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Stir It Up

3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  274 ratings  ·  52 reviews
A Trinidadian-American girl’s dream is challenged by her family

Thirteen-year-old Anjali's life is rich with the smell of curry from her parents' roti shop and an absolute passion for food. More than anything, Anjali wants to be a chef who competes on a kids' cooking reality TV show. But Anjali must keep her wish a secret from her family, who thinks Anjali's passions are be
Hardcover, 176 pages
Published August 1st 2011 by Scholastic Press (first published January 1st 2011)
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My romp through YA of the past few years is continuing. My latest victim? Stir It Up: A Novel: A Novel, a book about a New York teenager from "Little Trinidad" who aspires to be a Food Network chef. The book seemed to be half recipes, half narrative.

1. The food described sounds delicious. Trinidad and Tobago combines Indian, Caribbean, and Chinese food cultures into one delicious amalgamation. I was hungry the entire time I read.
2. The premise was cute. I liked the idea of a kid chef conte
Why I picked it up: It’s food fiction! And this one has recipes, and in my definition, that’s true food fiction.

Anjali works at her dad’s Trinidadian restaurant in Queens. She loves food, she loves to create new recipes, and her dream is to be the youngest star on the Food Network. The teacher at a local Saturday cooking class tells Anjali about contest for exactly that. Anjali is over the moon, but the tryout is the same day as the entrance exam for the high school her parents want her to go to
Book blogging is life-changing. Or at least reading-life-changing (I think I’m safe with that assessment). I’ve been influenced by other bloggers more than I ever imagined possible when I started out. It has come to this: I hardly ever read a book anymore if I haven’t previously heard about it through my network. And, funnily enough, sometimes books hear about me and come searching. Or make that a book’s author. In this case, Ramin Ganeshram scouted me out viaReading in Color (a really fantastic ...more
Marissa Mayers
This book makes you wonder what will happen next.A girl from Trinidad named Anjali wants to become a celebrity chef. her parents think her passion is beneath her.
Anjali loves cooking and works in her families Trinidadian restaurant. Anjali cooks with her grandmother. On Saturday the two attend a cooking class run by chef Nyla. Anjali loves the classes where she's able to learn about different cuisines. Anjali dreams of being a Food Network star. Her parents think cooking is simply a hobby.

Chef Nyla tells Anjali about a new Food Network contest, Super Chef Kids. Anjali enters without telling anyone. Only when Anjali is chosen as a finalist does she tell
This charming book for ages ten and over will have you salivating for Caribbean food. The protagonist, 13-year-old Anjali Krishnan, originally from Trinidad, helps out in her family’s roti shop, Island Spice, in a Queens, New York neighborhood full of other Trinidadians and Guyanese families. Anjali calls cooking her “soul’s work.” She dreams of having the first television show about Caribbean food. Her inspiration is her grandmother, Deema, who attends classes with Anjali at New York’s Institut ...more
Kady Mac
The Deal: Anjali is a 13 year old girl living in Queens, New York. She goes to private school where she doesn't quite fit in and she's under a lot of pressure from her family to do well on her tests and be accepted at a prestigious public high school for the next year. With her mother also studying all the time to get her nursing certification in the United States, sometimes it feels like education is all her immigrant family cares about. All Anjali cares about however, is cooking. She loves hel ...more
Andrea G
Title: Stir it up
Author: Ramin Ganeshram
Genre: realistic fiction
Pages: 216 pages

Anjali is the main character of this story. She has always dreamed of becoming a professional chef with a cooking show. One day Anjali and her grandmother went to a cooking class. After the cooking class was over she received an invitation for the Celebrity Chef Kids competition. Anjali was so excited that she told her family when she got home. They congradulated her and the coversation was over. Then, Anjali told th
Reading Vacation
Stir it Up Recipe

1 Trinidadian-American teen girl named Anjali
1 cup of sneakiness as Anjali is not honest with her parents about Super Chef Kids
1 cup of determination as Anjali overcomes obstacles while competing
1 / 2 cup of spice for Anjali’s personality and desire to live her dream
1 /2 cup of real life Trinidadian recipes to try for yourself
1 tablespoon of suspense during the cooking competition
1 teaspoon of family dynamics as Anjali’s grandmother, Deema, helps her out

Mix all ingredients toget
Anjali is a Trinidad girl who loves to cook. She works at her dads shop to prepare the foods. She also makes some of her own foods too. She knows what to add and how much to make any dish come alive. She wants to become a chef but knows that study would have to come first. She goes to cooking classes and learns new techniques when making food.
When she went to her cooking class, her teacher gave her a card that said that people are looking for the next kid chef. Her teacher thought that it was go

The Deal: Anjali is a 13 year old girl living in Queens, New York. She goes to private school where she doesn't quite fit in and she's under a lot of pressure from her family to do well on her tests and be accepted at a prestigious public high school for the next year. With her mother also studying all the time to get her nursing certification in the United States, sometimes it feels like education is all her immigrant family cares about. All Anjali cares about however, is cooking. She loves hel
Anjali Krishnan loves to cook and to invent recipes while working in her father's shop, but her dreams clash with those of her parents. When her chance to compete as a chef on a cooking reality show turns out to be set for the same date as a high school admissions test, Anjali's parents refuse to give her permissions for the contest. The determined teen finds another adult to accompany her and hides her disobedience until results from the admissions test start arriving. Despite her parents' disa ...more
Kira McGann
A fun, quick read about a six-grade girl named Anjali whose father and family runs a roti shop in Queens, New York. Anjali has a natural gift for cooking traditional Trinidadian dishes and aspires to be a Food Network TV Chef. She also has the smarts to get into the prestigious Forest Hills School. Which path will she follow? You must read to find out.

Ganeshram's book will inspire some Teens/Tweens to venture into the kitchen and experiment with the lovely selection of Indian-Trinidadian recipes
Take one determined girl with a desire to cook, mix in one helpful cooking teacher and one supportive grandmother, and slowly add a pinch of deceit, and a large dose of ambition to get the recipe for Stir It Up, a novel about a young immigrant girl who tries to win a chance to host her own TV cooking show. Anjali Krishnan learned to cook from her grandmother and from working in her father's Trinidadian curry shop in Queens. Her parents don't want to see her cooking for a living but Anjali perser ...more
This book was really good and a nice interesting quick read!But , I felt the ending was very lame!I felt like the author put no thought into the ending !
If you are Food Network show person then you will like this book. It is about a young girl who likes to cook and is entered into a Food Network contest. She has to make a decision about going to a school that is for the academic student or lose out to a contest she may not win.

L13F_Jana Wilkening
13 year-old Anjali’s passion is cooking! She loves working in her parents’ Trinidadian restaurant and inventing new dishes for their menu. She dreams of one day bringing her cultures’ dishes main stream. When she becomes a finalist to have her own cooking show on the Food Network, she knows this is her chance. Unfortunately, her parents don’t support this dream. Anjali must then decide between following her dreams and listening to her parents. Sprinkled with recipes and a fun storyline, this sto ...more
Decent novel about pursuing your dreams, and the obstacles that land in your way. I was a little disappointed in the way Anjali's lie is handled and so easily forgiven. It was a big lie, and I felt like there wasn't a lot of fallout from that. That instance struck me as unrealistic. But overall, I enjoyed Anjali's character, and her love of cooking is infectious. I also love that the recipes were included with the text. I can't wait to try some of them out!
Anjali works in her parents' restaurant, and loves the lively colors and spicy scents of the Trinidad foods. Her goal is to someday be a real chef and compete on a reality TV cooking show. Her chance comes sooner than she thought it would, but her traditional parents are not ready to let her take this step.

Loaded with savory flavors and exotic seasonings, this book will have the reader drooling over cooking stories and real West Indian recipes. Ages 8-14.
Jeff Raymond
Anjali is a Trinidad-American with a passion for cooking, strict parents, and a chance to win hosting duties on a Food Network show for kids. Will Anjali follow her dreams or the wishes of those around her?

A simple question, the answer is tied up quickly, the book moves at a pretty crazy pace. I didn't love it, but I didn't hate it, either. A lot of cooking references, perhaps 20 pages of recipes, so there's a lot here for a certain reader overall.
This was a good, easy read for older kids. It gave insight into the Indo-Caribbean culture in Queens, NY that I might not otherwise have learned about. It gives people who don't know an awareness of NYC's mix of public, private, and specialized schools. Most of our kids are probably unaware of the idea of having to test and compete to go to a school until college. Some of the recipes even struck me as yummy sounding now that I'm older and less picky.
I thought that this book was just amazing to me because of the choices Anjali that she makes on either being a star cheif on the Food Nerwork channel or take the Stuyvesant test to get herself into that schooll. At the end no one is a winner for both choices. It just proves that life is what you make and to make it right the choice is yours to deside on. that is what my book is truly all about and i think that everyone should read.
Matthew Ramdin
This book is about a Girl in America And her Parents are from NewYork but she Trinidadian - American and this girl named Anjali. Anjli is a thirteen year old girl who work at her parents shop! She want to become a Chef and to cook all these amazing foods :), but theres a catch , She cant not tell her parents she want to be a chef. Read to found out if she Makes her dream come true or her parents ruin it for her!!!
Holly Thompson
I love the food network star show so this one about a kid star on the food network was fun for me. I didn't really know that is what it was about. However, I felt that it took a long time to get to the meat of the story. I did like the west indie recipes, and would consider buying the book just for those. Once things got going, though, it was a fun book to read.
I would have liked a little more depth from this because the premise was so fabulous! Anjali's family is from Trinidad and she works in the family restaurant. Her dream to become a chef is at odds with her parents ideas about who she should be. I loved reading about her culture, the fusion of Caribbean and Indian influences in Trinidad food.
Shannon Clark
I read it. I like it. But I didn't love it. It didn't have a lot of depth to it, nor was it humorous, and for some reason those are the 2 things that I tend to look for. It would be either difficult for my 6th graders or maybe not interesting because they wouldn't have any background knowledge about the culture within the story.
A sweet book about following your dream. Anjali loves to cook - in her father's shop, at home, and on the food network show. She must choose between a test for the gifted high school and an audition for a tv show on cooking. Laced with delicious-sounding recipes from Trinidad and Guyana.
This book was about a girl that loved to cook, and she had a roti shop with her family. But when she decides to join a food network competition, her parents are not thrilled. I liked this book because I really enjoy cooking and it is one of my favorite hobbies.
Diane Greiner
A great book to read. It shows how to follow your passion, about family support and understanding how to persevere through tough times. An added bonus is the recipes included in this book. It stirs excitement in trying something new and out of your comfort zone.
Mina Khan
Wonderful and much needed because it features a spunky, creative West Indian teen who has the courage to go after her dreams. For a more detailed review checkout my blog:


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Stir It Up Bye Ramin Ganeshram 2 2 May 21, 2012 03:49PM  
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Ramin Ganeshram is a veteran journalist who has written for many prestigious publications such as THE NEW YORK TIMES, NEWSDAY, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC TRAVELER, and BON APPETIT, among others. She is also the author of SWEET HANDS: ISLAND COOKING FROM TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO. Additionally, Ramin is a food writer and professional chef, and holds a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University. STIR ...more
More about Ramin Ganeshram...
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