Pie in the Sky by Remy Lai is a sad story about Jingwen, an 11-year-old boy. The story begins with Jingwen and his family moving to Australia. The book initially seems to be about the difficulties of adjusting to a new culture. However, as the story unfolds, it becomes clear that Jingwen, is dealing with complicated grief following the death of his father in a car crash.
Jingwen finds relief from his grief by making the cakes his father taught him. He does this without his mother’s permission or knowledge and recruits his younger brother, Yanhao, to help. Their father had a dream of moving to Australia and opening his own cake shop, but it was an unlikely enterprise, so he said he would name the shop, Pie in the Sky.
Meanwhile Jingwen is struggling at school because his English is so poor, which not only makes all his subjects difficult, but also prevents him from making friends. Yanhao being younger is able to pick up English more quickly. He is also more outgoing, and practises using English more often. His mother is also better at speaking English, as she learnt from an English chef, who taught her cooking skills before they arrived in Australia.
There are lots of illustrations throughout the book, which continued the story and moved it along at a good pace. Overall it was a well-told story, with lighter moments around various cooking mishaps.
Thanks to Christian School Suppliers for providing a free book for review.