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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)

4.48  ·  Rating details ·  46 ratings  ·  29 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 4.48  · 
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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!
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
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
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
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
Veruca Athena
Apr 02, 2021 rated it liked it
Great concept, not so great book
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
Afoma (Reading Middle Grade)
Mar 29, 2021 rated it really liked it
The Great Peach Experiment #1: When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Peach Pie is a wonderful introduction to a new middle grade series for fans of The Vanderbeekers. The Peach kids will worm their way into readers’ hearts without any trouble. If you enjoy books about families, food books, or middle grade books about road trips, this is the perfect book for you!

Read my full review on my blog.

Many thanks to the publisher for an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
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
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.
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 -
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
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
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
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
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+.
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
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
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
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
Apr 13, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Erin's books are always fun and full of adventure..... and books :) I love the references made to other awesome books I've read and that the family bonds through books. I love the story of this family and the process they are going through to overcome the grief they have of losing their mom. The adventures in a food truck are FUN! I religiously watch The Great Food Truck Race, so I enjoyed that part of the story as well. ...more
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.
Beth Parmer
Mar 27, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I LOVE this book! I devoured this book like the Peach family devours pie. From dedication page to acknowledgements, I finished the book in less than 24 hours. It hooked me and I just couldn’t put it down! The characters are each uniquely amazing, the road trip is fun, you never know what will happen next and all of this makes me SUPER excited for the next book in the series!!! I can’t wait until I can hand this book to kids.
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!
Rix Faye
Apr 11, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Such a treasure each one of these books is :) I've heard a few of them and can't wait to read most of these :) If you have some great stories like this one, you can publish it on Novel Star, just submit your story to or ...more
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!
Ms Threlkeld
Utterly delightful! The dad made me a bit batty, but I adored the three Peach kids. Looking forward to book 2.
Jennifer Halbur
Feb 25, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This is such a great book about family and overcoming grief. There were giggles and tears, and lots and lots of pie! Thanks for sharing an ARC with #bookposse.
Abbi Lee
rated it really liked it
Mar 06, 2021
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I read and write fun books for kids, tweens, teens, and romantic comedies adults. 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.

MOON SHADOW - my latest novel for tweens - is now available in paperback!

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