When Joe tasted a mouthful he was amazed how delicious it was – a dense taste, better than any pasta he’d eaten before. Food was suddenly different – he felt as if his taste buds were doing the cha-cha-cha on Strictly.
Joe loves his Italian heritage: the language, the opera, the lasagne! But it’s hard to celebrate his Italian roots in Bryn Mawr, South Wales, where his mam is sick of running the family’s tatty café. Just like his great-grandfather who opened the café in 1929, Joe is an entrepreneur. He vows to save the family business, and to spice up the tired High Street with a little Italian flavour!
This is a heart-warming story about bringing a diverse community together and the amazing history of Italian immigrants in Wales. From the author of Cowgirl, shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize.
Cover illustration by Tom Clohosy Cole.
“The warmth and charm of ‘Sweet Pizza’ are quite extraordinary; though there are some very moving moments, it is mainly a joyous and eccentric comedy.”
Kate Saunders, Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize Judge
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What the Critics Said
“… a charming story that tackles big issues – immigration, heritage and history – with a light touch… Heartwarming.”
– Michelle Pauli, The Guardian
“Inspired by the true history of Italian immigrants in Wales, Joe’s story is a lively and revealing tale of cultural integration, family loyalty and shared experience. Diverse and entertaining characters, and an undercurrent of warmth and humour, make this an interesting and enjoyable read with plenty to keep readers engaged.”
“A touching tale of a small town and big ideas.”
“This book is thoroughly uplifting, food for the soul, which left me with a warm glow inside. G.R. Gemin’s rich characterisation produces the most wonderful characters who have these real hidden layers which are slowly unpeeled as the story develops…
It is a truly beautiful story… You will definitely be ‘contentissimo’ after reading this fantastic book.”