- Written by: Kat Yeh
- Age Range: 8 – 12 years
- Grade Level: 3 – 7
- Lexile Measure: 730
- Hardcover: 352 pages
- Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (January 27, 2015)
Summary: Twelve year Old GiGi has just moved to a new school. Having always been the brainiac, she decides to search for her own identity and change things up a bit. She’s got cool new friends, a cute boy who sends her notes everyday, and an awesome older sister. It seems that the only thing that is missing is her mother, who died in a fire, when GiGi was very young. Her sister and her emulate their mother through cooking her recipes, and talking about the discontinued favorite lipstick of their deceased mother. Things take a turn, when GiGi discovers that someone, with her mothers name, ordered the lipstick, to the town GiGi was born in. Could it be that her mother is not really dead? Will GiGi get the guy? and can she find herself enough to let go of the past?
5 keywords: Fiction, Middle Grade, Novel, Juvenile Fiction, Coming-of-Age
Common Core State Standard: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.3.3.B
Use dialogue and descriptions of actions, thoughts, and feelings to develop experiences and events or show the response of characters to situations.
Suggested Delivery: Read-a-loud/Individual
Electronic Resources: In this video the author, Kat Yeh, discusses where her inspiration for the book came from. It would be best to use this resource after reading and after the writing prompt has been assigned. This video can give students the inspiration on how to be a writer and write something worth reading.
This is fun resource that can be used after reading the story. It is a video on how to make twinkie pie. While it may seem frivoulous, this video can give an oral representation of how to follow a recipe. This will aid when the students have to write their own recipe.
Website: This is Kat Yeh’s website, where she has a blog, some teaching guides and information about her start in writing. This is a great resource for students and teachers to look at. http://www.katyeh.com/ABOUT.html
Pronouncement – Official public statement
Guffaw – To laugh loudly
Good-natured – Friendly, pleasant and happy
Astronomer – Someone who studies space
Articulate – To express thoughts clearly in writing of speech
Presume – To believe something is true without proof that it is true
Salutations – To greet someone
Alias – Otherwise known as… a person or something with two names
Tussle – A fight with pushing and shoving
Burgeoning – To grow quickly
Bated Breath – Nervously awaiting an answer
Delirious – Not able to talk clearly because you are sick
Raspy – A rough, harsh sound
Preposterous – Very silly
Before: Prior to reading, if doing an individual read, go through the first three chapters together. The first few are packed with information and are written very fast. It is also important to increase the students comprehension of this text by reading the few chapters aloud, so that the student can begin to understand the authors voice.
The author also sets her chapters up in a unique way. They all include a flashback, or commentary about a recipe, in the head of GiGi. The chapters are followed by a recipe that relates to the chapter just read. This format will be very different than what students have ever read before, so it is important to help them read through the first few.
During: While reading students should annotate their book. Give students some sticky notes/and if possible a pen/highlighter. It is important to have different mediums with annotations. For instance, a pen to write notes, and stickies for questions and unknown vocabulary. Their annotations should be focused on these things and emotions of GiGi. These will help students question what they read, as well as building upon inferences in text and how to include inferences in their own writing.
After: Show the students the two Youtube videos. These should help students with inspiration for their writing prompts and recipes. These will model how to effectively write and follow a recipe and how to get ideas for their chapters they will be drafting, and writing.
Writing Activity: The students will be asked to write a short chapter in a story that models after the chapters in The Truth About Twinkie Pie. Their chapter should include a reference to food, with a relevant title of the recipe. For example, if they write a chapter about fighting with their parents they should include a memory of a food while they are fighting, the food would aptly be named, Pull Apart Family Bread, or How to Kiss and Make Up Pork Chops. While students may not know how to cook all too well, their homework for this assignment is to go home and either look through cookbooks, go to the library (they can check out books from the school library during special), or look online for recipes of what they would like to make. They are NOT permitted to steal a recipe. It should include their own methods to cook it, as some of the ingredients as well. Student’s recipes should resemble GiGi’s way of writing a recipe where she describes emotions that are felt while making it.
This activity touches upon literal and inferential comprehension. Literal, as they have to be able to read and write their own chapter and recipes. They will have to look through many in order to find a combination that they think will fit the title of their recipe. Students also have inferential comprehension happening, as they have to think about emotions in their own story, reflect on those different emotions and how they correspond to some of GiGi’s recipes. If they are writing a happy chapter, they wouldn’t have their recipe be Break-up Brussel Sprouts. Their chapter would correspond to happy food (not that brussel sprouts aren’t a happy food!), they would have something else. Thinking about the tone of their chapter, corresponding this to a recipe, with a corresponding title and emotional notes in their recipe has the students call upon inferences in their writing.
BONUS: Continue this into math! Have students bring in their recipes with the amounts of ingredients. Ask them to cut them in half, in fourths, in tenths, so they begin to understand how to make less of a serving, and how fractions work.