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|Catching A Storyfish|
Author: Harrington, Janice N.
Keet knows the only good thing about moving away from her Alabama home is that she’ll live near her beloved grandfather. When Keet starts school, it’s even worse than she expected. Gradually, she makes her first new friend.
School Library Journal (00/06/16)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 06/01/2016 Gr 4–7—Keet, a girl from Alabama, loves language and storytelling, but her family's move to Illinois makes her feel silenced. Comfort comes through a budding friendship with Allegra, her Latina classmate and neighbor, and through fishing with her beloved grandfather. "To catch a fish," he tells her, "You've got to sit quiet and hold still/You've got to listen, really listen/with your inside ears." Like Nikki Grimes does in Words with Wings, Harrington perfectly captures her character's growth by using all the tools poetry provides: artfully chosen words, thought-provoking metaphors, appropriate rhythm and pacing, and changing points of view. Some poems give voice to other characters. Harrington also includes various poetic forms and a postscript offering additional information about each of them: an unusual addition for a title of this format. There is very little to identify the social or racial context of Keet's family, but close reading reveals Keet as brown skinned with "flippy-floppy braids." VERDICT Keet's is a simple and familiar-feeling story, but one that is understated, fully realized, deftly written, and utterly absorbing.—Rhona Campbell, Georgetown Day School, Washington, DC - Copyright 2016 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 09/01/2016 This lyrical novel in verse effortlessly weaves together multiple poetry forms to introduce readers to Katharen, called Keet, a young girl who loves to talk and spin stories. When her Alabaman family moves up north, she becomes the new kid who talks funny. Her stories go away, Keet hardly speaks any more, and the only time she is really happy is when she is fishing with her beloved grandpa. As the school year progresses, Keet develops a friendship with quiet next-door neighbor Allegra (Allegra’s reticence is due to a broken front tooth), and Allegra offers support when Grandpa has a stroke. As Grandpa recovers, Keet also rediscovers her voice and starts writing and sharing her stories again. The poems effectively convey conflicting emotions, and the different styles (haiku, concrete, blues, etc.) express moods and nuances without being distracting. (A glossary defines poetic forms and identifies examples from the book.) This is a wonderful addition to the novel-in-verse canon, whether enjoyed individually, shared as a read-aloud, or used as a class text. - Copyright 2016 Booklist.