Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Just Call me Kate

Caitlin Harding is ready to grow up, but how can she attract her brother's best friend if everyone still calls her "Katie?" Even though she is only 12 and in sixth grade, she has a huge crush on Zachary Donaldson, who is 17 and plays football with her brother. Dannah Gresh's book, Just Call Me Kate is a funny, realistic story about growing up too fast, and what to do about it.

Gresh is author of Secret Keeper: The Delicate Power of Modesty and Just Call Me Kate is one of the Secret Keeper Girl fiction series, aimed at promoting purity for tweens. Kate is a typical twelve-year-old: she's boy-crazy, but not wild about buying her first bra; sweet, but doesn't make the best choices. When Kate writes Zachary's name in huge letters on the bathroom wall (in pencil, so it won't cause too much damage), she hopes his cheerleader friends will let him know. Instead, the principal notices the writing on the wall matches the writing on Kate's notebook, and gives her detention for three days.

Kate's parents don't overreact, but let detention be her consequence. In detention, she meets some other nice girls, and the art teacher gives her a series of assignments to determine just how real her love for Zachary is. Kate and the other girls form a Secret Keeper Girl Club and decide to help each other think before they do stupid things. Kate reports back on her findings. . . she explores everything from "How do you know you are in love?" to "How similar are you and Zachary?" to "What are the best things about being twelve?" Through these questions, Kate realizes maybe it is okay to enjoy her friends, and not focus on boys so much.

What I Like: I love the humor Gresh uses as she deals with real feelings about love and growing up. It is easy to dismiss first crushes, but Gresh does a great job of validating Kate's feelings, but showing why she is too young to spend her time pining over an older boy. There is a hilarious scene where Kate dives under a table so Zachary won't notice her shopping with her mom for her first bra.

I also like the gentle way Gresh shows what true love looks like. Kate's parents and art teacher are wise and understanding, without being preachy, and she learns a lot from them without minding.

There is a great discussion section at the back, and Gresh suggests girls discuss the book with their moms. The questions are relevant, and all relate back to Romans 1:25: "They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator--who is forever praised."

What I Dislike: Gresh uses a lot of slang, which makes the dialogue sound a little forced and out-dated. But, some of the slang adds to the humor of the book.

Overall Rating: Very Good

Age Appeal: 8-12

Publisher Info: Moody Publishers, 2008; ISBN: 978-0-8024-8703-2 ; Paperback, $7.99

Buy it Now at for $5.99

OR Buy it at for $2.76.

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1 comment:

Annette W. said...

Dannah Gresh is a great resource for unmarried women and teens. I'm so glad she has this series out, too!