Fourteen-year-old Taz knows one thing for sure: she's a perfect disaster in the kitchen. Every time she tries to cook, chaos ensues. After fires, toxins and more than one minor injury, Taz will be happy if she makes it through her food-science class in one piece. But when the class enters a competitive race for a coveted program and Taz is put in a group that expects to win, the pressure is on. As the competition heats up, Taz is desperate to hold her own and not let her team down.
Written at a third-grade reading level, this addition to the Orca Currents series opens with a bang (a fire alarm, actually) as 14-year-old Taz inadvertently starts a small fire at her polytechnic high school while attempting to microwave chocolate chips in her food science class. The incident doesn't derail Taz's efforts to succeed in the class, though maybe it should the book is a parade of culinary disasters that includes melted utensils, sliced fingers, and airborne roulades, all of which Tullson (Foolproof) recounts with droll humor while emphasizing both the real hazards and the creative rewards of cooking. Taz's crush on a fellow student and her feelings surrounding her parents' divorce flesh out a story that will entertain both culinarily talented readers and those who, like Taz, struggle with the finer points of making boxed mac and cheese. Ages 10 14.