Kat Greene Comes Clean
Charlesbridge, 2019 (2019)
Reviewed by Lyn Seippel
at Greene lives in New York City with her mother and attends the progressive Village Humanity School. Her dad lives only a cab ride away with his new wife and Kat's baby brother Henry. Kat likes her stepmother, loves her baby brother, and visits often. Her best friend Halley has an apartment just down the street and they walk to school together daily. At the moment, Halley has an annoying crush on fellow student Michael McGraw.
illage Humanity is not like most schools. Kat's mother is a proud graduate of the class of 1989. Now a fifth grader, Kat is keeping the tradition alive. She loves her school, but often wonders what it would be like to attend a more normal school. Sometimes the place feels like a disaster zone. There are no report cards, the lockers are padlock-free, and her teacher uses a gong to call for attention.
at's mother, who used to work for a prestigious magazine, now stays at home and cleans. And cleans and cleans. She wears gloves when she goes out shopping and is now insisting that Kat do the same. Even young Kat is beginning to see that her mother has a serious problem, but she's not ready to go to her dad for help. If she does, she might be forced to move in with him and his new family. Halley is the only one who knows what's happening and all she wants to do is talk about her crush, Michael.
t's easy to fall in love with Roske's characters. They make up for the story, which is short on plot. Some very realistic moments occur when Michael refuses to take responsibility for his fickleness and when Kat's dad's wife comes home early from a dinner party leaving her husband playing piano duets from
he story is a slice of Kat's life. The only plot other than her mother's OCD, for which she is getting help, is the relationship between Halley and Kat. The unrealistic resolution to their quarrel ends the book.
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