Twelve year old Gigi (short for Galileo Galilei) and big sister Didi (short for Delta Dawn) have moved from their trailer park digs in South Carolina to an apartment in Long Island. One of the only things they have brought with them is their late mother's recipe book which helped the girls win big money in a cooking contest, and Didi is set on giving Gigi a better life that she had. Gigi is all registered to go to Hill on the Harbor Preparatory School and as long as she keeps following Didi's recipe for success by studying hard and getting top grades, everything will be great.
But here's the thing...Gigi is ready for some changes. She has even come up with her own recipe for success that doesn't include studying in the library every extra moment of the day. Instead she wants to find friends her own age, try on a new version of her name, and find ways to have the qualities she knows her late mother would see in her shine. Gigi (now Leia) is feeling confident about memorizing her locker combination and her schedule and is ready for her first class on her first day when she crashes into Trip who just happens to be the most beautiful boy she's ever seen, and is also in her English class. All of a sudden this front row girl was sitting in the back row next to Trip.
But change isn't alway smooth or easy, and even though Trip and most of his friends are super nice, mean girl Mace notices Leia's dollar store shoes and less-than-healthy E-Z Cheeze sandwich and makes sure that Leia knows that she is the square peg at school. Leia can handle the insult about the shoes, but nobody makes fun of Didi's cooking!
Readers will be rooting for Leia as she navigates through all sorts of changes in her life. From the tony world of private school to freshly unearthed family secrets, Leia's life is not following any recipe! Kat Yeh has written a treat of a middle grade story that will tug on your heart strings and make you smile in equal measure. The multifaceted characters and rich turns of phrase that had me reading with a twang are only a couple of the reasons I read this book in one big gulp. The Truth About Twinkie Pie is a book with honesty and heart and I cannot wait to share it with the tweens in my life!