The Takeout
Clarion Books, May 9, 2023
The Takeout

Virginia 2024-2025 VA READS Selection


Mysterious Galaxy (signed copies available!) | Amazon |  Barnes & Noble |

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Mila may have moved to Coral Beach months ago, but it still doesn’t feel like home. She wants to belong, but a few awkward incidents with her new friends make her wonder if she’ll ever neatly fit into the super-samey small town.

Mila feels the only place she can be herself is at her dad’s Filipino-Indian food truck, The Banana Leaf. But when celebrity chef twins the Fab Foodie Brothers open a restaurant nearby, it turns out the food they are serving is exactly the same as The Banana Leaf’s–right down to the recipes!

Suspicious of the similarities, Mila teams up with family friend Ajay to investigate. She soon realizes that she needs to take the beloved Fab Foodie Brothers down before they run her family’s tiny truck out of town. But that means dabbling in the Filipino folk healing and magical traditions that she has shied away from her whole life . . . as well as alienating her new friends.

Does Mila have to choose between her family and fitting in? Or, like the best recipes, will a blend of the traditional and the unexpected mix into something truly special?

“Badua’s latest novel is a fusion of magic and cooking with a dash of humor…. This story that explores the struggle of fitting in also touches on the challenge some children of immigrant parents deal with when one parent must live temporarily overseas.” — Booklist

“Badua sensitively explores Mila’s struggles with cultural identity and a sense of belonging in relation to both family and peers…A magical and delicious read that’s filled with love.” — Kirkus Reviews

“Both Mila and Ajay are enterprising protagonists whose teamwork and dedication to their families add heart to this briskly paced magical adventure. Through Mila’s cheeky first-person narration, Badua tackles themes of family, identity, and perseverance.” — Publishers Weekly


Free printable: Design Your Own Food Truck