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Engaging novel for teens explores a girl’s determination to be a chef.

by Author Estela Bernal

ISBN:  978-1-55885-915-9
Publication Date:  May 31, 2021
Bind:  Trade Paperback
Pages:  200
Imprint: Piñata Books
Ages:  11-16

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Seventeen-year-old Lucy Sánchez’s world is turned upside down when her grandmother dies. Nana was instrumental in teaching her how to cook and encouraging her dream to become a chef. More importantly, her kitchen was a safe haven from the dysfunction at home.

When Lucy becomes the target of her father’s physical abuse, she is forced to escape sooner than she’d planned. “I’m going to be a chef,” she keeps telling herself while on a bus headed to Los Angeles. Her life changes forever, though, when she sees a help-wanted sign in a restaurant window and impulsively gets off the bus in a small Arizona town.

Lucy is thrilled to get the job, even though she’ll start as a dishwasher, working for room and board. When the owners of La Cocina discover her cooking skills, they promote her to assistant chef. Before long, word about her culinary talents begins to spread. But conflict with a jealous waitress and her sleazy boyfriend escalates as they harasses Lucy at every opportunity. Is it too much to ask to cook, take classes at the local community college and get to know the cute guy she met there?