Sorry, this is probably going to be a bit of a shorter review since it's a short book and I'm typing this up at 6:30am.
Call Me Kate: Meeting the Molly Maguires by Molly Roe
Published: November 24th, 2008
Genre: YA historical fiction.
Page count: 150, not counting the acknowledgements and such.
Part of a series? Um, maybe? It's supposed to be the first in a trilogy, but I don't think the other books have been published yet.
Summary (from the back of the book): Fourteen-year-old Katie McCafferty risks job, family, and eventually her very life to rescue a lifelong friend. Disguised as a draft resister, Katie infiltrates a secret Irish organization to prevent bloodshed. Tragedies challenge her strength and ingenuity, and she faces a crisis of conscience. Can Katie balance her sense of justice with the law?
Review: Call Me Kate was a nice, quick read on a hot summer day. It wasn't exactly light subject matter (war sucks), but it is a shorter book.
Plot (in my words): The book covers the events of two years (1860-1862) in Katie McCafferty's life, from her father being injured in a mining accident and the jobs she gets to help support her family, and what it meant to be Irish in Pennsylvania back then.
Characters: Kate is fourteen at the beginning of the book and very mature, as is her voice, but I had some trouble connecting to her at first. After a couple chapters, that got better, though, and I was very involved with both Kate and the other characters in the books. I actually wish that Katie would have been a bit older than she was because fourteen seems so young to me, but I understand that that's accurate.
Cons, complaints, bad stuff, etc.: I had a real problem with the introduction. It reads very much as a history lesson, in my opinion, and I wish that they'd pushed it to the back of the book as is more common in my experience. I feel like it could throw off readers who started and got bombarded with facts right away. (Plus I hadn't slept and you guys know when I don't sleep, I have the attention span of a goldfish, so I had real trouble getting through the introduction.)
I also had some issues with the tenses sometimes, but I think I just notice that very easily and it wouldn't be a big deal for most people.
PG-13 stuff: The subject matter isn't a light read, but there is very little cursing or swearing or anything. Have you guys ever heard of the book series Our Canadian Girl? This one reminds me of those, only this one is for slightly older audiences. I'd say ages 12 or 13 and up would be fine for this one, depending on maturity of individual reader, of course.
Cover comments: I don't really like this cover. I don't think the girl looks like the Kate in my head at all, and it's not very eye catching to me. Plus it looks way younger than the audience is.
Conclusion: I think this would be a good book for classrooms or for people really interested in history. I hadn't read much about this subject before. The writing is good, the characters are interesting, the ending was a bit abrupt, but good... but it had some issues. It was very readable, though, so all in all, I'm giving it three and a half roses.
- I loved the accent my brain kept reading with. I love Irish accents :D
- "BEE I don't like this outdoor thing anymore."
- My toenail polish is turning very pink and less purple.
Peace and cookies,