A Wizard’s Guide to Defensive Baking by T. Kingfisher
Not only does this charming book have an exceptionally intriguing title, but the cover shows a gingerbread man with a sword. There is no metaphor here – it’s truly about magic dough. Fourteen-year-old Mona is a unique wizard whose magical gifts only apply to baked goods, including an omnivorous sourdough starter named Bob. Mona uses her magic to make bread rise and gingerbread cookies dance at her aunt’s bakery (and makes the best sourdough bread in the city) until one early morning Mona arrives to heat up the ovens and finds a corpse. Of course this is the beginning of the adventure of a lifetime for Mona, and while she works to save the city and everyone she loves, she also very rightly wonders why this responsibility falls to her. Why is a fourteen-year-old responsible for a military defense? Why aren’t the adults doing their jobs? What does it mean to be a hero, and does Mona even want to be one?