banner ad
banner ad
banner ad


| 28 October 2016 | Reply


Nosy Crow
October 2016
Paperback, $14.99
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar

Children’s Fiction



G R Gemin constructs a warm family saga of Italian migrants living in a small Welsh town in Sweet Pizza, only falling down in describing the realities of running a working restaurant – not that that is likely to bother young readers, who will be more interested in the family dynamic and history.

Young Joe likes to hang out with his buddy Combi and gorge on greasy fried chicken, until his Mum puts him on a diet and his grandad has a stroke.

Slowly grandad – Nonno – tells Joe the true history of the family and the family café, entwining the other families of the village in their own family history, a story of adversity in a strange land, especially during World War II when Italians in Britain were interred in camps or deported.

Joe slowly becomes fascinated with the café and its potential – long since ignored by the family as their struggle to make ends meet became more of a priority than serving quality food.

When Joe’s cousin Mimi comes from Italy at Nonno’s behest to help run the café as he recovers, Joe’s love of food awakens – real food, that is, rather than greasy fast food!

Slowly he finds little ways to turn the café’s prospects around, but can he save it in time, before his mother sells the property she has never loved or seen a future in?

Gemin’s story moves slowly at times, but is all the more charming for it, as he weaves the story told by Nonno of the family in the war with modern day events, and even if some of Joe’s innovations to help the café are unlikely to work in the real world, it’s still a charming story. The only issue for Australian kids is that it is written very much in UK terms, and without anyone to explain to them what a High Street, or the culture of UK townships, they may struggle to connect with it.

Category: Book Reviews

About the Author ()

Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE

Leave a Reply

Please verify you\'re a real person: * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

banner ad
banner ad