Winnie Zeng Unleashes a Legend book review

Winnie Zeng Unleashes a Legend by Katie Zhao
288 pages
published April 26th, 2022

An epic new fantasy series inspired by Chinese mythology that #1 New York Times bestselling author Kwame Mbalia calls a hilarious tussle between homework, family, and heroism. When a girl awakens the stuff of legends from an old family recipe, she must embrace her extraordinary heritage to save the world.

Winnie Zeng has two goals: survive her first year of middle school and outdo her stuck-up archnemesis, David Zuo. It won’t be easy, since, according to her older sister, middle school is the pits. Luckily, Winnie studied middle school survival tactics in comic books and anime, and nothing will stop her from being the very best student.

But none of Winnie’s research has prepared her to face the mother of all hurdles: evil spirits. When she makes mooncakes for a class bake sale, she awakens the stuff of legends from her grandmother’s old cookbook, spilling otherworldly chaos into her sleepy town.

Suddenly Winnie finds herself in a race against time, vanquishing demons instead of group projects. Armed with a magic cookbook and a talking white rabbit, she must embrace her new powers and legacy of her ancestors. Because if she doesn’t, her town–and rest of the world–may fall to chaos forever.

This is a fantastic middle grade adventure novel from the great and inimitable Katie Zhao! The last middle-grade series I read and loved was the Aru Shah series, and fans of that series will find lots to love here as well. It’s a fantastic entry into Percy Jackson readalikes, and it was a quick read. Also, I really enjoyed the plot device of a magic cookbook. This left me craving mooncakes. Four stars.

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