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9780545166645_cover Enlarge Cover
5 of 5
1 rating
rated!
rated!
list price: $22.99
edition:Hardcover
also available: eBook Paperback
published: Sep 2010
ISBN:9780545166645
publisher: Scholastic Inc

Plain Kate

by Erin Bow

reviews: 2
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fantasy & magic, cats
5 of 5
1 rating
rated!
rated!
list price: $22.99
edition:Hardcover
also available: eBook Paperback
published: Sep 2010
ISBN:9780545166645
publisher: Scholastic Inc
Description

A knife-sharp debut that leaves its mark!

Plain Kate lives in a world of magic and curses, where cats can talk and shadows can bring back the dead. As the wood-carver's daughter, Kate held a carving knife before a spoon, and her wooden talismans seem to reveal hidden truths about their owners.

But she and her village have fallen on hard times: Kate's father dies, crops fail, and a strange sickness is spreading across the countryside. The village is looking for someone to blame, and for her skill with a knife, Kate is accused of witchcraft.

Enter Linay, a stranger with a proposition: If Kate gives him her shadow, he'll grant her heart's wish, and he'll also find a way for her to escape the angry townspeople. Kate reluctantly agrees, not realizing that she's given a powerful tool to a man driven mad with grief. Aided by new friends and armed with the carving knife that has never failed to show her the truth, Kate must stop Linay in his terrible plan of revenge and become the heroine she knows is within her.

Contributor Notes

ERIN BOWstudied particle physics in university, eventually working at the CERN laboratory near Geneva, Switzerland. Lucky for us, she then decided to leave science in order to concentrate on her writing! Her poetry has won a CBC Literary Award, among others. This is her first novel with Scholastic Canada. She lives in Kitchener, Ontario.

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
Age:
12 to 99
Grade:
7 to 17
Awards
  • Short-listed, Rocky Mountain Book Award (Alberta Children's Choice)
  • Winner, TD Canadian Children's Literature Award
  • Short-listed, Sunburst Award, Young Adult category
  • Short-listed, Canadian Library Association Book of the Year For Children
Editorial Review

"... an effective and moving coming-of-age novel." -The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, starred review

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Reader Reviews

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Loved this!

I loved this book! Older children and young teens would definitely like this, but it's smart enough for adults too. Fantastic.

Canadian Children's  Book Centre
Librarian review

Plain Kate

“My name is Linay and I grant wishes.” And so Plain Kate, against her better judgement, gives her shadow to this pale, sinister stranger — trades it to him for her heart’s wish. With rumours of witchcraft running rampant through her village, she flees the ugly suspicions of her neighbours. Unfortunately, with sickness and starvation and the constant need to find a scapegoat, Kate seems destined to be continually accused of being a witch, even after she thinks she has found a new home with the gypsy-like Roamers. When they too fall victim to their fears, she nearly dies as a result.

The one who ultimately saves her is Linay himself. He has secrets and deadly schemes and needs her to bring his plans to fruition. When Kate realizes what exactly Linay has planned and how she has unwittingly helped him, she knows that she must find a way to stop him. If he commits the terrible act of sacrifice and vengeance that he has set his sights upon, the city of Lov and all who are in it will be destroyed… by the ghost and the shadow.

Beautiful and haunting, tragic and lovely, this is a book that is as exquisite as it is disquieting. Author Erin Bow spins a pleasing tale of magic and heartbreak in this historical fantasy in which one girl learns a lifetime’s worth of lessons about home and family, loss and love, and forgiveness and letting go. In simple but evocative prose, she creates a fully realized world in which her story delicately unfolds with a fairytale quality that will linger with readers.

Source: The Canadian Children's Bookcentre. Winter 2011. Volume 34 No. 1.

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