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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
All Randy wanted was a simple part-time job. The Bread Company, a restaurant, seemed like the perfect place to work; it promised a safe, mindless job. But strange people claiming to be inspectors of one sort or another invade The Bread Company’s sanctuary, not to mention the odd characters who run the restaurant itself like Tabby the cat who manages it and the others, like Defense, Hero, Wisdom, and Intellect. Randy is swept up in an intergalactic adventure that demands protecting at all costs the Planet of Bread and the founders of The Bread Company’s secret recipe. In this whirlwind of activity, Randy is knocked out multiple times and left to flounder in distant worlds. Will he ever return to earth and the simple part-time job he initially applied to do?
Andrew Zellgert’s science fiction fantasy for young adults, The Bread Company, is a fascinating read. Told mostly through dialogue and minimal descriptive narrative, the story is fast-paced and creatively entertaining. The plot begins with the introduction of the mystery and the hard drive that must be protected since it contains the last known copy of the famous bread recipe that everyone wants to possess and exploit. With action-driven dialogue that not only develops the many unique characters, but also sets the stage for the action which follows, the story unfolds quickly as the reader follows Randy’s adventures and journey into space. It’s interesting how the author presents a diverse cast of characters, like Tabby the cat. His simple ploy of creating a world full of magically enhanced characters introduces young readers to many creative ways of facing the world and accepting others in spite of their differences. The story is engaging and subtly educational.