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When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Peach Pie (Great Peach Experiment #1)
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When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Peach Pie

(The Great Peach Experiment)

4.44  ·  Rating details ·  68 ratings  ·  35 reviews
This charming, hilarious, and touching middle grade novel is about a family searching for a way to reconnect as a family after the loss of the kids' mother. They decide to honor her memory by living out one of Mom's lifelong dreams, taking a road trip and selling pies out of a newly-acquired food truck. ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published April 6th 2021 by Pixel+Ink
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Average rating 4.44  · 
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Jul 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I also LOVED this story. I think it is Erin’s best yet. Loved the story, the characters, and the family road trip they took. So many wonderful life lessons and moments strewn throughout the pages. Can’t wait to share with my fourth grade readers. Perfect for kids in third, fourth, and fifth. A must read. Put it on your TBR list. You won’t be disappointed!
Ms. Yingling
Feb 07, 2021 rated it liked it
E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus

Lucy, Freddy, and Herb Peach have struggled with life in Duluth after the death of their mother four years previously. Their father, a university professor, has thrown himself into his work and left Lucy to deal with a lot of the daily problems in the household, but things change when he impulsively buys a food truck and proposes a summer on the road. It's not easy to run a food truck, but the crew decides that they will use an old family recipe for peach pie and
Samantha (WLABB)
Mar 23, 2021 rated it really liked it
The Peach Family had been trying to adjust to life without their mother for the past two years, and it had not been easy without her. After the sale of one of their mother's inventions resulted in a windfall, the Peaches set out to fulfill one of her lifelong dreams - to run a food truck. Armed with a plan and an amazing pie recipe, the family was determined to enter and win the Food Truck Festival.

You know who loves a road trip? This girl! I had a wonderful time touring the midwest with this qu
Erin Downing
May 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Full disclosure: I wrote this book, and I'm going to be really honest - it's my favorite book I've written. So with that said, I obviously give it 5 stars, along with a side of ice cream. The first book in THE GREAT PEACH EXPERIMENT series introduces the Peach family, who are traveling around the country, selling pie out of their newly-acquired food truck. 12-year-old Lucy, 10-year-old Freddy, 8-year-old Herb, and their dad are searching for a way to reconnect as a family after the loss of the k ...more
Evelina | AvalinahsBooks
How I read this: Free ebook copy received through Edelweiss

Me at the start of this book:

But seriously, what is wrong with this dad?? That SHITTY, SHITTY dad!!! Oh, I am so angry. He does nothing, he doesn't listen to his children, he basically treats them like they're work subordinates in an office setting AND tells them they have to pick up the slack when HE'S the one doing nothing and living in his own little world. He's like some airhead, and he is incredibly selfish... So he lost his wife -
Jennifer Hottinger
Mar 19, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Mom passed away, but one of her inventions sells which adds a quick million dollars for the family. Dad purchases a food truck and plans to spend the summer on the road with his children selling pies. So much happens along the way! Exciting, humorous, heartfelt novel of family making connections after loss and remembering what is most important-time together!
Book Posse
Gabriella Crivilare
Apr 21, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: middle-grade
I think that if you came up with an equation that looked something like Chef (2014) + dessert x The Penderwicks, you might not only have written a math problem that would never be in Freddy Peach's summer math workbooks, but you would have described his--and his family's--life over the course of one fun and stressful month.

Since I love the movie Chef (and pie), when I found this book I knew I was going to have to pick it up, because it's basically the perfect storm of quite a few of my interests
Shaye Miller
This new middle grade novel by Erin Soderberg Downing sure packs an emotional punch for being only 256 pages. Three Peach family children, 12-year-old Lucy, 10-year-old Freddy, and 8-year-old Herb, are left grieving the loss of their mother while their professor dad how thrown himself into his work. But this year, dad came up with a crazy idea to honor their mom’s memory. Over the summer they will live out one of Mom’s dreams – buy a food truck and travel the country, selling pies as a family. T ...more
For some reason, I recently read two middle grade novels that spent some time discussing pie. I've always been more of a cake or cookie woman myself, but the wonders of pie surely cannot be denied. When readers finish reading this book with a great deal of description of pie-making and -selling, they will either find themselves craving a slice or so overwhelmed by those pies that they may never want to eat another slice. Still, most readers will enjoy the journey taken by the Peach family. Lucy, ...more
Karen McKenna
Apr 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I loved this story. Still struggling with the death of their mom, the Peach family sets out to fulfill one of her wishes: run a family food truck business. But can they learn to work as a team in time to win the food truck festival? This is a great family story full of adventure, risks, highs, and lows. I really appreciated the mistakes the dad was making and how each kid felt different emotions and handled them in different ways throughout the adventure. Even though the theme of learning to mov ...more
Melanie Dulaney
“And now it’s time to let them go. Just like we had to do with mom...My mice will be happy to be free. Just like mom needed to be free of her cancer. I know it hurt her a lot in the end.” Herb Peach.

This book has a place on the shelves of any library, home/school/public/classroom, that serves grades 4-8. The kick-off to a new series, Erin Downing creates a family that is grieving the loss of their wife/mom and is suffering mightily. Lucy is going into the 7th grade and has, in essence, been car
Melissa Thom
Mar 11, 2021 rated it it was amazing
The Great Peach Experiment was a book I couldn't put down! Things have been very difficult for this family of 4 after losing their mother two years prior. But when one of her inventions makes a bunch of money, Mr. Peach decides it's time to make one of her late wife's dreams come true; The Peach family are hitting the road on the ultimate food truck adventure. I felt immediately connected to the characters and I couldn't wait to see their travels unfold. It's not always easy and they definitely ...more
Mar 29, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade
Peach family life is messy, but not in a good way. Mom died of cancer two years ago and Dad is absorbed with his research work. Lucy Peach is the oldest and has had to step in to parent her two younger brothers -- Freddy and Herb (I see what you did there, Erin Soderberg Downing). Mom's great idea for solar clings finally sells and the family suddenly has over a million dollars to spend. Dad buys a food truck and proposes they take a one-month road trip, ending at an Ohio food festival, for the ...more
Lisa McDonald
Apr 11, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
Thanks to Edelweiss and the publisher for this eARC of The Great Peach Experiment 1: When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Peach Pie.

I read this book because the author, Erin Soderberg Downing, was visiting our school virtually and I wanted to book talk her book prior to her visit. I, honestly, didn't expect to enjoy her book as much as I did. It is a thoughtful, engaging book about a family who is dealing with the grief of losing the mother several years prior to cancer. The father has handled his
Keeping a family as a family remains a challenge after the Peach family's mother dies of cancer. In an author's note, Erin Soderberg Downing tells how much her own three children add to this story. Isn't that wonderful, too? The Peach family is struggling, mostly held tightly by twelve-year-old Lucy. Their father hides in his work, so Lucy keeps younger brothers Freddy, ten, and Herb, eight, going with good food, warm hugs, and words, reading aloud at night. When a windfall of a lot of money com ...more
Mar 23, 2021 rated it really liked it
Thank you for sharing the arc!

For the most part, I really liked this book. It was nice to see a sort of different idea as far as a food truck. Also even though the mom is not in the book, women in science are always a plus.

My only fault with it is I just feel like they never really dealt with the grief and the pressure put on Lucy. So much of the book would talk about how the mom died two years ago, dad became an absentee parent, and Lucy pretty much took over having to parent her brothers whic
Mar 28, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book! Being a Midwesterner, I very much appreciated the Midwest travel elements and attractions - the Hayward fish!!?? Fun! I thought this story captured a grieving family well and made the concept relatable to children and young readers. The relationship between Dad, Lucy, Freddy, and Herb was dynamic and evolving, my heart hurt for them at times! How they pull together as a family in the end is wonderful to see. OH - and who could forget the pie and food truck?! This read ...more
A few things I really enjoyed about the book (and what I think kids will like as well!)...
•The drawings - these are a really fun element of the book, particularly the page of beards!
•The real-life money aspect - I think this would be a fun book to launch an economics or business unit
•The unique premise - If you had a food truck, what would you serve? Could your family handle all that togetherness in the summer? Lots of fun elements in the story!

Definitely a book I'll be sharing with my students!
After Mom dies, the Peach family must move on, and Dad thinks it would be a great idea to go on a road trip and live out one of Mom's dreams - selling pies out of a food truck. One thing Dad didn't think one knows how to make pie.

This is the first book in the "Great Peach Experiment," and I cannot wait to read more! I love this family - this book is touching and funny. A great family story to share.

Recommended for grades 3 and up -- adults, read this with your children.
Mar 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed this new MG novel by Erin! Fantastic characters, fun story, and connections to Minnesota and the Midwest. It made me think of such joyful road trip memories from childhood. I liked the illustrations and letters sprinkled throughout. This is one that I am thinking my students will really connect with. Thanks for the early copy, Erin.
Michelle Simpson
I loved this book! While the family has experienced great sadness and lived through a really tough time period, their story is shared using humor. Important issues are confronted and lessons are learned while the characters enjoy their new summer challenge.

Early digital review copy received from Edelweiss+.
Mar 27, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: middle-grade
It was okay. It really would have been so much better and believable if it had been based in an older time - the 60's the 70's or 80's in a pinch.
The other issue I had was the kids didn't sound like kids. And if you're going to write from the point of view of a 12, 10 and 8 year old than that is what they should sound like
Apr 05, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Such a unique book that truly stands out! In 2020 we loved Millionaires for the Month by Stacy McAnulty because it caused our middle grade readers to think about money in a real-world way, and When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Peach Pie is another hit in this category! Our young readers will love it, and so excited that the series will continue!
Feb 05, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: story-shop-reads
An extraordinary family goes on an extraordinary adventure. Quirky in all the best ways, this book will give you all the feels as the Peaches struggle to find a new normal after their mom dies. Loved the author’s note at the end about food trucks and fiction. :)
Mar 21, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This sweet story of a family food truck adventure is going to have you craving more! Lucy, Freddy, and Herb are so much fun! But just know, you are definitely going to need a slice of pie while you read!
Franki Sibberson
Apr 11, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This is a great middle grade novel with the perfect about of fun and real life. And the fact that Dublin's Field of Corn is featured makes it even better! I came to love this family over the course of the book and love how it all played out. ...more
Veruca Athena
Apr 02, 2021 rated it liked it
Great concept, not so great book
Ms Threlkeld
Utterly delightful! The dad made me a bit batty, but I adored the three Peach kids. Looking forward to book 2.
Lesley Burnap
Apr 23, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a heartfelt MG! The Peach family have had their share of heartbreak, losing Mom to cancer, but they’re about to take on the “Great Peach Experiment” to come together as a family again. Will Lucy, Freddy, Herb and Dad be able to make their way through the Midwest on a food truck living out Mom’s dream and reconnect with one another? No spoilers here, but please enjoy the best slice of peach pie writing from author Erin Soderberg Downing. I’m looking forward to more adventures from the Peach ...more
Laura Mossa
Mar 28, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Since Lucy’s mother died, her father, a university professor, threw himself into his research, and the 12 year old became surrogate parent to her two younger siblings, 10 year old Freddy and 8 year old Herb. Then, out of the blue, their dad announces that one of their mom’s inventions sold for over a million dollars. To fulfill one of their mom’s dreams, their dad bought a used food truck and the Peach family is going to spend the summer together traveling the Midwest selling pies. While Freddy ...more
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I read and write lots of funny, adventurous, & heartwarming books for kids, tweens, and teens (and even a few romantic comedies for adults, too!). I always love book recommendations, so please send them my way. I'm partial to contemporary romantic comedy, funny/original voices, quirky characters, and kids' books with humor and heart.

The first book in my new series - THE GREAT PEACH EXPERIMENT: Whe

Other books in the series

The Great Peach Experiment (2 books)
  • The Peach Pit (Great Peach Experiment #2)

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