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Hot Lunch by Alex Bradley

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Age Level: 14 and up

# of pages: 276

RAC Book: Yes

Molly is a somewhat sullen teenager who makes it her mission in life to keep others as far away from her as possible. When she is paired up with a new girl on a school project she does her best to push the girl away until they each decide to do their own project. Since this was not the assignment they get poor grades and get into a big fight in the lunchroom. This leads to a punishment of serving lunches for two weeks. Unfortunately, they fail to improve their behavior and in a bizarre turn of events end up having to run the entire lunchroom until the students vote for five days in a row that their food is better than the previous lunch lady’s.

While there are several reasons why I believe something like this would never happen in a high school, it was a very funny concept. The two main characters, Molly and Cassie, represent a group of high school students who don’t feel they belong anywhere. Cassie uses this fact as incentive to try harder to fit in, while Molly decides to actually try not to fit in. Together they learn a lot about the groups that make up high school while at the same time learning about leadership, nutrition, cooking, and friendship. This incredibly funny book questions some of the processes that have remained unchanged in schools for so long when better options have come along. Students will enjoy the humor and might look at food and nutrition differently after reading this book.