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Reviewed by James Miller for Readers' Favorite
"Riley and the Kitchen Katastrophe" is a middle grade novel about a young girl named Riley, who is eleven years old. Riley and her older brother Atticus are always fighting with one another. Their mother is a writer who is out of town on business, and when their father also has to leave for business, Riley and Atticus are made to stay with family who live out in the country. They stay with their aunt and uncle, and their cousins. While visiting, Riley and her brother volunteer to prepare a meal for a dinner party hosted by their aunt for her new neighbors. While Riley and Atticus are making the meal, the kitchen quickly fills with smoke and the feuding siblings have to make a quick decision about whether or not they are willing to work together and help each other out.
Halima Sahar Muhammad delivers a great middle grade novel for preteens and children. "Riley and the Kitchen Katastrophe" isn't too heavy on any themes or subjects, and is a light and fun novel. There were times when I laughed out loud. The plot is great for a middle grade, and it is something that any person with a sibling can probably relate to. Halima was able to make the brother/sister relationship realistic, and that is definitely an important part of the novel. "Riley and the Kitchen Katastrophe" will definitely catch the attention for preteens and older children. It is a fast-paced novel, which keeps the reader interested. It never got boring. Overall, "Riley and the Kitchen Katastrophe" was light, fun, and realistic.