Book: Daily Bread (2020)
Author: Antoinette Truglio Martin
Genre: MG, Historical 
Basic plot: It is 1911. Crammed into a three-room flat in a Mott Street tenement, the large Taglia family needs all the help they can muster. Spunky songbird Lily wants to help by baking Daily Bread at the bakery like big sister, Margaret. But Margaret says Lily is just a little kid, and there is more to baking Daily Bread than height and an artist’s heart. Lily learns to navigate in a grown-up world when facing bullies, disasters, dotty bakers, and treacherous streets to cross by herself..
1) Loved Margaret and her ambition! In some ways, she reminded me of Francie in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I especially loved the little part where she reveals to Lily how she saves her money. Of course, what’s also nice is how this is juxtaposed by Margaret’s friend, Connie, and her views about money.
2) And then there was Lily’s connection to Mrs. Goldberg through song and dance (ballet). One particularly touching scene is when Mrs. Goldberg seems to be in a deep depression which is then breached by Lily’s song. Later on in the story, I found the revelation about the Goldbergs’ backstory to be fascinating.
3) And let’s not forget the knot surprises. I want a knot surprise! (Not with cheese, though. Jam, please!) Frankly, all the bread in this book did make me hungry. And, while I have never worked in a bakery, I have helped my mother bake bread. (There is almost nothing more fun than punching down the raised dough.)
4) I loved the Lower Manhattan setting. One of my favourite “tourist sites” in all of New York City is the Lower East Side Tenement Museum. It’s a spot I’ve repeatedly taken visitors when I lived in New York. This book took me back to those places!
5) When I first saw mention of the Triangle Waistshirt Factory, I knew there was something coming. Whether or not you’re aware of what happened there in 1911, this book will let you relive that historical moment in time.
WHAT’S NOT COOL…
1) I found the ending a little abrupt. Like, that’s it? I liked the ending, but I wanted a bit more of a resolution after the very traumatic climax. That said, it’s not a bad ending, it’s just that I wanted more.
This book definitely had the flavour of the classic, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I would recommend this book to readers who are fans of authors like Patricia Reilly Giff, especially if you’re interested in the immigrant experience to New York.
**Note: I received a free copy of this title from the author in exchange for an honest review.**
Have you read this book? What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!
Note: I’m posting this for Greg Pattridge’s Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday…
10 thoughts on “Review / Daily Bread”
My favorite horrible historic event is the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, so I will have to take a look! Thanks for the review.
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Yes, there’s something fascinating about a tragedy like that one.
I’m glad Antoinette’s book is getting a lot of exposure. The time period and plot sound like a winning combination. Thanks for featuring on MMGM.
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Yes, a lovely book!
Thank You! Thank You!
I am so grateful for your time and kind consideration of Daily Bread.
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I enjoyed it!
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I saw this book last week on Rosi Hollinbeck’s blog, and it sounds great! Now I want a knot surprise as well! 😉 Also, I definitely had that same feeling when I saw #5 as well. Thanks for the great review!
Excellent review. I’m not familiar with the fire at the factory or a “knot surprise?” Glad to see Antoinette’s booking receiving some book love. Sounds like an engaging piece of historical fiction.
Very nice review! I was reminded of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, an all-time favorite of mine. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.