Sofia’s Kids’ Corner: From the Desk of Zoe Washington by Janae Marks


Sofia is an 9-year-old brilliant reader who aspires to be a book reviewer. On select Saturdays, Sofia shares her favorite books with kids! She is one of the most well-read elementary schoolers that we know, so she is highly qualified for this role!

Dear readers,

I have just finished reading this amazing book about a girl who would stop at nothing to find out the truth about her father! It is called From the Desk of Zoe Washington by Janae Marks! This book is recommended for ages 8-12.

On Zoe’s twelfth birthday she finds out that her father is sending her letters from jail when she accidentally finds one in the mail. Zoe is confused by the letter because it says that her father had written more letters and decides to keep the letter secret and answer it. She does that because her mom refuses her to have any contact with her dad because of the crime he is in jail for. She knows that her mom will forbid her to write any more letters the second she tells her she has been writing letters to her father. In her reply to the letter she asks a bit about him. Zoe is also an excellent baker, like her father and wants to enter The Kids Bake Challenge!. She asks her mom and her new dad if she can, but they say maybe. They allow her to work at Ari’s Cakes so her mother’s friend, Arianna, can teach Zoe some of her baking tricks. They also say if Arianna gives her a good review then she would probably be able to enter The Kids Bake Challenge!. When Zoe is ready to mail her letter she goes to the street’s mailbox so her parents won’t see the letter. Her dad, named Marcus, keeps on writing her letters and Zoe sends some back along with questions. But one time Zoe’s grandma sees one of Zoe’s letters to Marcus when she is on her way to mail it! Will Zoe get in humongous trouble or will her grandmother be kind about it?

I loved this book so so so much because of how well it was written and how much joy it gave me reading it. I couldn’t put this book down because of the amazing suspense, action and normal life drama that was in it. There were so many cliffhangers in the story, it was just great! Too good for words to express! I loved every second of the journey through this book. I also loved it because of Zoe’s personality. The fact that Zoe was curious, courageous and smart made the book very interesting. It also meant that she would keep digging for the truth about her father no matter how impossible it was. I also loved this book because Zoe’s passion for baking and creating recipes carried on to me and she even inspired me to make up a recipe, Nutella swirl Cupcakes! My mom had a recipe for vanilla cupcakes and I simply just added my favorite thing… Nutella! I’ll include the recipe in case you want to try it out.

Nutella swirl cupcakes recipe


  • 1 ½ sticks unsalted butter
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 ½ teaspoons of baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 ½ cups of flour
  • 1 ¼ cups of milk
  • 15 teaspoons of Nutella


Grab a big bowl and mix butter, eggs and sugar together. Add vanilla. Grab a medium sized bowl and mix flour, baking powder and salt. Mix all into the big sized bowl using spoonfuls each time of the medium bowl and use the mixer to stir around and add milk. Put into cupcake forms. Add one teaspoon of Nutella into each cupcake (you should have about 15) and twirl with a toothpick. After all that put the cupcakes in your oven and bake at 375 degrees for twenty minutes. Let cool and Voila! You baked Nutella swirl cupcakes! Enjoy!

If you absolutely loved this book then I would definitely recommend Front Desk by Kelly Yang! I have already written a book review about that book so click on the link here Front Desk book review  to see the review! I make this recommendation because they are kind of alike in the characteristics of the main characters. Mia in Front Desk is just as courageous and smart as Zoe in From the Desk of Zoe Washington.

**Thanks so much to Sofia for this terrific review!**

1 thought on “Sofia’s Kids’ Corner: From the Desk of Zoe Washington by Janae Marks”

Leave a Comment