________________ CM . . . . Volume XXIII Number 9. . . .November 4, 2016


Taz's Recipe. (Orca Currents).

Diane Tullson.
Victoria, BC: Orca, 2016.
116 pp., pbk., pdf & epub, $9.95 (pbk.).
ISBN 978-1-4598-1035-8 (pbk.), ISBN 978-1-4598-1187-4 (pdf), ISBN 978-1-4598-1188-1 (epub).

Grades 5-9 / Ages 10-14.

Review by Lacey Hall.

** /4

Reviewed from Advance Reading Copy.



Mielle sniffs. “What is that smell?”

I can smell it too. It’s burning plastic. And chocolate.

I feel my stomach drop. “My chocolate!” I run to the microwave.

The inside of the microwave swirls with black smoke. Ms. Koe spots it too. She stammers, “No! Don’t open – ”

I yank open the microwave door.

“ – the door!”

Smoke billows into the classroom. Flames lick out of the microwave. The ceiling smoke detectors start to squeal. Ms. Koe vaults for the fire extinguisher.

Then the sprinklers go off.


Taz is not the greatest cook in her Food Science 9 class…okay, she’s probably the worst cook in the whole class, but she doesn’t let that stop her. After starting a microwave fire and setting off the sprinklers in her classroom, Taz’s actions force her class to move to the cafeteria, and even worse, they are now going to have Chef as their teacher. When Chef puts them into groups for the remainder of the term, Taz is paired with Mielle, one of the best chefs in the class who is appalled at the idea of working with Taz, and Cal, the cutest boy Taz has met by far. The three must work together to create a new recipe, with the hope of getting grades high enough to win a spot in Chef’s culinary program the next year.

      As part of the “Orca Currents” series for reluctant readers, Taz’s Recipe offers a fresh plotline with easy pacing and sentence structures. Middle grade readers will follow Taz as she struggles with pushing through her continuous embarrassment in order to succeed, despite the mishaps she causes.

      With more and more kids becoming interested in cooking, Tullson’s book is packed with many cooking references, tips and know-how into its 116 pages, complete with two recipes at the back.

      Although the story is quite short, causing the plot arc to be superficial in some ways, Taz’s character rings true as a spunky girl who doesn’t let things get the best of her – a trait any middle grade reader can admire.


Lacey Hall is a Master’s of Children’s Literature student at the University of British Columbia and works as the Dean’s Assistant to the Dean of the School of Business at Kwantlen Polytechnic University.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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