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Book Reviews

KATE THE GREAT Except When She’s Not by Suzy Becker

KATE THE GREATI was reluctant to read Kate the Great because I was afraid it would be a bad imitation of Lincoln Peirce’s successful Big Nate series.  I was relieved to discover Kate is a unique and quirky 5th grader.  I thoroughly enjoyed reading about the beginning of Kate’s 5th Grade year.  This volume only covers the beginning of school through Halloween so I know there is MUCH more to come!

Every kid has been forced through circumstances to either befriend or spend time with a classmate he or she neither particularly likes nor gets along with.  Kate finds herself in just such a situation with Nora due to arrangements by their parents.  Neither Kate nor Nora is happy about it.

As Kate spends more time with Nora they learn things about each other which both find interesting and admirable.  In spite of themselves they develop a new friendship.  Until the day Nora overhears Kate and her best friend talking about her.  Kate must decide which is the right thing to do.  Will her conscience give her the courage to apologize?  Will Nora accept an apology if it is offered?

Kate the Great is a nice addition to the popular genre of humorous contemporary realistic fiction/graphic novel mash-up series for middle grade readers like Peirce’s Nate, Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Russell’s Dork Diaries and the wickedly funny Dear Dumb Diary by James Benton. Kate the Great is a good reading choice for middle grade girls–reluctant and avid readers alike.  I am looking forward to the places to which Kate’s journey will take her in future series installments.

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