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Midsummer's Mayhem

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  1,411 ratings  ·  408 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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Average rating 4.16  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,411 ratings  ·  408 reviews

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Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
A sweet middle-grade story inspired by A Midsummer Night's Dream featuring a baking competition. ADORABLE. ...more
Sep 02, 2019 rated it liked it
3.75 stars
Rachel Reads Ravenously
3.75 stars

What a cute middle grade treat! Think Shakespeare mixed with baking. I admit, I was drawn into this book by the cover and it totally paid off. I think many middle grade readers will love this book.
CW (The Quiet Pond) ✨
This was such a delightful retelling of A Midsummer Night's Dream and has one of the best food descriptions I've ever read.

- Follows Mimi, an Indian-American kid who comes from a big family and loves to bake! When she meets a mysterious boy and a new bakery opens in her sleepy town, wild shenanigans ensue - and it's up to Mimi to undo the mayhem.
- This story is about friendship and giving things your best shot, and has a light and fun 'mystery' element!
- This is such a lovely and eventful read;
Jan 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids, 2019, middle-grade
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
Belles Middle Grade Library
Aug 29, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This was superb! I am in love with this book! It got a big book hug when I finished reading it! I devoured this utterly delicious read-I read the last 60% in 1 sitting. You have mystery, magic, friendship, an adorable family, FOOD, & some Shakespeare with mythology & fairies! Lol

There is also one of the best MC ever. She is so relatable, & you are rooting for her the whole way. To the youngest siblings out there(🙋🏻‍♀️)who may feel like they never fit in with the rest of their family, or feel li
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
Jul 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I devoured this book! A delightful, relatable main character to root for, a charming family, plus baking, mystery, magic, and Shakespeare/mythology/fairies!
Cheryl struggles to catch up
Nov 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Wow, so much here. Definitely a labor of love, which appeals to me even more than all the content. And the content alone makes it worth reading for so many reason. There's creative baking, and a successful Indian-American family, and flavors of magic, and Shakespeare, and a mystery, and awesome illustrations (need to check if author has done graphic novels), and themes of friendship, courage, self-identity, etc.

I particular appreciate how the author worked it out that the child had to have thes
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
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. ...more
Rajani LaRocca
May 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
This is my debut novel! I hope you enjoy this story featuring baking, magic, and Shakespeare about learning to appreciate your talents, finding your place in your family, and creating with your heart. Go, Team Sweet!
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! ...more
Sam Taylor
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. ...more
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. ...more
I really loved this! I'm not going to be able to write an adequate review so I'll just do what I can and highly recommend it. It is really fresh and delightful and fun, yet also has such an authentic core and such real emotions. This may sound odd, but when I told my sister how much I liked it, my initial highest praise was, "I wasn't annoyed." But, really, so many middle grade books annoy me these days. I can't quite put my finger on why -- it's like they are trying too hard to be "magical" or ...more
Do not read this while hungry, because it's full of wonderful sounding treats and snacks. There are a few recipes in the back of the book, but honestly I would buy a cookbook with everything described in the story nomnomnom. This is a great blend of fairies, family history, and baking competition, and a wonderful choice if you're looking for something relatively light. It reminded me a tiny bit of A Dash of Trouble, mostly because of the family dynamics and the tasty snacks. ...more
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
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. ...more
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'
Cara (Wilde Book Garden)
Well, this was a delight.

Baking + Shakespeare + family relationships + a splash of magic = a recipe for a perfect Cara book.

I really, really hope Rajani LaRocca retells some other Shakespeare stories in this clever and heartwarming style!
Stephanie P (Because My Mother Read)
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher for review.

I seriously loved this sweet story!

Midsummer’s Mayhem is a middle grade novel geared towards ages 8 and up and was pitched as A Midsummer Night’s Dream meets Master Chef Junior. It definitely delivered on that premise! There are also sweet illustrations spread throughout.

It was so much fun reading this right after reading the original A Midsummer Night’s Dream as part of #thebookishcookierbardalong and seeing all the hints and nod
Meet Mimi - from a big American Indian family , feels like no body beneath all her Comity famous siblings.

She craves to prove herself while a bakery opens in the summer time and announces a cooking competition .

When unexpected and unexplained stuff happens to her family , everything is upto Mimi.

I loved the Mimi's family and her PoV was really great - The caring and often left out kid who loves her entire family.

Mimi's effort on putting everyone back on track and cooking for everyone's special
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
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
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Rajani LaRocca was born in India, raised in Kentucky, and now lives in the Boston area, where she practices medicine and writes award-winning books for young people, including Red, White, and Whole, which won a 2022 Newbery Honor, the Walter Dean Myers Award, Golden Kite Award, and New England Book Award. Her other books include: Midsummer’s Mayhem (2019), Seven Golden Rings (2020), Bracelets for ...more

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“Lemon and... blueberries, right? No, hold on- blackberries, I think. And... lavender? Lavender, for... excitement? I think there's an old saying that lavender is good for something like that."
That sounded familiar. "Just a second." I took the book out of my backpack and flipped through the beginning again. "This isn't in alphabetical order, or any kind of order at all. Oh, here it is. Lavender brings luck and adventure for those who choose to embrace it," I said. "You were right."
"What book is that?" asked Vik. "It looks ancient."
"I just found it. It's got all these drawings and descriptions of herbs and spices."
"Cool! Can I take a look?"
I handed him the book, and he spent the next few minutes leafing through it, but then returned to eating the cupcake.
"I love this. It's so different from the usual boring things people make. Although..." He took another bite. "I have a suggestion." He studied the cupcake. "The cake is light, fluffy, and complex, and the creamy, tangy frosting complements it so well. It might be even better with an edible garnish. Like a sugared mint leaf." He took another bite. "Or a sugared violet," he said with his mouth half full. "That would be lovely."
I gaped in surprise. He was right. It would be lovely. I'd thought about topping them with fresh, mouth-puckering blackberries, but these suggestions were so much more elegant.”
“I blew a strand of hair out of my face and wandered to a table where spices and herbs were laid out in jewellike bowls. Rosemary, thyme, spearmint, cinnamon, cardamom. Their fragrance beckoned me. My fingers twitched.
A pinch of delicate reddish-orange threads lay in a clear bowl. They smelled of sunshine.
Saffron. For success.
I knew exactly what to make.”
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