Sixteen-year-old Sarah (it’s pronounced SAH-rah, thank you) has a successful blog creating fusion recipes. When Sarah is invited to compete on Cyber Chef, a virtual cooking competition that soars in popularity at the height of the pandemic, her twists on her Baba’s recipes are not enough to pique the palate of the show’s producers. She is pushed to present dishes that represent her Filipinx culture, but these flavours are foreign to her since her parents raised her emphatically Jewish. To survive Cyber Chef and find her cultural identity, Sarah must discover why her mother turned her back on all things Filipinx, and learn the true meaning of fusion.
Read more about Primrose Madayag Knazan’s inspirations and hopes for the book in this feature from the Winnipeg Free Press.
“Lessons in Fusion … is a timely and nuanced novel that delves into numerous issues around race and culture, especially the pressures faced by young people with blended heritage.” — Quill & Quire
“A thoroughly satisfying read. — Robin Ahamedi,Canadian Children’s Book News
“Lessons in Fusion is very modern and includes social media as well as the difficulties of life during a pandemic, yet it is also the timeless story of one young woman who is coming of age as she discovers her familial roots and the much bigger story of the need for diversity and cultural acceptance in all facets of life.” — Highly Recommended, CM Magazine
“Lessons in Fusion is a deep dive into what it means to embrace your identity and decide for yourself who you are; not who the rest of the world sees you to be. In Sarah, Primrose Madayag Knazan has created a fully realized main character who wants to embrace both her Jewish and Filipino heritage, but feels held back and torn between her mother’s complicated past and a television network’s desire for her to be a diversity box they can check off. This is a beautiful story that highlights family, traditions, identity and the strength one girl finds to rise above everyone else’s expectations – all while making us hungry for snacks like Furikake Popcorn and White Chocolate Chai Almond Butter Cookies!” – Sidura Ludwig, author of You Are Not What We Expected