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The Doughnut King: 07/05/19
The Doughnut King by Jessie Janowitz is the sequel to The Doughnut Fix (2018). Tris and his friend have been running the Doughnut Shop in Petersville, Upstate New York. But they've been too successful and have hit a wall: they can't keep the supply up to meet the growing the demand.
Meanwhile Petersville is facing its own problem. It's gotten so small that the post office is closing. That's the sign that the town's demise is nigh. The mayor rallies everyone to fix up the town and to bring in tourists and hopefully full time residents.
Tris's sister has an idea to save the town and earn the money for a doughnut robot, one that can make dozens of doughnuts in an hour. She makes an audition tape of Tris cooking and sends it to one of those reality cooking shows where children compete.
Getting onto the show is what puts this second book into the road narrative spectrum. Where the first one was about a marginalized (66) traveler moving to a rural town (33) via a Blue Highway (33) and managing to succeed in opening a doughnut shop, now we have a family (33) working together, going into the city (00) via the Blue Highway (33). Their goal is to save their rural town and their businesses. While Tris still does most of the work, his family is involved this time in ways that they weren't in the first book.
The evolution of the characters across the two books results in a downwards movement on the road narrative spectrum. It's a subtle one, with a mostly realistic and contemporary fiction becoming even more grounded in reality.