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A Long Line of Cakes by Deborah WilesCake by name and cake by vocation, the Cake family roll into Halleluia, Mississippi, to open a bakery. Dad Leo Meyer Lemon Cake comes from a long line of traveling merchants bringing baked goods like sweet religion to towns across the country, and he feels led to set up shop in the quirky town populated with beloved and familiar residents from other Halleluia-set novels like Ruby Lavender and House Jackson and the mysterious now-departed Mr. Norwood Boyd. Six cake-named children, their industrious father, and mother Arlouin Hummingbird Spice Cake find a town to serve and friends enough to make them plant their floury hands and want to stay forever.

Role models for readers, Emma Alabama Lane Cake and Ben Lord Baltimore Cake, tell us that we all need a community to serve and nourish and, in turn, to receive nourishment, however imperfect--like coming home.

A Long Line of Cakes by Deborah Wiles ($17.99*, Scholastic Press), recommended by Square Books, Oxford, MS.