Ms. Ila’s Middle Grade Reading Club: Lasagna Means I Love You by Kate O’Shaughnessy

What happens when your life completely changes?  How will you react?

Mo finds out what happens when her Grandma Nan dies.  Suddenly without the only relative she has really ever known, Mo is met with disappointment after disappointment.  That is, until she comes to realize that sometimes when you want something, you have to be the one to make it happen.

Lasagna Means I Love You by Kate O'Shaughnessy falls under the genre called "realistic fiction."

Mo's deepest wish is to find a family to belong to, like how she did with Grandma Nan.  Grandma Nan suggested that Mo find a hobby.  The hobby that Mo finds is to create an online family cookbook.

A Family Cookbook

Kate O'Shaughnessy's idea for this book is explained in the Author's Note & Acknowledgements at the end of the book.

She says that in 2019, her grandmother gifted her with a family cookbook for Christmas.  She shares a number of recipes from this cookbook for you to try.

Her background is in the culinary arts and she notes that improvements can certainly add to her family's recipes.  She feels that sharing recipes becomes a community project, similar to Mo's project.  Of course, Mo's project is much more serious in nature.

If you'd like to explore cookbooks at the library, head over to the non-fiction area, either 641 or J641 in the Children's Area.

The more serious nature of Mo's website is the search for family.  Did you know that the Library has resources for you to try, when studying your family or family history (aka, "genealogy").

Genealogy Resources at the Library

The Library has three resources for you to explore in your search for information about family or family history.

The first resource is at Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library, the California Room:

"Welcome to the California Room! The California Room collects materials on California history with an emphasis on San Jose and Santa Clara Valley.

Our collections are non-circulating and may not be removed from the room. Many materials are unique and fragile. Special rules for handling are required for their preservation."

The other two resources are eResources, so you will need your library card and PIN:

  • My Heritage includes "census records, birth, marriage, & death records, military records, newspaper articles, and family trees."
  • Genealogy Research Tips page includes generous research tips to help you to get started, local resources, and free genealogy websites.

Questions to Consider

  • At first, Mo's website did not really see much traffic.  What happened to propel her on her journey?
  • Why do you think the book is made up of letters that she wrote to Nan, who had already passed away?
  • Why do you think there is such a large gap between her January 1st letter and her May 8th letter?
  • Which recipe do you think you'd like to try?
  • Stories that come with the recipes were one of the best parts of the project for Mo.  Which story did you like the most and why?
  • Mo's Uncle and June and Tate disappointed Mo.  How do you think her Uncle and June and Tate could have done better?

Let me know if you have any comments or questions below!