From the Desk of Zoe Washington

From the Desk of Zoe Washington

Book - 2020
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"Avid baker Zoe Washington receives a letter on her twelfth birthday from her biological father, who is in prison for a terrible crime"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York, NY : Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2020]
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780062875853
006287585X
Characteristics: 291 pages ; 22 cm
Alternative Title: Zoe Washington

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Best Fiction for Older Readers of 2020 List created by ChiPubLib_Kids Chicago Public Library recommends these titles as the very best fiction books published in 2020 for kids in 4th through 8th grades. ZJ and his family are coping with his father’s debilitating headaches, increasing anger and frequent memory loss causes by injuries suffered in his professional football career in this novel in… (more)

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Best Fiction for Older Readers of 2020 List created by ChiPubLib_Kids Chicago Public Library recommends these titles as the very best fiction books published in 2020 for kids in 4th through 8th grades. ZJ and his family are coping with his father’s debilitating headaches, increasing anger and frequent memory loss causes by injuries suffered in his professional football career in this novel in… (more)


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Zoe’s mother and stepfather don't want her to have contact with her biological father who is serving a lengthy prison term. A chance discovery of a letter addressed to her from her father leads Zoe to establish a secret relationship with her dad and learn the truth about his imprisonment.

The last thing Zoe Washington expects for her twelfth birthday is a letter from her father. Her biological father, that is. Marcus Washington went to prison before Zoe was born. Zoe’s mother says Marcus committed a terrible crime. But as the two begin to exchange letters, Zoe starts to wonder whe... Read More »


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Gina_Vee Mar 28, 2021

This was a good one. It reminds me of A Good Kind of Trouble a little, but it's a more personal perspective for Zoe. Her father is in jail and has been for most of her life, but when she finds out her father might be innocent, she breaks all the rules to find out if it's true. Zoe's also a very young chef with a lot of inspiration, determination, talent, and spunk. She knows how to find her seat at the table.

m
mmmarrinan
Mar 23, 2021

This book does a wonderful job of introducing a difficult reality to young readers. Well written to keep reader intrigued and engaged, and not too overwhelmed. Highly recommend.

LPL_MaryW Feb 26, 2021

Zoe loves to bake. She wants to be a professional pastry chef when she grows up, and her mom landed her an internship at a local bakery this summer! But when she receives a letter from her birth father in prison on her 12th birthday, everything changes. Marcus sounds very nice in his letter, but he's in jail for murder. Zoe's not sure at first, but as she writes back and forth with Marcus (secretly—her mom would never allow it), she sees that he's really a good person. Could innocent people go to prison? With friendship challenges, cupcake creations, and a fight for justice, From the Desk of Zoe Washington is an absolute delight to read.

LPL_JennyC Jan 03, 2021

Zoe Washington loves to bake and her goal is to be on a Food Network's Kids Bake Challenge. But after a letter arrives on her twelfth birthday from her incarcerated father everything is turned upside down. During their first phone call ever, he tells her he's innocent. Will Zoe be able to find the truth buried in old files and faded memories? Read Janae Marks incredible debut novel to find out! Marks' book brings up big questions about our criminal justice system and keeps the story from being too heavy with Zoe's mission to bake the most awesome cupcake that could make her baking dreams real.

r
rnarayana
Dec 22, 2020

Nikhil

l
labraden
Nov 06, 2020

On Zoe Washington's birthday, she discovers a letter from her biological father. Zoe knows nothing about him except that he is in prison convicted of murder. He seems so nice in his letter, so Zoe decides to write back, but she knows she must hide her letter from her family because all she has been told by them is that her father is a bad man. As they continue to correspond, Zoe realizes that she needs to know who her father killed and why. When he tells her he is innocent and that he has an alibi, she begins investigating in order to find the witness who might be able to get her father out of prison.

From the Desk of Zoe Washington refers to the stationary that Zoe uses to write to her father. Zoe's interest in baking and her dispute with her friend, Trevor, are woven into this story about the judicial system and racism in this country. While the story can be a bit heavy handed with its message at times, and gives fairly simplistic answers to very complicated questions and issues, it does deliver a positive, upbeat story about injustice and its price. Overall, a good middle grade story with a very timely theme.

o
orange_dog_2832
Jun 16, 2020

Wow... This book was so good!! I really liked how well this book was written and how the mystery to find out about her dad was cool.

ArapahoeTanya Jun 16, 2020

This book had been on my to read shelf for a while and I wish I would have read it sooner! Zoe connects with her dad who has been in prison her whole life. But it turns out he is innocent and Zoe is determined to help him get out of prison. This book is full of heart, friendship, and cupcake baking.

OPL_KrisC Jun 13, 2020

An engaging and well-written book for kids about a young girl who finds out her bio dad was wrongfully convicted of a crime that landed him in prison. This book tackles tough topics like racism and social justice and is a book that I think would be a great book club pick to foster discussions on these topics. For fans of Sharon Draper's "Blended".

JCLChristiH Apr 13, 2020

On her twelfth birthday Zoe finds a letter in the mail for her from her birth father... a man she has never met; because, he has been in prison since shortly after her birth and her mother has prevented her from speaking to him. Zoe begins a secret written correspondence with her birth father, aided by the help of her grandmother. Will she find out the truth about what happened in her father's past and will she regret pursuing this knowledge without her mother permission. Zoe is a normal girl who loves baking and is missing her friends over summer break; but, now she finds herself is a far from normal journey of discovery.

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OPL_KrisC Jun 13, 2020

OPL_KrisC thinks this title is suitable for 8 years and over

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