More than frosting filled those cakes…
Wilma Sue seems destined to go from one foster home to the next—until she is sent to live with sisters and missionaries, Ruth and Naomi. Do they really care about Wilma Sue, or are they just looking for a Cinderella-style farmhand to help raise chickens and bake cakes?
As Wilma Sue adjusts to her new surroundings and helps deliver “special” cakes, Wilma Sue realizes there’s something strange going on. She starts looking for secret ingredients, and along the way she makes a new friend, Penny.
When Penny and her mother hit a rough patch, Naomi decides to make her own version of cake—with disastrous results. Then tragedy strikes the chickens, and all fingers point to Wilma Sue—just when she was starting to believe she could at last find a permanent home with Ruth and Naomi. Will the sisters turn her out, or will she discover what it feels like to be truly loved?
Magnin (the Bright s Pond series) brings a sense of whimsy to a middle-grade novel that frosts layers of issues with quirky humor. Abandoned by her mother, 12-year-old Wilma Sue isn t expecting much at her next foster home with retired missionary sisters Ruth and Naomi Beedlemeyer, who keep chickens and bake extraordinary and mysterious cakes. As Wilma Sue settles in, she makes a new friend, Penny, who is also struggling with difficulties in her family. When a disaster involving the chickens occurs, the problem can only be solved with love and honesty. Magnin has added many charming ingredients to her tale animals, oddball names (Snipplesmith, Pigsworthy), and fantastical elements centered on the sisters cakes. She also has her pulse on a child s yearning to belong and be loved. It doesn t all add up; Wilma Sue can be a little too precocious (would a child s eye know stone that looked like mica schist ?). But Magnin s riotous imagination is fun to run with; she s cooked up a sweet story. Ages 9 up.