Book Review: All Four Stars


Title/Author: All Four Stars by Tara Dairman

Genre: Middle Grade, Realistic Fiction, Humor, Cooking, Standalone

Published: July 10th, 2014 by Putnam Juvenile

Hardcover, 273 pages

How I Got This Book: Checked it out from the library

Why I Picked It Up?: Because it looked and sounded freakin’ adorable! And I ALWAYS want to read stories centered around cooking!

Book Jacket Blurb: “Eleven-year-old Gladys Gatsby has been cooking gourmet dishes since the age of seven, only her fast food loving parents have no idea. Her dream is to become a restaurant critic–but with parents who won’t cook unless they are microwaving, and friends who would laugh at her if they knew how much she loved creme brulee and arugula, she’s never even come close to eating a real four-star meal.

But everything changes when Gladys gets an e-mail from the world-famous New York Standard newspaper…”


Sometimes, I just want a good, fun, and entertaining read. That’s why, a lot of the time, I will pick up a Middle Grade novel! I mean, look at this cover! A little girl with a notebook and a table of desserts…this just has the making for a great story.

All Four Stars stars Gladys Gatsby, a closet cooking enthusiast. Her parents, junk food junkies, would never approve of her dangerous escapades in the kitchen, so she has to cook after school before her parents get home. And this plan works out great for her until the day that she sets the curtains on fire! Forced to stay out of the kitchen, she turns to writing about food, and she finds another passion that she didn’t know she had! When she gets an invitation to write for one of the biggest food columns in the city, she is thrilled! But how will she keep this from her parents, especially when she has to go downtown!

This is just a cute story from beginning to end. Gladys is a character that will make you laugh, and as a reader you just enjoy watching her figure out a way to stay in the food world. Her story is exciting and fun, and I found myself sitting on the edge of my seat with anticipation as to how Gladys will pull off her next food stunt! She is everything you want in a middle grade main character–she’s quirky, she’s passionate, she’s adventurous, and she’s brave. She fights for what she wants and she is determined to succeed. With such drive, how could I not root for Gladys?! (Also, Gladys Gatsby is a freakin’ adorable name!).

The story itself is a little bit exaggerated, but that is the nature of Middle Grade Humor stories sometimes. And that’s okay, because honestly, this story thrives on exaggerated circumstances. It’s humorous, it’s exciting, and it’s entertaining. It’s one of those reads you sit down and read in one sitting, and you get up having enjoyed your afternoon. There is so much dessert in this book, it just made me so hungry! Hungry for sweets, and hungry for this story!

This review is short and sweet, but I hope you get the gist–this is simply an adorable and fun middle grade story that will make you smile.

My Bookshelf Rating:


A Fourth Shelf Book!

This book is absolutely adorable (even if it is a bit over the top). I feel like this book is slap-stick comedy for kids, and I loved every second of it! PLUS, it’s about a girl who loves to cook and bake! Perfect for fans of Food and Cooking shows, for sure! An entertaining read from beginning to end.

Love and Elf Fudge Cookies,


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