Blog Tour Review: Cookie Monsters by Erika J. Kendrick

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Such a good book with invaluable lessons

Thank you so much to TBR and Beyond Tours and Erika J. Kendrick for allowing me to be part of this experience and also providing me with complimentary ARC and media kit!

Book Information

Genre: Middle Grade Contemporary
Published: January 17, 2023

A fun, fast-paced novel about friendship, family, fighting for what’s right, and standing out from the crowd while standing up for yourself.Twelve-year-old Brooklyn Ace is ready to take the Valentine World Scouts by storm and build her own cookie empire. She nearly won the top cookie selling spot last year and is determined to make her mom—who recently passed away—proud by coming in first this time around. With her fabulous best friends by her side, Brooklyn knows she’ll become Santa Monica’s District Cookie Queen. The crown is practically in the bag.Then Piper Parker arrives.Piper has a rich dad, a fancy hotel, and a drive to steal the cookie crown right off Brooklyn’s head.Before long, most of the seventh grade is under Piper’s spell. But Brooklyn is in it to win the biggest cookie war the school has ever seen. With the help of her cookie squad, her rockstar grandmother, her super cool therapist, and a lot of self-love and inner growth, maybe—just maybe—Brooklyn can end up a winner after all.

Content and Trigger Warnings

For a list of warnings, tropes, and representation for these book, check out

About the Author

Erika J. Kendrick is an acclaimed writer, a national speaker, and a mental fitness expert. She earned a psychology degree from Stanford University and an MBA from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Erika was an NBA cheerleader for the Chicago Bulls before writing her novels, Confessions of a Rookie Cheerleader (Random House) and Appetite (Random House). She is currently touring her debut middle grade novel, Squad Goals, with Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. The spinoff, Cookie Monsters, is set for a summer 2022 release.

After battling her brain pain, Erika founded Mental Fitness For Life where she launched her latest Mental Fitness book tour, “Who Moved My Happy?” While talking to audiences of all backgrounds and ages, Erika shares her story of brain pain and inspires hope by creating safe spaces for life-saving conversations. She has presented and guest lectured at colleges and universities as well as the US Army and US Air Force, national sororities and fraternities, middle and high schools, conferences, retreats, and national organizations, large and small. Erika has toured with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) and is a speaker with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) where she has been inducted into their Hall of Fame.

Erika is a recipient of several “Who’s Who” honors, a Rising Icon honor, and several Awards of Excellence. Erika has taken the stage for TEDx, appeared on Good Morning America – The Third Hour (GMA3), NBC News, CBS News, The Wendy Williams Experience, national television and radio segments, and a host of other media outlets. She has been featured in several publications, including Page Six of The New York Post, The Huffington Post, The Chicago Tribune, and various other magazines and digital media.

Author Links:

Review (no spoilers)

If you’d like to follow along with the rest of the tour, you can find the tour schedule here.

TBR and Beyond tours is spoiling me this year! This is the second tour book in a row that was absolutely fantastic!

Cookie Monsters follows the story of Brooklyn, a 12-year old girl who wants nothing more than to win a cookie-selling competition at her school in honor of her recently-deceased mother. When a new rich girl named Piper moves into town, flaunting her unlimited resources while stealing Brooklyn’s customers, Brooklyn—still reeling from her mother’s death—is forced to reevaluate whether the competition is worth all the pain and stress.

As a book primarily targeted to middle schoolers, Cookie Monsters is invaluable in teaching kids the importance of self advocacy and mental health. The book is very pro-therapy, something that I think more books should really start picking up. Throughout the novel, Brooklyn is struggling to balance the pressure of winning her school’s competition with the overwhelming grief she feels following her mother’s death. One thing Cookie Monsters does extremely well was portraying Brooklyn’s friend group as supportive, understanding, gentle, and accommodating. These girls never failed to have each other’s backs when times got rough, and there were several times where I found myself envious of their friendship. They truly were “squad goals”.

There is a really important lesson engrained in Cookie Monsters about learning what truly matters to you and fighting for it. All of the girls featured in the book learn the importance of open communication, particularly when it comes to communicating your passions and personal needs to parental figures. Brooklyn did a beautiful job learning, and adapting, self-care methods from her therapist and passing these messages to the people around her who were struggling with similar issues.

The only pushback I felt while reading this was that for a good amount of the book, it felt like it was very anti-rich. I definitely understand that sentiment, especially as we see people being exploited every day in service of the upper class, but I was worried that the book was going to end up teaching kids the lesson that all well-off people are irredeemable. Thankfully, the plot eventually took a turn that steered it away from that lesson, leaving me overall very satisfied with how Brooklyn’s story was told.


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