Monday, April 11, 2011
Plain Kate by Erin Bow is a book that has been recommended to me by my middle school students. This is classified as a fantasy, but while reading it I thought it crossed over into horror & suspense at times. It may be a little bit too much for elementary students as the target audience is young adults. The story takes place in the past during a time when people feared witchcraft and owned objects that would cast out evil spirits. The main character, Katerina, lost her mother when she was born and loses her father at the beginning of the story. The orphaned girl became known as Plain Kate. Her one true companion was her cat, Taggle. Plain Kate, a gifted wood carver, meets an odd man new to her village. He persuades her to give him her shadow and in return he would grant her a wish. Her special wish is granted, but at a huge cost. People begin going into deep sleeps and dying. She is accused of witchcraft. How will she be able to undo the evil that is traveling from village to village? I can totally see how this appeals to middle school students – it has the right amount of magic, terror, and suspense.