The Great Cookie War

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Pub Date 06 Apr 2021 | Archive Date 25 Mar 2021

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Description

Life in her traditional Mennonite community is peaceful, if a little dull, for twelve-year-old Beth who dreams of being an artist. She goes to school, helps with the cooking and cleaning at home, and works with her parents at the local farmer’s market. One Saturday, however, excitement shows up in the form of a determined lawyer from New York City who insists she needs a family cookie recipe to win a multi-million-dollar lawsuit. Beth’s parents are bemused, but her grandmother is equally determined that the recipe will not leave her kitchen. As she tries to balance her love for her family and her faith with the promises of adventure New York could bring to her future, Beth learns that she is stronger than she believes. And sometimes, adventures happen close to home.

Life in her traditional Mennonite community is peaceful, if a little dull, for twelve-year-old Beth who dreams of being an artist. She goes to school, helps with the cooking and cleaning at home, and...


Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9781772601732
PRICE CA$10.95 (CAD)

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Average rating from 17 members


Featured Reviews

The Great Cookie War was a fascinating story thank you so much #NetGalley and author Caroline Stellings for the opportunity to read and review the book in exchange for an honest and fair review.

I didn’t realize until the very end note from the author that this charismatic tale is based on a true story and a real legal battle over the greatest cookie back in 1984 (crispy on the outside and soft and chewy in the middle). Knowing that the story is a true story, takes place in Canada, and is written by a Canadian author makes me like the book even more!

I haven’t had much opportunity to learn about the Mennonite or Amish culture so it was fascinating to hear about it from the perspective of Beth, a young girl who has grown up isolated in a community that still is choosing to live without electricity and modern technology. I particularly enjoyed the cultural historic information and background. Beth is a dreamer who is searching for more meaning in her life and I think how she feels would resonate with many young readers. There was lots of character development and a good amount of conflict and surprises, and overall is a really unique, charming book.

The Great Cookie War is geared towards middle year children.

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The story moves along at a good pace, sure to keep the young reader's interest. I very much appreciated the portrayal of the Mennonite culture, particularly as there are not alot of books targeted at this age group which are set in that world. The endnote regarding the origin of this real life "cookie war" was interesting.

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Beth and her family are quite surprised when their friend Edna shows up with a lawyer all the way from New York City interested in a cookie recipe in the family cookbook that’s been passed own for generations. It seems there’s a court case arguing that one company can’t patent a recipe for a certain type of cookie if another company can prove it’s been around long before the patent was filed. Beth’s family are Old Order Mennonites in Waterloo, Ontario. They live a simple life without electricity or other modern technology. It seems surprising that some major law firm would be so interested in a family recipe. Beth is more interested in what pieces of art the lawyer lady has seen in NYC. Beth loves art, but it isn’t a hobby her family really approves of. The lawyer tries to appeal to Beth to help convince her Grand-mama to let them use the family recipe book in the court case and offers art lessons in return. Beth really wants those art lessons, and she sometimes isn’t sure about the way her family lives, but should she hand over the family recipe book?

I was struck by how unique the plot line in this book was, and then I read the end note and found out this is all based on a true story! Edna was a real person who really wrote a cookbook containing recipes from her Mennonite friends, and the court case over the cookie patent and how a law firm sought help from friends of Edna was all true. Beth’s story and her wrestling about where she fits in the world and what she is capable of is the made up part. I was really confused when I started reading this because I have numerous friends who are Mennonites or grew up Mennonite and all of them used electricity and modern technology. I thought at first the author was getting them confused with the Amish, but I did some research and learned that there is a small sect of Mennonites called the Old Order that don’t use electricity or other modern technology. It might be good to talk to kids about how not all Mennonites live like Beth’s family so they aren’t surprised or confused when they meet other Mennonites who live very differently. This is based on a historical event that happened over 40 years ago at this point, but nothing in the book dates the events to that time period. It reads as if it could happen today. If you are looking for a realistic story that is a bit unique, based on a true story, and gives you a look at a unique culture, snatch this one up when it comes out.

Notes on content [based on the ARC]: One use of profanity (by non-Mennonite). No sexual content. There is a road accident that results in some potentially serious injuries but everyone ends up ok.

I received an ARC of this title from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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