The World’s Greatest Chocolate-Covered Pork Chops

Ryan K. Sager. Disney-Hyperion, $16.99 (256p) ISBN 978-1-4847-6761-0
Twelve-year-old Zoey Kate—“culinary prodigy, gourmet innovator, child chef extraordinaire”—secures a $50,000 loan to start her own restaurant in this madcap but off-putting adventure from debut author Sager. With the help of her jazz musician parents, best friend Dallin, and a tattooed biker/foodie named Knuckles, Zoey opens her restaurant in three connected cable cars to great acclaim. But someone is out to sabotage her: Zoey is certain that the culprit is rival Chef Kung Pao, six-time winner of the coveted Golden Toque, and longtime colleague Chef Cannoli agrees. Now all three chefs are up for the award, creating even higher stakes as the story careens to its conclusion. Zoey’s cooking will inspire drooling (several recipes are included), though her overconfidence—while infectious—can teeter into entitlement. More problematic is the representation of Pao and Cannoli (starting with their reductive names). From their faulty English to tacky jokes about Asian culture (“Zoey bowed because that was what you were supposed to do when you meet a Chinese person, right?”) both characters veer into stereotype and caricature. Ages 8–12. Agent: Sara Sciuto, Fuse Literary. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/10/2017
Release date: 06/20/2017
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-1-4847-6818-1
Hardcover - 176 pages - 978-1-4847-6762-7
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