The Candymakers, by Wendy Mass
Four children have been chosen to compete in a national competition to find the tastiest confection in the country. Who will invent a candy more delicious than the Oozing Crunchorama or the Neon Lightning Chew? Logan (who has grown up never leaving his parents’ Life Is Sweet candy factory) becomes a finalist, and unexpectedly becomes friends with Miles, Daisy and Philip, his competition. Even though each has a reason for winning, they end up working together and uncover secrets about themselves during the process. It’s a sweet treat of flavorful fun!
To celebrate, we made a list of other titles featuring contests in books. Some are food contests, others are science contests and others cover lots of different topics. All are fun! We’ll post these over the next week or so, but to start, here are the books featuring contests with food–some of it edible, some not so much…
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Berlin, Eric. The Potato Chip Puzzles
When a local potato chip tycoon invites area kids to an all-day puzzle hunt, Winston Breen is psyched. But it turns out the day is not all fun and games. Their teacher is overly competitive, the puzzles are hard, and someone in the contest is playing dirty in order to win the $50,000 prize! Trying to stop the mystery cheater before it’s too late takes a tough challenge to a whole new level. Puzzles for the reader to solve are included throughout the text.
Dahl, Roald. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
What happens when the five luckiest children in the entire world win the coveted Golden Ticket and walk through the doors of Willy Wonka’s famous, mysterious chocolate factory? What happens when, one by one, the children disobey Mr. Wonka’s orders? None of the contestants have any idea what’s waiting for them at the end of their semi-sweet day. A classic!
Davies, Jacqueline. The Lemonade War
Evan and his younger sister, Jesse, react very differently to the news that they will be in the same fourth grade classroom. They battle it out through lemonade stands, each trying to be the first to earn 100 dollars. As the final days of summer heat up, so does a sibling showdown. Full of surprisingly accessible and savvy marketing tips for running a stand (or making money at any business) and with clever mathematical visuals woven in.
Elish, Dan. The Worldwide Dessert Contest
John Apple longs to win the Worldwide Dessert Contest, but all his delicious desserts have a horrible tendency to change into something else at the last minute. His technique for overcoming this difficulty involves a search for the greatest chef in the world, the defeat of the thieving title-holder of the contest and a run-in with a judge who has (thanks to John) a caramel apple bonded to his cheek from their last encounter. Slapstick humor adds to the fun.
Herman, Charlotte. My Chocolate Year: A Novel with 12 Recipes
Dorrie is determined to win the Sweet Semester baking and essay contest, but her cakes fall flat, her cookies look like pancakes, and she learns the hard way that chocolate-covered gum is NOT a good idea. Then Dorrie meets her cousin Victor, an immigrant from Europe, who teaches her that a loving family and a safe homeland are the sweetest things of all. With some top-secret tips from Victor’s family’s bakery and a big slice of confidence, Dorrie might just have the yummiest year of her life. Includes recipes.
Kennedy, Marlane. Me and the Pumpkin Queen
Mildred has always dreamed of growing a 1000 pound pumpkin to enter in her town’s Pumpkin Show. And growing giant pumpkins is way more interesting than boys or clothes or the other girly things her Aunt Arlene wants her to like. It’s not easy, especially with problems like crazy dogs and tornadoes, and most people thinking that she doesn’t stand a chance. But Daddy believes in Mildred, and so does her best friend, Jacob. Will this finally be her year?
Kline, Suzy. Orp and the Chop Suey Burgers
Orp is in the seventh grade and has never left Connecticut. When he reads about the Fu Chow Soy Sauce recipe competition that promises a trip for two to Disney World, he creates his own delicious concoction–chop suey burgers. Will Orp win? When he makes the semi-finals in Boston…it seems like Florida is within sight…
Krantz, Hazel. 100 Pounds of Popcorn
When a one-hundred pound bag of unpopped popcorn kernels falls off a truck, the brother and sister who find it decide to start a business and compete to see how much money they can make. Soon, all their neighbors and friends join in, as 100 pounds of unpopped popcorn goes a very long way!
Kurzweil, Allen. Leon and the Champion Chip
Leon has a fabulous new teacher, Mr. Sparks, who conducts science experiments using that most miraculous of research materials — the potato chip. Mr. Sparks’s lab work will come in handy when Leon is forced to take on Alphonse “The Chippopotamus” Cipollini at the annual Chipapalooza! Chip-Off. Employing scientific methods learned in Mr. Sparks’s class, fifth-grader Leon competes in a potato chip tasting contest and takes revenge against Lumpkin the bully.
Naylor, Phyllis Reynolds. Beetles, Lightly Toasted
Andy will do anything to win the Roger B. Sudermann essay contest on conservation? Leave it to Andy to think of people eating insects as a way of conserving their food budgets. Before long he’s preparing toasted beetles in brownies, mealworm-filled egg salad sandwiches, and batter-fried earthworms for his friends and family. They don’t know what they’re in for, and neither does Andy. He may win the contest but will he lose his friends and family?
Rockwell, Thomas. How to Eat Fried Worms
Because of a bet, Billy is in the uncomfortable position of having to eat fifteen worms in fifteen days. The worms are supplied by his opponent, whose motto is “The bigger and juicier, the better!” At first Billy’s problem is whether or not he can swallow the worm placed before him, even with a choice of condiments from peanut butter to horseradish. But when it looks as if Billy will win, the challenge becomes getting to the worm to eat it. Will Billy win?
Schroeder, Lisa. It’s Raining Cupcakes
Isabel spends her free time in the library, reading and dreaming about faraway places. Then she learns of a baking contest; if she can come up with a winning recipe, she might have a chance of competing in the bake-off in New York City! But Isabel’s best friend, Sophie, is also entering the contest, and things always seem to go Sophie’s way. To make matters worse, Isabel and her mom don’t exactly see eye-to-eye on the type of recipe Isabel should enter. Will Isabel win? Includes recipes.
Stutz, Eli. Pickle Impossible
Pierre’s family is known far and wide for their delicious pickles. When the pickle farm is threatened, Pierre has to safely transport a jar of world-famous pickles to an international competition. Aurore, a cunning new friend, rescues him from kidnappers in the first leg of the trip. Together they set off with just twenty-four hours until the competition begins. To protect their pickles on the journey, they must navigate the ghostly catacombs of Paris, figure out how to safely crash-land a plane, enlist the help of a world-class scientist, and escape a villain who will stop at nothing to capture their jar of pickles.
Wooley, Catherine. Ginnie and the Cooking Contest
Ginnie finds out about a cooking contest where the prize is a trip to Washington, D.C. and decides to come up with the perfect recipes to win. With the help of friends and a lot of trial and error, she comes up with several possibilities. But which one has the best chance of winning?
Zemser, Amy. Dear Julia
Teenage Elaine is the quiet one in her family, focused on classical French cooking. She likes it that way; who could possibly outshine her stay-at-home yogi dad, a gaggle of precocious brothers, and a politician mother. When Elaine becomes friends with flamboyant Lucida Sans, the girls join a competitive cooking, which leads to a meeting with Elaine’s hero, Julia Child. YA/Teen collection.
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Try one of these delicious books, and see if you have what it takes to enter any kind of cooking contest! (Personally, I’ll pass on eating beetles and worms. The bake-offs sound good though!
Up next: Academic Contests! See you in a fewdays!