Monday, October 21, 2019

THE DOUGHNUT KING by Jessie Janowitz – Doughnuts and a caring boy’s plan to save a small town

It’s probably going to seem that I love to read books about  baking (okay, maybe I do) but  I got really involved in this story. (Bonus recipes at the back again, too). I read this one as a hardcover from my local library.

Description from the publisher:

When Tris tries to save his doughnut business and town by competing on a cooking show, will he have what a takes, or lose it all?

Tris Levin thought moving from New York City to middle-of-nowhere Petersville meant life would definitely get worse. . . only it actually got better. But just when things are looking up, problems start rolling in. His doughnut business has a major supply issue. And that's not the worst part, Petersville has its own supply problem-it doesn't have enough people. Folks keep moving away and if they can't get people to stay, Petersville may disappear.

Petersville needs to become a tourist destination, and his shop could be a big part of it, if Tris can keep up with demand. There's only one solution: The Belshaw Donut Robot. If Tris can win "Can You Cut It," the cutthroat competitive kids' cooking show, he can get the cash to buy the machine. But even with the whole town training and supporting him, Tris isn't sure he can live with what it takes to takes to win.

The Doughnut King by Jessie Janowitz was published by Source Books, Inc. in 2019.

Why you want to read this book:

If you love watching cooking contests on TV, you’ll enjoy this book! Tris is a determined character. He helps to run his own doughnut shop (so cool!) and is trying to find a way to produce more doughnuts to meet customer demand. It will also help bring business to the small town where he lives. Tris has an interesting team of friends, two sisters with very different personalities, and he meets a few more interesting characters when he gets to the contest.  A fun story with a couple of twists and turns and a great ending that wraps things up. And did I mention the robot?


YES! I couldn’t get out of there fast enough. And I wasn’t the only one.  

If you’re a writer…

I’d study the pacing in this novel. The story kept me interested all the way through. I really liked how Tris’ family was included in the story, coming in and out at the right moments but not taking over or saving the day.

I had never seen anything so beautiful. It was all stainless steel and shiny. It mixed. It fried. It glazed and injected. The Donut Robot did it all.

If you’re an educator…

At first Tris shies away from the challenge of going on Can You Cut It? because he doesn’t think he can do it. But I loved the way he persevered and tried it anyway. I also really liked the realism the author brought in when Tris makes a really bad decision—and then later admits he was wrong.

I ripped off my microphone and sprinted out of the room and down the hall, my eyes on the checkered tiles flying by. I didn’t want to have to see anyone.

Check out this fun book trailer!  

The author, Jessie Janowitz, shows us how to bake a favourite recipe while she talks about the book on Storymakers in the Kitchen:  

If you’re looking for another great list of middle grade books to read, check out Marvelous Middle Grade Monday on Greg Pattridge's blog.


  1. This one sounds like fun! I love to bake, so this one definitely appeals to me. Thanks for sharing this one for MMGM, Andrea.

  2. Baking + a robot sounds so fun. Thanks for sharing this one.

  3. I keep seeing baking themes in many MG stories. I like this story because Tris is trying to make a difference in his town -- and save it! Great story for teens. Will check it out.

  4. I read the DOUGHNUT FIX, the first book in the series, and can't wait to dive into this one. The characters were so likeable and the plot very compelling. Thanks for featuring on MMGM.

  5. I couldn't help thinking of one of my favorite books from my childhood -- Homer Price. I guess I just like books featuring doughnuts. This sounds like a terrific book. Thanks for telling me about it. I will check it out.


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