No one believes her, but Daisy Bauer knows her dad has been wrongfully imprisoned and that it’s up to her to break him out of jail (aka Club Fed). She has a plan that she’s calling the Graham Cracker Plot because it was all Graham’s idea. She just needs a miniature horse, a getaway truck, and a penny from 1919—the idea coin.
This funny, nail-biter of a novel is about friendship and admitting you’re wrong. Debut novelist Shelley Tougas balances humor and warmth against themes of family, broken trust, and unconditional love against all odds. – Goodreads
I am very into friendship books lately, in part because I’ve thinking of my own friendships because hi, even though I’m adult friendships are still hard and complicated and in part because those are the books I’ve been picking up. Romance and friendship, and I’m okay with this. The Graham Cracker Plot is no different. Although it’s a story of family, trust, and love, it’s also a book about friendship.
Daisy wants nothing more than to be normal and have her father out of jail; however, she is nothing but normal. Her father, the Chemist is in Club Fed, her mother, a recovering alcoholic, has a new boyfriend, and her only real friend lives next door to her in the trailer park. She is in denial that Graham is a true friend, but to the reader it is clear that what they have is a true friendship. This is not an easy book to read, it was painful. That sounds weird to say, a middle grade novel that is painful to read, but it’s true. Daisy is on a hopeless quest and refuses to admit that she’s wrong. She is that stubborn pre-teen that everyone knows, or you were when you were her age.
What I found enjoyable was that the characters acted their age. They planned a heist without thinking of the repercussions. They broke into a house and didn’t think about what would happen. They plan on pulling her father out of jail with no idea about what would happen. I thoroughly enjoyed how Tougas made this un-realistic tale, actually quite realistic. Daisy is an 11 year old girl who wants her dad, the Chemist, out of jail. When the truth comes out about the chemist her heart breaks because everyone has that idealized version of their parents, and when that turns out to be not true? It hurts. This is something Daisy is forced to face and deal with, but by the end, I believe she will be okay.