The girls from Flowerpot Cabin learn that there are two things they can count on in life—friendship and cookies—in Martha Freeman’s third novel in the Secret Cookie Club series, which was called “a younger version of Ann Brashares’s The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” by School Library Journal.
It’s not all sugar and spice for the girls of Flowerpot Cabin after they leave summer camp. Grace learns she isn’t good at everything when she gets volunteered to dogsit, Emma’s mom has a hard time when her beloved grandmother dies, Olivia’s brother makes a big announcement that starts a family feud, and Lucy isn’t sure how she feels when her dad pops back into her life. Meanwhile, beloved counselor Hannah continues to deal with the fallout from a summer romance.
But no matter what tough stuff comes their way, there are two things the members of the Secret Cookie Club can count on: friendship and cookies.
Jack broke Hannah’s heart on a Friday afternoon, which pretty much guaranteed Hannah a rotten weekend. She knew what all the bloggers she followed would say: Go out! See your besties! Indulge in a little retail therapy!
Do not, do not stay in, wallowing in self-pity!
What did she do? Stayed in, wallowing in self-pity.
Also, homework. Hannah was a sophomore in college. She had decided to study art history because ever since she first saw them as a little kid she had thought Impressionist paintings were the prettiest things in the world. But now, after a year of classes, she was learning to like the sculptures the Greeks had carved out of marble. Some of them were more than two thousand years old. Over the centuries, they had lost legs and arms and chunks of their faces, but you could still see classical perfection shining through.
Not like Jack, Hannah thought.
He was overweight. He was loud. He wore this weird old-man-style hat all the time.
So why was she lying on her bed in her dorm room on a perfectly nice fall Sunday staring at her textbook and reaching for yet another tissue to wipe her tears?
Hannah decided to make some cookies. Her grandfather had been a baker who believed cake, cookies, and cupcakes had the power to fix most problems—flour power, he called it.
True, the bloggers she followed would be horrified. They were anti-gluten, anti-sugar, anti-fat. They lived on kale smoothies, seaweed, and chia seeds.
And they should all just settle down, Hannah thought.
Sure, an all-cookie all-the-time diet would be a recipe for disaster. But a few cookies now and then are exactly what sanity demands.
On the second floor of the dorm was a kitchen kept decently stocked with sugar, flour, and other basics. Hannah stuffed a wad of tissues in the pocket of her jeans, got up, stretched, and headed out her door and down the hall, which was deserted. Only the lovelorn would be indoors on such a beautiful day.
Hannah had met Jack at the Moonlight Ranch Summer Camp in Arizona, where they were both counselors. For a long time, they were friendly, but no sparks flew. Then one day she realized that not only was he funny, he was also someone who listened to what you said and remembered it later.
Besides, who cared that his abs weren’t washboard when his eyes were so beautiful?
Jack and Hannah had gotten together about two weeks before the end of camp.
In the kitchen, she counted on her fingers. That was six weeks ago. She was crying over a romance that had lasted a measly six weeks!
Get a grip, she told herself at the same time her phone bee-bee-beeped like the Roadrunner. She had a text from Jack.
Martha Freeman wrote her first story when she was four years old. The illustration shows a house, because a house was the one thing she knew how to draw, and two nose-less girls. Over one girl is a speech bubble that says: “A home.” Over the other is another speech bubble: “Our home.” After that, Martha Freeman grew up, traveled around the world, worked as a reporter and a teacher, and wrote twenty-seven books for young readers, including The Year My Parents Ruined My Life, Fourth-Grade Weirdo, The Secret Cookie Club books, Who Stole Halloween?, and Effie Starr Zook Has One More Question. Home remains a theme in many of Martha’s books, but none is as pithy as that early effort. “Home” for Martha is Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.