A Revolutionary Confection Inspired by Amelia Simmons, Whose True History is Unfortunately Unknown
by Deborah Hopkinson
illustrated by Giselle Potter
Independence Cake introduced me to a historical figure that I had never heard of Amelia Simmons. She is the author of the very first cookbook in America called American Cookery. I love a good cookbook and just think she is what has inspired many to publish their own cookbook. She was revolutionary in 1796 to have a cookbook when to be honest I bet this was pretty unheard of. Deborah Hopkinson created a fictionalized account of Amelia Simmons life since very very little is known about her. Amelia’s cookbook was very popular and reprinted for 30 years after the first printing. This picture book would be a neat one to read to a budding chef to inspire them to maybe create their very own cookbook. I enjoyed reading her fictionalized biography of sorts and was happy to learn about an unknown historical figure.
summary: Master of the historical fiction picture book Deborah Hopkinson takes us back to late eighteenth-century America and the discombobulated home of Mrs. Bean, mother of six strapping sons, who simply can’t manage—until Amelia Simmons arrives and puts things in order. And how well she cooks—everything from flapjacks to bread pudding to pickled cucumbers! She even invents new recipes using American ingredients like winter squash. Best of all, she can bake, and to honor the brand-new president, George Washington, she presents him with thirteen Independence Cakes—one for each colony. “Delicious!” he proclaims. Author’s Note and original recipe included!
Thank you Deborah Hopkinson and Giselle Potter for sending me a copy of Independence Cake. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book.
by Jennifer Roy
Capstone Young Readers
Publication Date: August 1st 2015
Amid the horrors of World War II, Irena Sendler was an unlikely and unsung hero. While many people lived in fear of the Nazis, Irena defied them, even though it could have meant her life. She kept records of the children she helped smuggle away from the Nazis’ grasp, and when she feared her work might be discovered, she buried her lists in jars, hoping to someday recover them and reunite children with their parents. This gripping true story of a woman who took it upon herself to help save 2,500 children from the Warsaw Ghetto during the Holocaust is not only inspirational; it’s unforgettable.
Jars of Hope is an amazing book and one I am so glad I was able to read. This is a picture book but the content might not be suitable for younger children that most picture books are geared towards. This picture book is more for older children. Jars of Hope is packed full of hope and how just 1 person can become a beacon of light and hope for so many. Irena Sendler knew she had to do the right thing even when it meant that getting caught would mean death. Jars of Hope is one book that everyone should read. This picture book tells the story of a true hero and is historical non fiction at it’s best! This book is a great introduction for younger kids who want to read and learn about the holocaust but are not ready for Diary of Anne Frank, Number the Stars or Yellow Star. Jennifer Roy wrote Yellow Star and I want to say if you haven’t read it yet or have older kids grab a copy while your pick up Jars of Hope both are books that should be read and added to every home library.
thank you netgalley, Capstone Young Readers and Jennifer Roy for allowing me to read and review Jars of Hope. It was an honor and all thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the free book.