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Midsummer's Mayhem

4.60  ·  Rating details ·  165 ratings  ·  84 reviews
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 a
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published June 11th 2019 by Yellow Jacket
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4.60  · 
Rating details
 ·  165 ratings  ·  84 reviews

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Jan 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids, middle-grade, 2019
Imagine a mashup between Shakespeare’s A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM and kids baking competition shows. Throw in a hearty dash of magic, family dynamics, and themes of believing in yourself. Absolutely irresistible, this book will have readers hooked from the very first page. There is so much to love about this fun, tightly plotted, heartfelt story, but aside from the food descriptions (which are seriously mouthwatering!!) my favorite parts were about Mira and her family as she works to find her pla ...more
Victoria Coe
Apr 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
11 year-old Mimi is searching for a recipe to help her win the baking contest of a lifetime--a chance to bake with her idol Puffy Fay, to prove she belongs in her family of superstars, and to stop being known as Mimi Mouse. And when an enchanting song in the woods leads her to intoxicating plants, a mysterious book, and a new friend, she's found all she needs.

But when she bakes the creation of her heart, her family and friends start acting strangely. Her imagination? Coincidence? Or have her des
Emily T
May 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was incredibly lucky to read this book early on and it is absolutely delightful-full of heart, magical mischief, a main character you can't help but root for, beautiful truths about family and childhood, and food descriptions that will leave your tummy rumbling!

The whole family will want to read this one together on summer afternoons, but be warned-your children will probably beg to start baking after reading!

My daughter, age 7, also loved the book and wanted to add her own review. In her own
Mari Johnston
Mar 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review and many others can also be found at Musings of a (Book) Girl.

Midsummer’s Mayhem was one of the cutest books I’ve ever read! I’ve started to really enjoy retellings the past few years, and this one was done so well. A Midsummer Night’s Dream isn’t a play I’m completely familiar with, but going into this novel I did know the basics of it. Since this is a middle-grade novel though, I really liked seeing Rajani LaRocca incorporate the play and give a brief synopsis of it in her story. Y
Joshua Levy
Feb 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A book by any other name would probably not be as sweet as Rajani LaRocca's MIDSUMMER'S MAYHEM. The ingredients are absolute perfection: Shakespeare. Magic. Family. Friends.

After her best friend moves away--and seemingly outshined by her busy and talented siblings and parents (each one of whom is well-developed and endearing)--amateur kid-chef Mimi Mackson is on the hunt for what makes her special. When a new cafe opens up in her town, complete with a baking competition, Mimi sees her chance. Bu
Jan 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
As a lover of both baking and Shakespeare, I knew I would thoroughly enjoy Rajani LaRocca's debut middle grade novel, MIDSUMMER'S MAYHEM—a delightful retelling of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" centered around a kids' baking competition.

The book was just as charming as I'd hoped: filled with fairy mischief, accidental magic, and an intrepid heroine who is determined to bake her way out of any sticky situation. LaRocca does a fantastic job of retelling Shakespeare's play while keeping it accessible
Jan 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a fabulous reimagining of Shakespeare's A Midsummer's Night Dream. In MIDSUMMER'S MAYHEM, Rajani LaRocca introduced Mimi (the youngest—and so she thought—the least talented member of her family). However much she might not have seen it in herself at first, throughout the story, Mimi displayed all the ways she's special—a caring sister, a kind friend, and an amazing baker. LaRocca sprinkled magic throughout the story the way Mimi decorated her cupcakes, with creativity and imagination.

This b
Jan 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I have never been more thankful that my mom is able to procure arcs! I thought it was amazing! I know absolutely nothing about baking. But I am a total Shakespeare nerd!and the sheer amount of Shakespeare MAGIC kept me theorizing the whole way through! For those of you who don’t know everything about a Midsummer nights dream it’s still a great book about baking, magic, and family. But if you do know a Midsummer nights dream there is a whole new layer of magic to be discovered! A heartwarming nov ...more
Jennifer Guyor Jowett
Feb 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this story of courage, love, and conviction. Mimi's adventure leads her to discover the importance of family and to realize the strength she has always had. Rajani LaRocca's updated Midsummer Night's Dream is a fun and delicious read! I found myself dreaming of the cupcakes Mimi creates. And there's a bonus - recipes from the book at the very end!
Naomi Milliner
Mar 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If you like Shakespeare or baking - or especially both! - you will love this book. With mouth-watering descriptions of desserts (and three recipes in the back) and a fresh, funny take on A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM, this is one delicious ride. Kids will enjoy it, and it would make a fun and creative choice for English classes. Warning: this book will make your mouth water.
Malayna Evans
Jan 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
In a word, this book is scrumptious. Food, family and friendship animate every page. It's a magical read. But one word of caution: get ready to add a dash of baking and eating to this reading adventure. You'll be inspired.
Sam Taylor
Dec 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is utterly delightful. Midsummer Night's Dream meets Cupcake Wars, filled with family shenanigans, fairy mischief, and baking gone wonky. Get it for the kid in your life. Get it for the kid in you.
Shauna Holyoak
Dec 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What a fun and whimsical story! I loved this Midsummer-Night's-Dream inspired tale with the aspiring baker Mimi who makes magic in her kitchen. The story demonstrates the importance of family and friendships and has a sweet (and savory!) ending.
Apr 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Interest Level: 5-8

Imagine that you love baking but you start to suspect that some of the cookies you made are causing all kinds of problems. Eleven-year-old Mimi is so sad that her best friend moved away so she spends a lot of her time baking. Mimi feels like she is overlooked in her family because her siblings are popular in their small town - one is a fabulous dancer, one an incredible actor, and one is a star soccer player. Even her father is a famous food critic. Mimi can't dance, she can't
Andrea Contos
Jul 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to read this book early, and I am absolutely jealous of everyone who gets to experience it for the first time.

The entire book is a delight, with expertly-woven magic and a pervading sense of wonderment, set in the real world. Mimi is immediately likable and relatable, and the entire cast adds to the depth of the novel.

The mystery is fun and intriguing, and the food descriptions are inventive and impossible to read without wanting to try them. Hint: Go to LaRocca's blog for de
Jess Redman
Feb 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is an absolutely delectable and so fun reimagining of Shakespeare's A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM. The story follows Mimi Mackson the summer after her best friend moves away. Her older siblings are all super talented, and Mimi often feels left out and less than. When the very unusual While Away Cafe opens up in town, Mimi decides to compete in their baking competition; maybe she can be the best at something for once! With the help of a mysterious new friend and an enchanting cookbook, Mimi sets ...more
Katie Zhao
Feb 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Rajani's magical middle grade debut encompasses so much of what I love in books - magic, heart, family, and a little bit of chaos mixed in for the perfect middle grade read! Readers, young and old alike, will devour this scrumptious debut (hopefully not literally, but who can say with all the yummy, mouthwatering desserts!) Along her personal journey, through the highs and lows, Mimi discovers herself and her place in her family and world. Plus, adding elements of Shakespeare into the story?! Th ...more
Chris Baron
Mar 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was fortunate to have an advanced copy of this book, and it was our family read aloud. We LOVED it. Mimi, the youngest daughter is a delightful main character who finds herself in versified adventures and sticky situations. The mix of Shakespeare, magic, and baking, create such a wonderful interplay for the deeper themes of culture, family, and friendship. My kids were laughing one moment, and filled with wonder the next. The story is fast-paced and expertly written.

As a bonus, it inspired us
Nicole Hewitt
This review and many more can be found on my blog: Feed Your Fiction Addiction

This book is a retelling of A Midsummer Night’s Dream with a foodie twist! There are so many ingredients in this story that will appeal to a wide audience: a baking competition, fairies, sibling rivalry, love enchantments gone wrong, themes of growing up and fitting in—the book has all these and more. Mimi has always wished she had a way to stand out in her family of talented (and outgoing) siblings; her brother’s an a
Jun 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is funny and clever and so, so sweet. I belly laughed several times and teared up a few times too. The main character is so lovable and someone you want to root for. The plot is fun and fast-paced and the writing is very strong too. This is the perfect middle-grade summer read! (Be warned: this book will make you want cupcakes.)
Melissa Miles
Jun 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I just finished this wonderful debut novel, and it was the perfect summer read. The story is full of my favorite elements: family, friendship, food, culture and adventure. Mimi is a character that every reader can root for, and her passion for baking shines through on the pages. I could practically smell the cupcakes baking from LaRocca's rich descriptions of the delicate process of making them. I loved the use of ingredients that aren't found in your average bakery cakes. Even readers who aren' ...more
Theresa Milstein
May 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Mimi compares herself to her talented siblings and feels she falls short. At least she's got a flair for baking. But is she good enough? Meanwhile, mysterious things are afoot in the town of Comity. There's an interesting new boy who befriends Mimi, her dad's acting stranger than strange, and there are odd occurrences in the woods near her house. Mimi finds out about a baking contest in town and wants to win. But it turns out her flair for baking has a few magical surprises. Things only get craz ...more
Apr 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

Full of adorable illustrations, Midsummer's Mayhem is a whimsical book about our love of flavor, our family, and our dreams. Mimi is a sweet girl who loves to bake. In her family, her voice can get drowned out, but there's something special about each of her family members, so when her father starts acting strangely, and her siblings do too, Mimi knows that maybe baking has the cu
Sweet (pun intended) and savory debut novel about family, friendship,finding your place in the world. Combines baking and Shakespeare! So much fun. For fans of Bliss Bakery series and Natalie Lloyd.
Sam Musher
A perfect warm, summery middle grade book. The stakes are meaningfully high, but not stressfully high. The protagonist learns important emotional lessons about working hard and being herself and being open to unexpected friendships, all earned in the story -- the reader never feels whacked over the head with it. The Midsummer Night's Dream parallels are fun and well-constructed, in a way that will work for kids who are unfamiliar with the story but (mostly) aren't too obvious for adults who know ...more
Divine Anas
I saw "baking" somewhere in the blurb and I CLICKED WANT TO READ W/O ANY SECOND THOUGHTS. Heartless first made me love reading about baking (tho Idk how to actually bake or cook irl HAHAH) so this better be good! Also, an Indian-American mashup of A Midsummer Night's Dream is just tooo good to be true.
Apr 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I'm hungry for all the treats in this story AND for more books from Rajani LaRocca. Mimi is a kind and inquisitive girl that you instinctively root for, and her struggles with failure were something that really resonated with me. This play on Shakespeare with a culinary twist is absolutely delightful, and dare I say it, scrumptious. More, more, more!
Jul 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was an absolute joy to read. Mimi's struggle to stand out among her talented siblings tugged at my heartstrings, and the sometimes-magical antics of her family made me laugh out loud. And of course, the baking! I want to make every recipe. Cannot wait to read this story again once it is in the wild! (And am holding out hopes for a companion cookbook!)
Apr 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is SUCH a fabulous book! Really enjoyed reading it, although be forewarned: This book will make you hungry!

Jun 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade
Middle grade fiction- genre low fantasy (realistic setting with fantasy elements). This book pulled me in immediately and didn't let go. Mimi is a young baker, with 3 older siblings known throughout the town for their successes. She feels unseen and unimportant in their shadows. But a new bakery has opened in town, with a baking contest for young chefs. Mimi is determined to enter and win the contest, especially when the prize is announced to be a visit with her idol--famous chef Puffy Fay in NY ...more
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Rajani LaRocca was born in India, raised in Kentucky, and now lives in eastern Massachusetts with her wonderful husband, two brilliant kids, and an impossibly cute dog. She spends her time writing middle grade novels and picture books, practicing medicine, and baking way too many sweet treats. Her debut middle grade, MIDSUMMER'S MAYHEM, is a foodie Indian-American story inspired by A Midsummer Nig ...more