I am a regular listener of the podcast The Worst Bestsellers. While the hosts often read and make gentle fun of some very popular books, they also recommend books to read instead of the bestseller. This book was recommended and I really enjoyed it. Midsummer’s Mayhem is a cute confection of a book for readers ages 8-12 and loosely follows the plot of a Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Mimi Jackson is 11, living with her two older sisters and one older brother. One day, a new bakery opens up in the neighborhood advertising a baking contest. Mimi decides to enter, but needs some inspiration that she finds in the woods with her new friend Vik. The bakery owner is clearly Queen Titania, but Vik ended up being a surprise which I enjoyed very much.
Meanwhile, Mimi’s brother and his friends are putting on A Midsummer Night’s Dream, so there is also a play within a play here. And her brother ends up acting like a bit of an ass. The sisters act as Hermia and Helena and I liked them as well. They are a very cute bi-racial family. Mimi feels as though her brother and sister and very accomplished and she is Mimi Mouse, left behind and ignored.
Mimi’s dad is bewitched by the bakery owner. As a food critic, he looses his sense of taste and can’t help Mimi improve her recipes to win the contest. Also, mom is a business woman who still makes time for her kids and listens to her daughter, so I enjoyed that. Oh, and of course, do not read while hungry because the descriptions of Mimi’s baking will make you drool! There are two recipes in the back, and I really want to make the gulab jamun cupcakes. Yum!
I liked this a lot and am glad I picked it up, even though I usually don’t read books for this age group. The way the entire family came together to support Mimi was lovely.