“A briliant multicultual collection that reminds readers that stories about food are rarely just about the food alone.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
A stunning collection of short stories about the intersection of family, culture, and food in the lives in teens, from bestselling and critically acclaimed authors, including Sandhya Menon, Anna-Marie McLemore, and Rin Chupeco.
A shy teenager attempts to express how she really feels through the pastries she makes at her family’s pasteleria. A tourist from Montenegro desperately seeks a magic soup dumpling that can cure his fear of death. An aspiring chef realizes that butter and soul are the key ingredients to win a cooking competition that could win him the money to save his mother’s life.
Welcome to Hungry Hearts Row, where the answers to most of life’s hard questions are kneaded, rolled, baked. Where a typical greeting is, “Have you had anything to eat?” Where magic and food and love are sometimes one in the same.
Told in interconnected short stories, Hungry Hearts explores the many meanings food can take on beyond mere nourishment. It can symbolize love and despair, family and culture, belonging and home.
Contributed by a multicultural group of authors, including Jay Coles, Sara Farizan, and Sandhya Menon, and representing a blending of genres and cultures, this #OwnVoices anthology considers the ways that food can feed both body and soul. Interconnected stories follow different inhabitants of Hungry Heart Row, where the residents are close and the myriad restaurants and bakeries feed more than just a hungry stomach. In Rebecca Roanhorse's startling "The Missing Ingredient," a biracial daughter just wants her mother to move on from her late Native American father's failing restaurant. In Rin Chupeco's vividly imagined "Sugar and Spite," the magic whispered into Old Manila's Soup No. 5 comes with a careful interview to make sure it's used correctly. And Elsie Chapman's "Kings and Queens" explores the burdens of serving dishes that can send a message of forgiveness or certain death. Emphasizing the importance of love, family, and culture, and written with delectable descriptions, each story is best savored like a favorite dish: slowly and with great relish. Ages 12 up. Correction: Sara Farizan's name was misspelled in a previous version of this review.