Why We Chose This Book: The Royal Recipe

A girl with an old man looking at floating items


For many 8-year-olds, the only thing better than reading a fun, engaging chapter book is reading a chapter book that is part of a series. Fans of Elana Rubinstein's Saralee Siegel series will adore her newest book, The Royal Recipe, a delightful Purim chapter book.

Readers who are meeting Saralee for the first time will instantly fall in love with this spunky 10-year-old who possesses an amazing superpower—a sense of smell that's able to detect the most obscure ingredients in any dish. To help her family's restaurant create a historically accurate Purim celebration, Saralee utilizes her super-nose to sniff out the ingredients used in King Achashverosh's original feasts.

When Saralee discovers that her powerful nose has summoned Haman and other elements from the Purim story to her family's restaurant, she ingeniously follows Queen Esther's example and prepares a lavish feast that ultimately foils Haman's evil plans and restores her relationship with her beloved Zadie.

Sprinkled with generous amounts of humor and fun, The Royal Recipe seamlessly weaves in numerous details from the historic Purim story, allowing readers to gain new insights into this festive holiday. The story cleverly addresses the themes of standing up to bullies, building strong friendships, and reconceptualizing the role family conflict can play in one's growth and development.

The PJ Library Book Selection Committee hopes families will love The Royal Recipe as much as we do and will look forward to reading additional books in this imaginative holiday series.