Swinarkski, Claire

The Kate in Between

(2) 4-6 "In this story, the one you're sitting down to read, I am the bad guy. Okay?" Kate had been best friends with the dorky, individualistic Haddie from first grade to seventh, when everything changed. Now--missing her mom, who has essentially abandoned Kate in order to pursue True U Cosmetics success; ashamed of her dad's crumbling apartment building; and tired of sleeping on the couch--Kate just wants to fit in, and she begins hanging out with the popular crowd, led by mean girl Taylor. When Haddie falls through pond ice one late-winter afternoon and Kate saves her, and it's captured on someone's smartphone, she becomes first a social-media hero and then a pariah--it was maybe Kate's fault that Haddie was on the ice in the first place. Kate's journey to deciding to be her "own person" is affecting, and though this isn't a new premise, Kate is a relatable and believable tween character--at different times perceptive and clueless, brave and cowardly, a hero and a villain.


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