The All Four Stars series

All Four Stars (Book 1)

by Tara Dairman
published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons/Penguin Random House
paperback ISBN: 978-0-142-42636-4
hardcover ISBN: 978-0-399-16252-7
cover art by Kelly Murphy
ages 8 and up

Meet Gladys Gatsby: New York’s toughest restaurant critic. (Just don’t tell anyone that she’s in sixth grade.)

Gladys Gatsby has been cooking gourmet dishes since the age of seven, only her fast-food-loving parents have no idea! Now she’s eleven, and after a crème brûlée accident (just a small fire), Gladys is cut off from the kitchen (and her allowance). She’s devastated, but soon finds just the right opportunity to pay her parents back when she’s mistakenly contacted to write a restaurant review for one of the largest newspapers in the world. But to meet her deadline and keep her dream job, Gladys must cook her way into the heart of her sixth-grade archenemy and sneak into New York City—all while keeping her identity a secret. Easy as pie, right?

Other editions: Published in Czech by Albatros, and produced as an audiobook by Ideal Audiobooks!

Discussion guide
 for book clubs and classrooms here.

“Gladys is a lovable character with plenty of spunk and desire, and readers will happily cheer her on, while the fresh plot adds a delicious dimension to the host of stories set in sixth grade.” –BOOKLIST

“The [restaurant-reviewing] plan goes disastrously and hilariously awry, but Gladys and fine food ultimately triumph. The characters are well drawn…Give this one to your young foodies.” SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL

“Younger readers (especially those who know their way around a kitchen) will be amused by Gladys’s reviews of her parents’ horrible cooking (“The peas… arrived at the table in a soggy, mushy state fit for a baby”) and her plot to get to New York City without alerting any adults. The triumphant conclusion makes this a tasty read.” PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

“Gladys turns out to be surprisingly canny and resourceful…and Gladys’s psychological journey and personal transformation are solid and credible. [An] entertaining story about the joys of following one’s bliss.” KIRKUS

“When a top-rated newspaper mistakenly hires the sixth grader to review a restaurant in NYC, she must slyly find a way there. Friendship (both natural and coaxed) is tastefully explored as Gladys learns how to proudly pursue her passions.” –HORN BOOK GUIDE

“Dairman sets it all up meticulously and writes with sympathy and humor. Expect a lot of cookbook requests from readers of this title.” –BCCB

“This debut novel dishes up a descriptive story… Like comfort food, this story is homey and goes down easily.” –LIBRARY MEDIA CONNECTION

“Readers will cheer for Gladys, laugh at her misadventures, and find themselves suddenly hungry for a tasty treat. A scrumptious gem of a story!” –Jennifer A. Nielsen, New York Times bestselling author of The False Prince

“A thoroughly charming read, and a stunning debut! Gladys Gatsby is a charming, smart heroine, and this book reminds me of some of my favorite classics. It has some of the exciting, kids-sneakily-navigating-the-grown-up-world elements of From the Mixed-up Files; the unique-writer-kid elements of Harriet the Spy; and the kind of masterful, confident story-telling voice of Kate DiCamillo’s beloved books. A delectable delight!” –Laura Resau, author of The Lightning Queen, Red Glass, What the Moon Saw, Star in the Forest, The Queen of Water, and the Indigo Notebook series

More honors for All Four Stars

The Stars of Summer (Book 2)

by Tara Dairman
published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons/Penguin Random House
paperback ISBN: 978-0-147-51318-2
hardcover ISBN: 978-0-399-17069-0
cover art by Kelly Murphy
ages 8 and up

After successfully completing her first restaurant review for the New York Standard newspaper, 12-year-old foodie Gladys Gatsby is looking forward to a quiet summer of cooking and eating. But her plans quickly go awry when her friend Charissa Bentley delivers Gladys’s birthday gift: a free summer at Camp Bentley. As Gladys feared, camp life is not easy. She struggles to pass her swim test, fails to keep the other campers happy while planning lunches, and cannot seem to get away from the annoying new “celebrity” camper. Worst of all, there’s no time to sneak away for her latest reviewing assignment: finding the best hot dog in New York City.

Hilarious. Though a sequel to All Four Stars (2014), this book stands on its own. The main characters are maturing and becoming multidimensional. The author delivers the subtle message that people are not always what they seem at first. Give this one to foodies as well as readers looking for a fun summer tale. SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL

“A 12-year-old girl who freelances as a restaurant reviewer (her employer doesn’t know her age) finds it increasingly difficult to keep her job secret from her parents while dealing with the problems of being a first-time camper and counselor-in-training. How Gladys rises to these and other challenges is the fun of the story.” KIRKUS

“A quest for an outstanding hot dog that blossoms into a family bonding experience, the real sense of understanding felt between old and new friends, plus plenty of humorous mishaps along the way should appeal to younger middle school students looking for a quick read during summer break. A truly entertaining story.” –VOYA

“This sequel is bursting with all of the foodie banter and playful capers that made All Four Stars (2014) so engaging. Readers will be happy to not only see Gladys return but succeed in her quest for the perfect hot dog and, maybe, the perfect summer.” –BOOKLIST

“Throughout this action-packed novel, Gladys’s ingenuity, resourcefulness, love of food, wit, and determination rise to the occasion as she learns important lessons about friendship and life.” CHILDREN’S LITERATURE AND READING SPECIAL INTEREST GROUP/ILA

Stars So Sweet (Book 3)

by Tara Dairman
published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons/Penguin Random House
ISBN: 978-1-101-99648-5
cover art by Kelly Murphy
ages 8 and up

As the summer winds down and Gladys Gatsby prepares to start middle school, she’s nervous about juggling schoolwork and looming deadlines from her secret job as the New York Standard’s youngest restaurant critic. When her editor pushes for a face-to-face meeting to discuss more opportunities with the paper, Gladys knows she must finally come clean to her parents. But her perfectly planned reveal is put on hold when her parents arrive home with a surprise: her Aunt Lydia, one of the only adults who knows her secret, fresh off the plane from Paris. Gladys and Aunt Lydia try one last ruse to fool her editor at the Standard, but even with her aunt’s help, Gladys just can’t manage the drama of middle school and a secret life. It’s time for Gladys to be true to herself and honest with her friends and family, regardless of what those around her think.

“A tasty dish that series fans should eat up.”KIRKUS

“An enjoyable entry in a fine series.” –SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL