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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Stars of Summer Blog Tour

I'm thrilled to have The Stars of Summer Blog Tour stopping by today...

The Stars of Summer
(All Four Stars #2)
by Tara Dairman
It’s not easy being an undercover restaurant critic—especially when you’re only twelve years old!

After successfully completing her first restaurant review for the New York Standard newspaper, Gladys Gatsby is looking forward to a quiet summer of cooking and eating. But her plans quickly go awry when her friend Charissa Bentley delivers Gladys’s birthday gift: a free summer at Camp Bentley.

As Gladys feared, camp life is not easy; she struggles to pass her swim test, can’t keep the other campers happy while planning lunches, and cannot seem to get away from the annoying new “celebrity” camper. The worst part is she’s not able to find a moment to sneak away for her latest reviewing assignment: finding the best hot dog in New York City. But when Gladys learns that her hot dog assignment might actually be a dirty trick made up by a jealous fellow critic, she fears her reviewing career could be over forever.

This perfectly plotted sequel brings readers on a rollicking summertime adventure through New York City with all of the charm of All Four Stars—and even more foodie flavor!

All Four Stars (#1)
by Tara Dairman
Meet Gladys Gatsby: New York’s toughest restaurant critic. (Just don’t tell anyone that she’s in sixth grade.)

Gladys Gatsby has been cooking gourmet dishes since the age of seven, only her fast-food-loving parents have no idea! Now she’s eleven, and after a crème brûlée accident (just a small fire), Gladys is cut off from the kitchen (and her allowance). She’s devastated but soon finds just the right opportunity to pay her parents back when she’s mistakenly contacted to write a restaurant review for one of the largest newspapers in the world.
But in order to meet her deadline and keep her dream job, Gladys must cook her way into the heart of her sixth-grade archenemy and sneak into New York City—all while keeping her identity a secret! Easy as pie, right?

Praise for the All Four Stars Series

“Absolutely delicious storytelling! This is a delightful novel full of lively characters, beautiful language, humor, and creativity.”CHILDREN’S LITERATURE AND SPECIAL INTEREST GROUP/IRA

“This debut novel dishes up a descriptive story… Like comfort food, this story is homey and goes down easily.”

“A quest for an outstanding hot dog that blossoms into a family bonding experience, the real sense of understanding felt between old and new friends, plus plenty of humorous mishaps along the way should appeal to younger middle school students looking for a quick read during summer break. A truly entertaining story.VOYA

Hilarious.Though a sequel to All Four Stars (2014), this book stands on its own. The main characters are maturing and becoming multidimensional. The author delivers the subtle message that people are not always what they seem at first.Give this one to foodies as well as readers looking for a fun summer tale.

Last year, Tara Dairman wowed me with her deliciously fun middle-grade debut, All Four Stars...well, Dairman returns to Gladys’s world of food and fun in the summery sequel, The Stars of Summer.

Twelve year old foodie and inspiring chef, Gladys Gatsby has been able to keep a very big secret from her parents, friends, and the world: she writes restaurant reviews for a New York City newspaper. Gladys is excited to spend the summer cooking and continuing her food critic job, but her kinda-friend, the very popular Charissa, has other plans and gifts Gladys a summer at Camp Bentley. Soon Gladys finds herself taking swimming lessons with little kids, stuck in the dingy camp kitchen trying to introduce campers to real food, and avoiding the new camp “celebrity”. Plus, the newspaper gives Gladys the assignment of finding the best hot dog in the city, which proves to be harder than you’d think.

Tara Dairman has once again spun a sweet, charming story full of laughs, yummy food, and endearing characters. With pitch-perfect middle-grade writing, age appropriate humor, exciting settings, and a clever premise, The Stars of Summer will keep young readers entertained and enthralled from beginning to end. In this sequel, Gladys finds herself split between two worlds and two fun settings: Camp Bentley and sprawling NYC. Dairman authentically captures that summer camp life with Camp Bentley with its outdoorsy vibe, counselors and staff with larger than life personalities, and fun activities, while NYC is vividly brought to life through all its sights, sounds, smells, people, cultures, etc. Young readers will have a blast exploring both of these worlds with Gladys.

Dairman fills The Stars of Summer with a fun mix of young and adult characters. Gladys continues to be such a relatable, likable character, while Charissa and Sandy continue to surprise and charm me. We are introduced to some intriguing new characters as well. And of course, we can’t forget about one very important character: FOOD! Food and all its yummy gloriousness play such an important part in this book, and Dairman does such a wonderful job describing, capturing, and exploring all the kinds of food Gladys encounters. Young readers will be fascinated by all the new kinds of food they discover and be inspired to try new things, and maybe even try their hand at cooking.

My Final Thoughts: Sweet, determined Gladys and her ever-surprising adventures full of laughs, excitement, and relatable moments in The Stars of Summer, will delight readers and have them begging for more!

5/5 yummy cupcakes

Tara Dairman is the author of ALL FOUR STARS, which was named an Amazon Best Book of the Month and a Mighty Girl Top Book of 2014 for Teens and Tweens. She is also a playwright and recovering world traveler. She grew up in New York and received a B.A. in Creative Writing from Dartmouth College. After surviving the world's longest honeymoon (two years, seventy-four countries!), she now lives in Colorado with her husband and their trusty waffle iron.
author photo by Tiffany Crowder @ Crowded Studios:

In The Stars of Summer, Gladys goes in search of the best hot dog in NYC and discovers an amazing world of hot dogs! Tara asked us to share a favorite hot dog recipe and I just had to share this fun Double Stuffed Pizza Dog recipe video (there is no sound) I saw on --

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