Saturday, August 02, 2014

Kate the Great, Except When She's Not

18811310Becker, Suzy. Kate the Great, Except When She's Not
August 5th 2014 by Crown Books for Young Readers 
ARC from Baker and Taylor

In this notebook novel, 5th grader Kate has to put up with annoying teachers, a new Junior Guide leader, and her mother, who is trying to get her to be friends with Nora. Nora's father is working out of town, so her mother signs her up for Junior Guides because she seems to have no friends. Kate has her own thoughts as to why Nora seems to have no friends-- Nora is off putting and seems not to want any. Kate's a good kid, so she tries to be as nice as she can. There are other things going on-- class projects, parties, and various friend, teacher and family problems, all accompanied by Kate's lists and art work.
Strengths: This book deals realistically with problems that elementary students face, and notebook novels are always popular. This is far more age appropriate and more positive than The Dork Diaries, so elementary libraries will want to investigate this for purchase.
Weaknesses: Too young for middle school (there is quite the subplot about Nora asking for one of Kate's sister's collectible horses, and Kate getting into trouble for letting her have one), and nothing particularly amusing or innovative.

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