Unless you live on another planet, you probably know that tomorrow, March 14 — 3/14 — is National Pi Day. The Greek letter Pi is the symbol used in mathematics to represent a constant — the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter — which is approximately 3.14159.
The first book that comes to mind is Pie by Sarah Weeks. When Alice’s Aunt Polly passes away, she takes with her the secret to her world famous pie crust recipe. Except in her will, Polly leaves the recipe to her fat, disagreeable cat, Lardo, and then leaves Lardo in the care of Alice. It’s up to Alice and her friend Charlie to put the pieces together and discover the not-so-secret recipe for happiness — friendship, family, and doing something for the right reason. A delightfully scrumptious book!
Another yummy pie book on my list is a just-published novel by Kat Yeh, The Truth About Twinkie Pie. Two opposite sisters, a million dollars in prize money from a national cooking contest, and a move from the trailer parks of South Carolina to Long Island, NY — that’s the recipe for this novel about family and friendship. Sprinkled with recipes and down-home commentary, the characters are endearing and true to life.
Pi in the Sky by Wendy Mass has to do with a boy who is bored with his job of delivering pies. The plot is a little confusing, since it takes place in The Realms, located inside dark matter. When something goes terribly wrong, main character Joss is bored no more and has the monumental task of rebuilding Earth. Lots of interesting facts about physics and the universe.
Next on my list is Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie by Jordan Sonnenblick. A favorite among teachers and young readers, this is the story of Steven, who plays drums in a band, has a huge crush on a hot girl, and is constantly annoyed by his younger brother Jeffrey. When Jeffrey gets sick, Steven’s world is turned upside down. You’ll have to read the book to find out what Dangerous Pie is!
Pies & Prejudice (how clever is that?) is part of the Mother-Daughter Book Club series by Heather Vogel Frederick. The club reads Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, and in their continuing adventures, the girls hold a bake sale then suddenly have a thriving business to contend with.
And while we’re discussing pies, we can’t forget kids’ cookbooks! Two of my favorites are Baking With Kids by Leah Brooks and American Girl Baking, published in conjunction with Williams-Sonoma. Both cookbooks have colorful photos, step-by-step easy to follow instructions, and have recipes for not only pies and pie crusts, but also cookies, cakes, muffins, scones, and other treats.
Enjoy your Pi and Pie Day!
Michele Weber Hurwitz is the author of the upcoming novel, Ethan Marcus Stands Up (Simon & Schuster/Aladdin, August 2017), as well as The Summer I Saved the World in 65 Days and Calli Be Gold (both Penguin Random House). Visit her at micheleweberhurwitz.com.