When I heard that a 12-year-old girl named Halima Sahar Muhammad was releasing her first middle grade novel, “Riley and the Kitchen Katastrophe”, I was eager to get the chance to read and review it. Partly, because I love to encourage young writers and partly because I was also 12-years-old when I wrote my first full-length chapter book (although I never did get it published).
Anyhow, “Riley and the Kitchen Katastrophe” was a fun read. It’s not a particularly long read, at only 94 pages, so it won’t intimidate reluctant or struggling readers. Kids are sure to enjoy the humor in the story (especially the constant sibling banter between the main character, Riley, and her big brother, Atticus). Although it took awhile for the book to actually introduce the “kitchen katastrophe” part of the story, the plot is steady and comes to an expected, but satisfactory conclusion.
One of the things I liked best about this book is the author’s keen eye for detail. She obviously has a gift for description. In fact, many of her food scenes made me quite hungry! If Halima doesn’t grow up to be an author, I have the feeling she may grow up to be a chef, because she obviously knows ALOT about food and cooking for a girl her age!
Overall, my impression of this book is that it was a good first release, one that would be enjoyed by both girls and boys age 7-12 or so. I’m sure this young author has a very successful future ahead of her, regardless of what she chooses to do.
For more information on Halima Sahar Muhammad or “Riley and the Kitchen Katastrophe” (including ordering information), please visit the author’s website, http://www.halimasworld.blogspot.com/.