Title: Kate Author: Kevin Burgemeestre
Publisher: Morris Publishing http://www.morrispublishingaustralia.com
Kate is an awkward teenager getting over the tragic loss of her mother. Her idol is Frida Kahlo who she admires for her paintings and strength of character. Her friend Jess has moved to Canada, her father works a lot, she feels alone and is afraid of the school bully Jake, and his meathead mates. She doesn’t feel much like her idol until she sees a battered dog and rescues him. That was when she met the dog’s former owner, who was belligerent, and slammed the door in her face.
What follows is a dramatic set of events encroaching on Kate’s life. The bullying borders on physical abuse when she’s walking home through the park, after going to the dog pound to spend time with the battered dog, she called Wilde. Mal, the dog’s former owner comes to her rescue. Kate relies on her own feelings and finds Mal a loner and streetwise, someone she can trust. At the same time she doesn’t realize that Mal is putting her in danger.
The chapters are short and sharp, driving the fast paced story through the chase scenes and eventual alliance with Mal which leaves Kate following this strange boy to the country. Will they get away from their pursuers, and why are they being chased by these criminals?
I love the sketches drawn by Kate that give further insight into this character, the self portrait in Frida Kahlo style, and the doodle of a streetscape with Mal lingering in the shadows. This is a thrilling fast paced YA’s book that immediately grabs the reader by the heartstrings covering grief, puberty, lost friendships, animal abuse, bullying, drug dealers and abandonment issues. That’s a lot to pack in such a slim 254 page volume, but it is well covered in an entertaining way, the characters are people to care about.
I recommend this to the teenagers in your family. They will be gripped by the journey of self discovery and the very satisfactory conclusion, which is definitely a twist at the end.