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Need Recommendations for a Cook Book or Other Books for a 12 yr old Girl

 
master steward
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I would like to get this girl a Cook Book for Christmas and maybe some other books to get her interested in reading.   I don't think a gardening book at this time would be of interest to her.  Maybe something on birds or flowers?  What would be appropriate for a 12 year old?  She is in the 5th grade and will be 12 in Jan.
 
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Back in the 80's my mom gave me a hard back copy of The Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook, (Amazon). It has been my go-to cookbook (whenever I use one) for many years. It has plenty of basic recipes, as well as more complicated ones.

I think if you give a 12 year old something "appropriate" for a 12 year old, she'll keep it a few years. Give her a "grown-up" gift and she'll feel grown up and special and probably keep the gift well into her adult years and treasure it. You could be nurturing an interest at an early age, one that could be so beneficial throughout her life.
 
pollinator
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Anne, as a literature geek I commend you on your desire to give a book to a young person. This needs to happen more and more. Without getting on a soap box ... she may be 12, but when given to a young person with a conversation that you feel they are ready for it, that usually sparks their interest and aligns with a teen's desire to be considered a young adult.  If the girl is as smart as most of the 12-year-olds I know, these books won't be beyond her. Many of these have film adaptations, so it would be a fun thing to have her read a novel and then watch the film and discuss with her the differences. Anyway, here are my recommendations:

Willa Cather's prairie trilogy
  O Pioneers!
  The Song of the Lark
  My Antonia

Frances Hodgson Burnett
  The Secret Garden
  A Little Princess

Louisa May Alcott
  Little Women

E. B. White
  Charlotte's Web

Mary Norton
  The Borrowers

Wendell Berry
  Hanna Coulter

Jack London
  Call of the Wild

L. Frank Baum
  The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

Richard Adams
  Watership Down

C.S. Lewis
  The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

Lois Lowry
  The Giver

Louise Fitzhugh
  Harriet the Spy

Maurice Sendak
  Where the Wild Things Are

S.E. Hinton
  The Outsiders

I better stop here.  I could go on.
 
Mother Tree
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I wonder if she'd like The Permaculture Kitchen?
 
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Biggest complement could be an adult book Why not tie this in to something you know she likes such as chocolate An organic chocolate cookbook sounds cool https://www.amazon.com/Blacks-Organic-Ultimate-Chocolate-Recipes/dp/1906868328
 
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I recommend the American Girl books.  Buy her a box set of one of the series.  It's age appropriate and a fun introduction to history.  I liked them at that age even though I didn't like dolls.  If she's already a big reader and reading above her age group, you could get her some heftier books, but I think learning to read for fun is a much better bet with short books that are aimed for kids.  I like the Felicity books when I was young: https://www.ebay.com/i/272879757313?chn=ps&dispctrl=1  The newest doll is Nanea, a Hawaiian character, which might tie into curiosity about Hawaii and Moana if she liked that movie: http://www.americangirl.com/shop/ag/bookstore/nanea-3-book-boxed-set-fgm81

 
pollinator
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It really depends on the kid, does she read a lot? If she does then something aimed at a 12 year old is going to bore her, if she doesn't read at all then shoot under her age. I would buy a general gardening book or cookery book, the type with lots of pictures in it as well as text, but certainly a "grown up" book if it is non fiction. Pick whichever type of food she likes and get that if it's a cook book, like if you take her out to someplace and you both enjoy it go with that.
 
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Any of Terry Pratchett's books. Perhaps the Truckers trilogy, 'Nation' or the Tiffany Aching series to start with.

I  started reading Pratchett's when I was 8 or 9 and continue to read and re-read them even though I'm nearly 30.
 
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Depends on if she has been growing up with tv or not. I find that kids who grow up on tv don't tend to like to read. Does she have interest in cooking?  If not I'd go for something to inspire interest in cooking. Maybe a story of a cook. I read a book on Pho once, it was in story format and kept my interest till the end.
 
pollinator
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My eldest just finished reading the entire Chronicles of Narnia starting with The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe so I second that recommendation.  

At one time when I was a kid I got a cookbook based on the Anne of Green Gables series so finding a cookbook that ties into a fiction book might work well for you.
 
Anne Miller
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Thanks everyone for your replies and suggestions.  I am a reader so I will have lots of fun looking at all the suggestions.  I like that Amazon has a look inside feature.

Skandi Rogers wrote:It really depends on the kid, does she read a lot? If she does then something aimed at a 12 year old is going to bore her, if she doesn't read at all then shoot under her age. I would buy a general gardening book or cookery book, the type with lots of pictures in it as well as text, but certainly a "grown up" book if it is non fiction. Pick whichever type of food she likes and get that if it's a cook book, like if you take her out to someplace and you both enjoy it go with that.



Unfortunately, I have not met her.  I doubt that she reads so I hope to find something that will encourage her.

I don't know her ability on cooking, I assume she can use the microwave.  One thing I decided was not to buy something with "Children" in the title.   There are a bunch of "Kids" cookbooks and some called "Junior".  From the titles and the look inside feature the ones with "Junior" are a little more advance.  Many of the reviews were from newlyweds.

 
Karen Donnachaidh
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Slightly off topic since you asked about cookbooks and other books, but, if you think she may enjoy a board game, LearningHerbs has a game called Wildcraft! that sounds fun and educational. According to the email I received, it's on sale "nearly 50% off" for $19.99 until midnight Fri. Nov. 17

https://learningherbs.com/wildcraft/
 
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I can only recommend my first cookbook, that I received about age 12.  It was The Joy of Cooking by Irma Rombauer.  Yes, that is a cookbook for adults, but never underestimate youthful enthusiasm!  It changed my life.  Our neighbor was Mrs. Rombauer's daughter.  I fell in love with the food and with cooking.  My mother and I would cook a recipe of my choice each week from the book.  It had all the technique needed, explained in a simple and step by step way.  I developed a true love of cooking that has taken me a long way in life.  If you can, look for an older copy - pre 1980, at least - which includes recipes from when it was more common for the average American family to eat a much wider variety of vegetables and meats than it is now.
 
pollinator
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Having never been a 12 year old girl, I don't know how good my advice will be , but I am an avid reader and have been since I was very young.  It took me a few years to figure out that the classics aren't classics because some stuffy old teacher wanted to torture you by forcing you to read bad books, but because they are truly awesome.  I read the covers off Catcher in the Rye, loved Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, as well as the books Dan mentioned.  You can't go wrong with classics I think.
 
Anne Miller
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Thanks everyone for the suggestions. I don't know what her reaction was to the books that I bought.  I didn't get the cookbook that I wanted as it was sold out.

This year I would like to try a cake decorating book as she likes to bake cakes.  Something that uses icing recipes rather than fondant.  Or maybe a cake decorating kit?  

She's will be 13 and in the 6th grade.

 
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For nonfiction I often find half price books a great place to research.  Even if you want a brand new copy of an older book, you can see what's out there.

My sister's a very enthusiastic baker.  For Christmas each year I buy her high quality novelty cake pans.  Sometimes I even let her choose which ones.  She's on a limited income, but her own personal splurges have included a high quality icing bag set and a nice turntable for decorating.
 
Casie Becker
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For nonfiction I often find half price books a great place to research.  Even if you want a brand new copy of an older book, you can see what's out there.

My sister's a very enthusiastic baker.  For Christmas each year I buy her high quality novelty cake pans.  Sometimes I even let her choose which ones.  She's on a limited income, but her own personal splurges have included a high quality icing bag set and a nice turntable for decorating.
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pollinator
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get the betty crocker junior cookbook. I loved mine as a teen and my 2 kids loved it as well growing up. you can find it on amazon
 
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