Sage Cookson’s Sweet Escape by Sally Murphy (New Frontier) PB RRP $9.99
Reviewed by Jenny Heslop
Sage Cookson has a life many young people would envy. Her parents are famous television cooks and food experts who travel the world to many exotic locations, taking Sage with them. Although she misses her best friend Lucy when she travels, Sage enjoys this lifestyle. And to make sure she doesn’t miss school either she has tutors to keep her schoolwork up to date.
On this first adventure, the Cooksons travel to Western Australia to be guest judges at the Newhaven Cooking Contest. Sage senses something strange is going on when they are offered a tour of a chocolate factory. Things turn grim and she and her parents need to be brave and resourceful to get themselves out of a sticky situation.
Celebrity cooking and foodies are very popular themes currently and combining these with adventure and suspense makes for a clever and appealing series for 7 to 10 year olds. Sage is a realistic and likable character, the villains aren’t too villainous, just a bit naughty and there is a smattering of facts about food and cocoa beans throughout the story.
Short chapters, which mostly end with a hook, make this a hard-to-put-down adventure story. It is well written, easy to read and the recipe at the end of the book – Cheat’s Chocolate Fondant – is pitched perfectly at the readership age.
Sage Cookson’s Sweet Escape will appeal to a wide range of interests with themes explored being cooking, travel, adventures, family, celebrity status and friendships. I liked Sage’s voice and enjoyed spending time with her on her adventure. This is the first book in a new series and I look forward to travelling with the Cookson family again.