Recipe for Disaster

Recipe for Disaster

by Aimee Lucido
Recipe for Disaster

Recipe for Disaster

by Aimee Lucido


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In this heartfelt middle school drama, Hannah's schemes for throwing her own bat mitzvah unleash family secrets, create rivalries with best friends, and ultimately teach Hannah what being Jewish is all about.

With a delicious mix of prose, poetry, and recipes, this hybrid novel is another fresh, thoughtful, and accessible Versify novel that is cookin’. - New York Times Best-Selling Author Kwame Alexander

Hannah Malfa-Adler is Jew . . . ish. Not that she really thinks about it. She'd prefer to focus on her favorite pastime: baking delicious food! But when her best friend has a beyond-awesome Bat Mitzvah, Hannah starts to feel a little envious ...and a little left out.

Despite her parents firm no, Hannah knows that if she can learn enough about her own faith, she can convince her friends that the party is still in motion. As the secrets mount, a few are bound to explode. When they do, Hannah learns that being Jewish isn't about having a big party and a fancy dress and a first kiss — it's about actually being Jewish. Most importantly, Hannah realizes that the only person's permission she needs to be Jewish, is her own.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780358386919
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 09/14/2021
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 655,024
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About the Author

Aimee Lucido is a software engineer and the author of EMMY IN THE KEY OF CODE. She got her MFA in writing for children and young adults at Hamline University and lives with her husband and dog in Berkeley, CA where she likes to bake, run, and write crossword puzzles.  Twitter: @AimeeLucido   Instagram: @AimeeLucido

Read an Excerpt

Fall is when we make rugelach.
      “In honor of Shira’s bat mitzvah!” Grandma Mimi says today.
      I lift my spatula in agreement and call out “Hear, hear!” while Sam does the same with his whisk.
      My family will take any excuse to bake rugelach. It makes the house smell like fall—butter and chocolate with a hint of cinnamon—and even though no one needs an excuse, it’s tradition to come up with one anyway.
      Today, that excuse is my best friend’s bat mitzvah.
      “Hannah?” Dad walks into the kitchen half dressed, waving a folded piece of paper. “Mom wants you to write Shira a note in her card before we all sign . . . ooh, chocolate!” He reaches into the bowl of rugelach filling, card forgotten, and—Slap!
      “Ow! Miriam!” Dad licks the chocolate from his fingers. “I wanted to taste your arugula!”
      Grandma Mimi whisks the bowl of filling off the countertop and points a floury finger toward the door. “On rugelach day, the kitchen is a Jewish space.” She says it all stern, but her eyes are laughing as she talks.
      Dad waves his sticky hand at me and Sam. “Then what are they doing in here? They’re not really Jewish!”
      “Rude!” calls Sam, and I laugh.
      “My grandchildren?” says Grandma Mimi, tugging at her Star of David necklace. “My Hannah? My Sam? With me as their grandmother, they’re as Jewish as they come! Besides, have you seen how they roll rugelach?”
      “Yeah, Dad!” I beam at Grandma Mimi and point to my perfectly crafted rugelach crescent. “We’re as Jewish as they come!”
      Dad laughs and tries again to reach into the bowl of chocolate filling, but Grandma Mimi pulls it away. “Richard, you’re going to make us late. And you, Hannah?” She turns to me. “Go write a note to your friend. Move!”
      Dad goes upstairs to get dressed, and I find a handful of colored pencils in the junk drawer.
      I write:

Recipe for a She-ra

Mix together:

my #1 sous-chef

the nicest person I know

the Marlin to my Dory

the REAL winner of the sixth-grade Olympics

(no matter what Mr. Pierri Says)


(just cuz)

my favorite dance partner

the sister I never knew I needed

and you get one She-ra
(my best friend)



P.S. You are the GOAT. And the sheep. And the cow. Moo.

P.P.S. Remember, if you get nervous, just picture Jeremy Brewer in his underwear.

Then I draw a picture of us. We’re wearing the bat mitzvah dresses we bought together—caramel for her, green for me—and we’re dancing to our favorite song. It’s the one we chose months ago for the first partner dance of her party: “Single Ladies.”
      And with that, I hand the card to Sam to sign.
      “When I open my own bakery,” he whispers, taking the card out of my hand, “if anyone pronounces it arugula in my presence, I’m pressing charges.”
      I laugh. “You better.” Then I return to Grandma Mimi’s side to finish rolling rugelach, my gift to my best friend for her bat mitzvah.

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