cover image Dinner at the Brake Fast

Dinner at the Brake Fast

Renee Beauregard Lute. Quill Tree, $18.99 (208p) ISBN 978-0-063324-90-9

Tacoma Jones and her parents run the Brake Fast Truck Stop, a diner in Washington State that only serves breakfast. But the straitlaced 12-year-old yearns to eat something other than “eggs or oatmeal or pancakes,” and has been collecting cookbooks from different states and dreaming of meatloaf. After her father’s treasured photograph goes missing, Tacoma resolves to track it down, believing that its retrieval will help her dad navigate his latest depressive episode (“If I don’t need to be sorry for having asthma, you don’t need to be sorry for having depression,” Tacoma tells him). Enlisting help from Denver Cass, a fellow loner with a sarcastic streak, Tacoma sets off on a spirited odyssey through Washington following the photograph and assembling ingredients for her long hoped-for dinner, along the way forging a friendship with Denver, as well as an unexpected alliance with her school tormentor. Rich characterizations, an electrifyingly original yet believable plot, and a perceptive voice distinguishes this captivating road trip tale by Lute (The Exceptional Maggie Chowder). With standout compassion and candor, Lute explores the sometimes heartbreaking reality of living with a depressed parent and the joy that friends and cooking can bring. Tacoma and Denver read as white. Ages 8–12. Agent: Samantha Wekstein, Thompson Literary. (June)