Mimi is an amazing baker who, because she’s the youngest surrounded by three talented siblings, feels like she isn’t noticed by her family. But everything changes in a highly unusual way when she meets new friend Vik. This lighthearted story has all the right ingredients for a perfect summer read: baking, family, an introduction to Shakespeare, and a dash of magical realism. And I did try one of the two recipes at the end: Chocolate chunk thyme cookies with citrus zest…yum, it was scrumptious!
Summer 2019 Kids Indie Next List
“An enchanting treat of a middle-grade novel, LaRocca’s debut is baked to perfection. You don’t need to be a Shakespeare fan to enjoy this modern fantasy twist on A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and the third act (so to speak) takes a wonderful, unexpected turn. It’s the perfect book for young bakers and those who love stories about family and friendship!”
— Paul Swydan, The Silver Unicorn Bookstore, Acton, MA
A Kirkus Best Book of 2019! An Indies Introduce Selection for 2019! An Indie Next Pick for Summer 2019!
"A delectable treat for food and literary connoisseurs alike." Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW
"What a wonderful, intriguing, and magical book. And wow, did it ever get my tastebuds going! Each time I picked it up, I felt the urge to head to my kitchen. . . . What I loved most was the smartness of it. It never once doubted its young readers." Kathi Appelt, Newbery Honor- and National Book Award-Nominated author
"Midsummer's Mayhem is an enchantment of a novel, bursting with magic, mystery, and mouth-watering baked goods. Readers who have their own baking-show dreams will be cheering for Mimi until the very last page." Kate Messner, award-winning author of Breakout, The Seventh Wish, and All the Answers
Can Mimi undo the mayhem caused by her baking in this contemporary-fantasy retelling of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream?
Eleven-year-old Mimi Mackson comes from a big Indian American family: Dad's a renowned food writer, Mom's a successful businesswoman, and her three older siblings all have their own respective accomplishments. It's easy to feel invisible in such an impressive family, but Mimi's dream of proving she's not the least-talented member of her family seems possible when she discovers a contest at the new bakery in town. Plus, it'll start her on the path to becoming a celebrity chef like her culinary idol, Puffy Fay.
But when Mimi's dad returns from a business trip, he's mysteriously lost his highly honed sense of taste. Without his help, Mimi will never be able to bake something impressive enough to propel her to gastronomic fame.
Drawn into the woods behind her house by a strangely familiar song, Mimi meets Vik, a boy who brings her to parts of the forest she's never seen. Who knew there were banyan trees and wild boars in Massachusetts? Together they discover exotic ingredients and bake them into delectable and enchanting treats.
But as her dad acts stranger every day, and her siblings' romantic entanglements cause trouble in their town, Mimi begins to wonder whether the ingredients she and Vik found are somehow the cause of it all. She needs to use her skills, deductive and epicurean, to uncover what's happening. In the process, she learns that in life, as in baking, not everything is sweet. . . .
About the Author
Rajani LaRocca was born in India, raised in Kentucky, and now lives in the Boston area with her wonderful family and impossibly cute dog. She earned a BA and an MD from Harvard, and spends her time writing novels and picture books, practicing medicine, and baking too many sweet treats. Midsummer's Mayhem is her first novel. Find her online at RajaniLaRocca.com and on Twitter and Instagram @rajanilarocca.
A delectable treat for food and literary connoisseurs alike. — Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW
This riff on A Midsummer Night's Dream is heartfelt and ridiculously fun. Mimi, sweet as sugar with a heart of gold, creates as many problems as she solves, but readers will be cheering for her and her family the whole way. — Booklist
An entertaining and epicurean retelling of A Midsummer Night's Dream. . . . Strikes a perfect balance between the pleasant and the melancholy, as sweet and savory as one of Mimi's confections. — Shelf Awareness
What a wonderful, intriguing, and magical book. And wow, did it ever get my tastebuds going! Each time I picked it up, I felt the urge to head to my kitchen. . . . What I loved most was the smartness of it. It never once doubted its young readers. — Kathi Appelt, Newbery Honor and National Book Award Nominated author
Midsummer's Mayhem is an enchantment of a novel, bursting with magic, mystery, and mouth-watering baked goods. Readers who have their own baking-show dreams will be cheering for Mimi until the very last page. — Kate Messner, award-winning author of Breakout, The Seventh Wish, and All the Answers
Midsummer's Mayhem is a delightful confection of a family story full of heart, magic, and a baking championship with mysteriously high stakes! LaRocca takes an almost-throwaway reference in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream and reclaims it by having a multiracial Indian-American family at the center of her tale. Mimi's pluck, gentle courage, and knack for combining flavors will capture readers' hearts, imaginations, and undoubtedly, taste buds! — Sayantani DasGupta, author of the New York Times-bestselling Kiranmala and the Kingdom Beyond series
Taking its inspiration from one of Shakespeare's most popular comedies, Midsummer's Mayhem is a sweet and fun story about mistaken identity, bumpy romance, and the everyday magic of baking. — Barbara Dee, author of Star-Crossed and Halfway Normal
Laugh-out-loud funny one moment and mouthwateringly delicious the next, Midsummer's Mayhem is an utter pleasure to consume from the very first page! LaRocca's debut novel entices and bewitches-I dare you not to fall under its spell. — Tara Dairman, author of The Great Hibernation and the award-winning All Four Stars series
Absolutely scrumptious! I fell in love with this book and devoured it in one day. LaRocca crafts a spell of tricky fairies, lovable mortals, and heartfelt magic. Mimi is determined, resourceful, and unfailingly kind. Perfect for aspiring bakers, younger siblings, or anyone with a passion. — Anna Meriano, author of the Love Sugar Magic series
Rajani LaRocca has concocted a delectable story about family, friendship, baking, and magic that readers are sure to devour! Relatable, lovable Mimi is easy to root for, and LaRocca brings the whole cast of characters to life with her deft descriptions and realistic dialogue. Readers will delight in Midsummer's Mayhem! — Erin Dionne, author of Lights, Camera, Disaster!
An absolute delight-LaRocca's delectable debut is whimsical, frothy, and so much fun. An inventive take on a classic comedy, Midsummer's Mayhem is a sweetly-told tale of family, friendship, and following your passion. This is a book for the dreamers and doers alike; effervescent, full of heart, and ultimately joyful. — Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich, author of Two Naomis and Eighth-Grade Superzero