very good book!!! I could not believe how good this book was!!!! If you liked this book you should look at more books by this author!!!!!! She is a tr¿s perfect author
felice rotondaro More than 1 year ago
That is an awesome book
Caitlyn De Prossino More than 1 year ago
This is the best book!!!!i read this book and another book by the same author and they both ROCKED!!!!!!!!!
Peggy McCormack More than 1 year ago
Very entertaining to read and is very fun
Tonya Dekeyrel More than 1 year ago
the coolest book ever
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great book!!! I would recommend this book to 10 to 13 year old girls. It is a great story about friendship!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was reallt gopd and i thought it was going to suck because of the name but i waas wrong and who ever wants to read dont think twice pick it up
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book reminds me of how pbj connects to jerry- a smart ADHD kid who likes me. They both have glasses, can draw, are polite, and very very quiet, except jerry' s small XD. Anyways im in 7 th grade and luv luv luv this book baiiiii- Thehanu Therru Collins
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really want to read it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book gave me confidence. I hope there are more books like this! I got confidence so now i can talk to my crush. Best author ever! I could picture the whole thing in my head.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just finished! Cant believe it was that good!
Toni Meyer More than 1 year ago
i like the poems on the fortune cookies
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An awesome book (jazzy)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Its so good read it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Totally loved it! It's witty and at the end, the story has meaning. Really, really, really good!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Luv it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is SO on my list top ten fave books. I mean what is not to love about this book?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In sweet treats and secret crushes is a good book you really HAVE to read the whole thing but i got up to chapter 4
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book was confusing at times
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
And it seems great i am going to buy it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a great book whell the part that i have read loved it.