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All Four Stars

(All Four Stars #1)

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  2,601 ratings  ·  506 reviews
Gladys Gatsby has dreamed of becoming a restaurant critic for New York's biggest newspaper--she just didn’t expect to be assigned her first review at age 11. Now, if she wants to meet her deadline and hang on to her dream job, she’ll have to defy her fast-food-loving parents, cook her way into the heart of her sixth-grade archenemy, and battle Manhattan’s meanest maitre d’ ...more
Kindle Edition, 288 pages
Published July 10th 2014 by Putnam
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Average rating 4.18  · 
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May 19, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kiddiwinx, netgalley, eats

my word…

now, i don't read much middle grade. i feel creaky enough when i am reading YA, squinting through my bifocals at all the energetic protagonists. but wendy darling asked if i would join in on the blog tour for this book, and after i learned what a "blog" was, i got my old bones right on board. when a goodreads celebrity asks for your participation in something, you do not refuse. and considering how much i loved Rooftoppers last year, i figured it was time to
Wendy Darling
If you have an appreciation for food, you're going to love this sweet and funny book. I finished it in one day, thoroughly charmed--and thoroughly HUNGRY.

Review to come!
Faye, la Patata
All Four Stars is definitely an endearing read that will connect to the chef (and eater!) in you, as it follows the story of Gladys Gatsby, a young sixth grader, follow her dreams in the most unconventional way. She has loved food at a very tender age, and has since then experimented with recipes behind her parents' backs. It has gone so, so well, until she caught the kitchen's curtains on fire when she was attempting to make a Crème Brûlée, a tasty French treat that assure you is as delicious a ...more
May 07, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Bonnie by: Wendy Darling
‘Gladys took a bite of her brownie, and a slew of flavors flooded her taste buds. The sweet, melty butterscotch offset the bitterness of the chocolate, and the hint of nutmeg gave the whole thing a kick.’

Gladys Gatsby is a sixth grader that loves nothing more than experimenting in the kitchen. From entrées to pastries, she loves cooking anything and everything. During her latest kitchen experiment involving crème brûlée and a blowtorch, her family’s kitchen curtains went up in smoke and her
All Four Stars was written by Tara Dairman and revolves around the life and love for cooking found within an adorable sixth-grader named Gladys.

This book was unexpectedly spectacular. I had no idea how much I was going to love this book. The writing was brilliant and entertaining. I read that it took Tara many years to actually get this published, with it almost not happening, and I am so happy that she took the leap into being a published author because the world would have been missing too mu
Just couldn't give this one all four stars ...

Couple of things kept me from loving this book. I was really disappointed with the parents up until about the last chapter. They're just awful people that want nothing to do with their daughter unless it's convenient. Some parts of the plot were also incredibly implausible, like hiring someone without ever meeting them. Most jobs (if not all? I don't know, I've never worked HR), require some form of picture identification. I know I've always had to b
May 10, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
thank goodness this is worthy of four stars because otherwise I'd have been devastated.
Laura Resau
Jul 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A delectable delight! I absolutely loved this book! (I was lucky enough to get a review copy.) Gladys Gatsby is a charming, smart heroine-- a gourmande stuck in a family of fast-food lovers and microwave enthusiasts. It's so much fun to see how she ends up secretly reviewing food for the biggest newspaper out there.

Every page had me smiling and laughing... Gladys has such a funny and sweet voice. There were twists and turns that I didn't see coming, involving friendship subplots and restaurant-
cute & delicious. encourages one to pursue their passion. ...more
Aug 13, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Gladys Gatsby had me grinning and giggling with one WHOOSH!

I opened this adorable, sweet looking book to find an eleven year old with a blowtorch! Haha….Needless to say I liked Gladys instantly. It takes a special kind of gumption to torch crème brulee at age eleven. Not sure the kitchen curtains or her parents would agree with me though. :)

Gladys loves food. Savors and craves it. Cooks and bakes it. The girl can do things with a flame, whisk, and spice rack that I could never even dream of. Bu
Mar 21, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2014, middle, realistic
I am in a clear minority when it comes to not being impressed with this book. I've been enjoying the middle grade food porn cooking themed book trend, but for me, "All Four Stars" didn't hit the standard.

Mostly, I saw this as a case of mediocre writing. The plot itself is fine (if a little belief-straining): 11 year-old Gladys loves cooking, but after setting her kitchen drapes on fire her gross-food-loving parents ban her from the kitchen. Through a series of happy accidents, she's mistaken by
Such an adorable book for my first foray into MG, but more than that, as someone who loves to read foodie-ish things, this totally satisfied that craving. All of the food descriptions leap off the page; do not read this book on an empty stomach! Can't wait to buy this one for the big kids in my life :)
Jun 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Brenda by: The Midnight Garden Blog Tour
I loved the premise of a girl who has a secret life filled with cooking. One that isn't just a hobby, but a true passion. From reading cookbooks to "rolling her own sushi" and keeping a journal of all her reviews, Gladys was such a fun character. I loved how she wasn't hindered by the thought of trying new things, instead she seemed to relish it. I so wish I had a child like that. I found myself giggling at Glady's parents with their idea of cooking consisting of take out, microwaving and lowfat ...more
Jenni Arndt
May 15, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc-ebook
After reading serious book after serious book and then topping it off with a gore-filled horrorfest novel, I didn’t think there could be a better cleanse for my palate than a sweet MG read. I was wrong, there was something better, a sweet MG read that is full of the most luscious, tasty food descriptions that I have ever come across! All Four Stars by Tara Dairman is a wonderful middle grade read that makes you fall for it’s voracious MC and also leaves your mouth watering like no book I have re ...more
Probably more of a 3.5, but I truly really enjoyed reading/listening to this, so rounded up to 4. :)
Jenna (Falling Letters)
Review originally published 19 August 2018 at Falling Letters.

I took four years to get around to reading All Four Stars. I’m glad I didn’t drop it from my TBR! Dairman blends an exciting, out-there plot (becoming a food critic) with real childhood concerns (suddenly becoming popular at school, navigating new friendships, etc.). I would love to read more contemporary middle grade like this. All Four Stars offers a cute story while striking a balance between silliness and realism.

The adults demons
Check out my blog to see Reviews of Book and Movies, and check out some Recipes!

I originally read this book last year but it was so great I had to read it again!

This book was unexpectedly spectacular. I had no idea how much I was going to love this book. The writing was brilliant and entertaining. I read that it took Tara many years to actually get this published, with it almost not happening, and I am so happy that she took the leap into being a published author because the world would have bee
Originally posted at Sporadic Reads

All Four Stars is definitely a charming little book. The synopsis said that there will be food, and there were! To be honest, I had dreams about food while reading this book. It was a fantastically scrumptious read! tender duck breast swimming in a lake of tea-infused gravy, with a side of slender asparagus stalks dipping their tips in at the shore.

Gladys Gatsby is fascinated about food. She loves to experiment with different ingredients, but she's only
Penny Klostermann
Jul 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to read an advance copy of All Four Stars. Loved it! I can see middle grade readers eating it up! It's delightfully funny and Gladys Gatsby is an endearing character. In fact, every character in the book is special and memorable. You know how you read a book and you put off reading the last few pages because you don't want it to end??? Well, that was me with All Four Stars. I wanted more of Gladys, more her quirky personality, and more her fun food adventures. So, get your cop ...more
Lisa Maxwell
Dec 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: fans of funny MG fiction, foodies or people who wish they were foodies
All Five Stars!! (Yeah, I know, like you haven't heard that one before)

But seriously, Tara Dairman's debut Middle Grade is just absolutely delightful. It simmers with deliciously rich descriptions of the food its pint-size protagonist cooks up. Poor Gladys Gatsby just wants to make, eat, and write about amazing food. But her parents (Kind and Queen Science Oven) have other plans for her. When she accidentally gets a freelance job at a NY paper as a food critic, she has to figure out how to get t
Jun 16, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, for-review, read-2014
4.5 stars

I just can't think of enough ways to say how adorable this book is.

Gladys has a passion for food and cooking but I think this would be an inspiring story for any child who has something in their lives that they love to do. And for parents to help foster that passion.

I can't wait to purchase a finished copy. I bet the illustrations will be fantastic.

My only complaint…the very abrupt ending. I do hope that means there will be a sequel though!

Laurie Thompson
Jun 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book had me laughing all the way through it from beginning to end! It's a brilliantly crafted middle-grade novel about food-loving Gladys Gatsby, who accidentally lands herself an a trouble after trouble. You can't help but cheer her on as the stakes get higher and higher and she scrambles to try to keep things under control. Middle-grade humor doesn't get any sweeter than this. What fun!
Kristi Helvig
Jun 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Such a fun middle grade book! The premise of a 6th grade girl, with aspirations of food critic stardom, who has fast food, microwave-loving parents is awesome--and the dishes described in the book made me want to go to cooking school. Great debut novel!
Sep 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book was so much fun! I was laughing all the way through. The odd things that happen to get Gladys into her predicaments, and the funny and clever ways she gets out of them are very amusing. All and all, a fun read, and one that I think middle school kids will really enjoy!
Maybeline Tay
Oct 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is adorable. It had me laughing from the beginning. I love how the book talked about having passion in what we do. A definite plus was the very yummilicious descriptions of the desserts. Now I need my snack....
Jennifer Nielsen
Jun 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely charming book!
Jun 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely adorable middle grade story. Funny, fresh, fast-paced with a lot of heart as well as being a super fun read for foodies both young and young at heart. A fantastic debut.
Jul 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a fun book! Made me want to bake something. My students will love it, especially those who like to cook!
Jen (Pop! Goes The Reader)
Did you find this review helpful? Find more of my reviews at Pop! Goes The Reader!

“…Gladys knew one thing for sure: Today would not be remembered as the day she proved what a great cook she was and earned more kitchen privileges. No, today would forever be the day Gladys Gatsby set the house on fire…and, if her family survived, the day she got into a great, big, fat amount of trouble.”

Move over, Julia Child! Here comes eleven year old Gladys Gatsby, a precocious wunderkind who promises to take t
I really enjoyed this novel about a girl who loves to bake and is banned from it when her parents find out her secret after almost setting the house on fire. Definitely reflective of our world of take out, eating out, and microwavable meals that plagues America. Gladys wants to be a restaurant critique and has written all her reviews of her terrible and great experiences with food. I love the antics in this book and the cluelessness of her parents until the very end where we see some satisfactio ...more
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Tara Dairman is the author of the middle-grade foodie novels ALL FOUR STARS, THE STARS OF SUMMER, STARS SO SWEET, and THE GREAT HIBERNATION (coming in 2017), all published by Penguin Random House. She is also a playwright and a recovering round-the-world honeymooner (2 years, 74 countries!).

Tara holds a B.A. in Creative Writing from Dartmouth College and is represented by Ammi-Joan Paquette of th

Other books in the series

All Four Stars (3 books)
  • The Stars of Summer (All Four Stars, #2)
  • Stars So Sweet (All Four Stars, #3)

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