The Book That Made Me: Philip Reeve 16/10/19
Pie in the Sky
Publisher: Walker Books
Jingwen has moved to Australia with his mum and his annoying little brother Yanghao. It’s hard enough trying to cope with the loss of their dad, but Jingwen finds it especially hard at school not knowing the language, which means that it’s really hard to make friends.
One day, Jingwen decides that he’s going to make all the cakes he and his dad used to, before the accident – when Dad talked about opening their own cake shop, Pie in the Sky, full of delicious creations such as Neapolitan mousse cake, chocolate raspberry torte and the extra-tricky apple mille-feuille.
Yet, as Jingwen and Yanghao bake in secret, Jingwen realises that it isn’t making him feel any better in this alien-feeling place. What can he do to feel like he hasn’t landed on Mars?
Illustrated throughout, this heartfelt story contains so much: a family coping with bereavement, the alienation of moving somewhere new, and what it’s like when you can’t speak the language of the people around you. It’s also a story about the redemptive power of creativity: baking gives Jingwen a connection to his dad and gives him something to focus on when school isn’t going so well.
A lovely, heartfelt story.