Middle-Grade Authors Suzanne Nelson and Janae Marks at Elm Street Books in New Canaan, CT

FROM THE DESK OF ZOE WASHINGTON by Janae Marks, A Fabulous New Book for Foodie Fans

Happy February, Foodie Readers!

Have I got a wonderful new book recommendation for you! Fellow middle-grade author Janae Marks has just released her debut novel, From the Desk of Zoe Washington, and it’s an absolute delight.


The story of Zoe is one that will stay with me forever. Although, admittedly, I have a soft spot for heroines who share my love for dessert and baking, Zoe has an irresistible personality, with a tender heart, an indomitable spirit, and a strong belief in justice in the face of adversity.

The dynamics in her family are complex and bring to light timely and important issues in a tender and heartfelt manner. The problems she faces in friendship and family are finely-wrought and utterly convincing. I smiled through much of the book, thought deeply about the dilemmas and choices facing Zoe and her family, and cried with both sadness and joy as I read.

The story is chock-full of delectable baking scenes and also pays homage to an entertaining array of songs and musical artists. In fact, Janae’s created a “From the Desk of Zoe Washington” playlist on Spotify so that you can listen to all of the unforgettable songs mentioned in her book. (Spoiler alert: “Hang on Little Tomato,” performed by Pink Martini, is currently one of my daily “Must-listen-to” songs.)

This past Sunday, I was thrilled to stop by Elm Street Books in New Canaan, CT, for Janae’s book signing and was able to congratulate her on her heartwarming debut in person. I’m certain that Zoe Washington and her story are going to warm your hearts (and Zoe’s cupcake recipes are going to delight your taste buds!).

Grab a copy of the book from your local bookstore or library, and start reading this sweet treat of a book today.

You can learn more about Janae Marks by visiting her website, or by following her on Instagram or Twitter @janaemarksbooks.


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