When You Reach Me meets Love Sugar Magic in this unforgettable middle grade novel where time travel, family recipes, and family secrets collide. There’s something almost magical about the way Maya’s grandmother cooks--and although Halmunee may be losing her memory, she always knows how to make the most delicious gimbap. Maya doesn’t remember her family’s old life in Korea, but she learns new recipes and stories when they cook together–stories that Maya's mom would prefer stayed in the past, especially if they involve Maya’s father. One summer day, as Maya and Halmunee are making patbingsu, something unbelievable happens: a single delicious bite transports Maya and Halmunee back in time, into the memory itself. Halmunee explains that their family has the ability to time travel through food–and Maya can do it too, if she practices. As she eats her way through the past, Maya tries to unravel the mystery of what life was like in Korea, and what really happened to her dad. She learns that time moves in ways she couldn't imagine ... and that sometimes, families keep secrets to protect the ones they love. Brimming with heart, and interspersed with Korean family recipes that readers can make themselves, this is a story to savor. FOR MIDDLE GRADE FANS OF TAE KELLER AND REBECCA STEAD: Middle grade readers of magical realism and contemporary fiction will love time-traveling with Maya. Perfect for fans of books like Love Sugar Magic, When You Reach Me, and When You Trap a Tiger. A COMPELLING FAMILY STORY WITH A MAGICAL TWIST: Maya’s connection with her grandmother, magical home-cooked meals, and buried family secrets make for a heartwarming page-turner. THEMES OF IMMIGRATION AND CULTURAL HERITAGE: Similar thematically to the memoir Crying in H Mart, Maya’s multi-generational Korean immigrant family explores the link between food, memory, and cultural heritage. RISING AUTHOR WHO CONNECTS TO HER STORIES: Flora Ahn is the author and illustrator of the chapter book series Pug Pals. This is her debut middle grade novel. Her Audible Original, The Golden Orchard, was named one of Audible’s Best Kid Titles of the Year. RECIPES YOU’LL WANT TO MAKE (AND EAT): A Spoonful of Time includes 5 mouthwatering Korean recipes in section openers that readers will be inspired to try making! These recipes will be lightly illustrated (eight interior spots) by Jenny Park. About the Author/Illustrator Author Residence: Falls Church, VA Author Hometown: Los Angeles, CA Flora Ahn is an attorney by day and an author and illustrator by night. Her work includes a children's chapter book series, Pug Pals (Scholastic) and an Audible Original, The Golden Orchard. Raised in California by her Korean immigrant parents, Ahn lives in Virginia with her two pugs and practices law in DC.


  • 272 pages
  • 5.5 x 8 inches
  • 1 color

Rights available for...

  • French
  • Dutch