After the overnight mega success of his dad’s cookie store, twelve-year-old Ellis Johnson is on top of the world. He’s met celebrities and strangers stop “the Cookie Kid” on the street, and he’s even headed to NYC to be in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade with his dad. Ellis is ready for his star turn, playing harmonica on national television—until his big break turns into the most embarrassing moment of his life.
Ellis’s confidence bubble has officially burst, and he tries to keep a low profile at school. To make matters worse, Ellis’s dad is going gaga for a new girlfriend, and DJ Wishbone is pushed out of his radio station—and takes over Ellis’s place in the store. Can Ellis help those he loves, carve out a place for himself in Dad’s new life, and recover his confidence?
Shawn Amos once again narrates the audiobook, and he is just as amazing as he was in the first book. Background sounds include harmonica playing, a kazoo, and the crackle of an airplane intercom.
I got a real kick out of Ellis flying in an airplane for the first time and his reaction to the headphones available. Remember, this was the 70’s, and these are not like the headphones we have today. See example below:
They really do look like a stethoscope with the round part missing. I love how impressed Ellis is by the notion of music on a plane. So fancy.
Like the first book, foreshadowing snippets of the future are sprinkled throughout the story. The best example of this is when Ellis and his dad are talking about the World Trade Center buildings:
It doesn’t seem right being that high above the ground. “What if they fall?”
“Nothing can bring those things down.”
It hurt to read that.
I won’t spoil the embarrassing moment that happened to Ellis. You’ll have to read the book to find that out. I will say that it was pretty humiliating, but it wasn’t that bad. He didn’t rip his pants or anything like that. The good news is this was before the internet and social media, so people couldn’t watch the incident over and over again.
Ellis spends a good portion of the story griping about his dad having a girlfriend. I can understand how that can be awkward, but that doesn’t justify him being rude to her.
I got my answer to the question, ‘Why don’t the Famous Amos cookies of today have pecans in them?”. The simple answer is nut allergies.
A Note from the Author, instructions on how to play the harmonica, and a butterscotch cookie recipe are included at the back of the book. I don’t think I’ll be making any butterscotch cookies. I’m not a fan of desserts that don’t involve chocolate.