Laurie Halse Anderson Catalyst

ISBN 13: 9780807209394

Catalyst

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9780807209394: Catalyst
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Meet Kate Malone–straight A science and math geek, minister’s daughter, ace long-distance runner, unwilling family caretaker, emotional avoidance champion. Kate manages her life by compartmentalizing it, not unlike the periodic table. She can handle anything–or so she thinks. Then, like a string of chemical reactions, everything happens: the Malones’ neighbors get burned out of their home and move in. Because her father is a Good Man of God (and a Not Very Thoughtful Parent), Kate has to share her room with her nemesis, Flo Litch, and Flo’s adorable, troublemaking little brother. Kate’s ex-boyfriend keeps trying to get back together. And she gets rejected from the only college she has applied to: MIT. Kate’s life is less and less under control–and then, something happens that truly blows it all apart.

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Chemistry honors student and cross-country runner Kate Malone is driven. Daughter of a father who is a reverend first and a parent second ("Rev. Dad [Version 4.7] is a faulty operating system, incompatible with my software.") and a dead mother she tries not to remember, Kate has one goal: To escape them both by gaining entrance to her own holy temple, MIT. Eschewing sleep, she runs endlessly every night waiting for the sacred college acceptance letter. Then two disasters occur: Sullen classmate Teri and her younger brother, Mikey, take over Kate's room when their own house burns down, and a too-thin letter comes from MIT, signifying denial. And so the experiment begins. Can crude Teri and sweet Mikey, combined with the rejection letter, form the catalyst that will shake Kate out of her selfish tunnel vision and force her to deal with the suppressed pain of her mom's death? "If I could run all the time, life would be fine. As long as I keep moving, I'm in control." But for Kate, it's time to stop running and face the feelings she's spent her whole life racing away from.

Catalyst, Laurie Halse Anderson's third novel for teens, is a deftly fashioned character study of a seldom explored subject in YA fiction: the type-A adolescent. Teens will identify (if not exactly sympathize) with prickly Kate instantly, and be shocked or perhaps secretly pleased to discover that life is no easier for the honor roll student than it is for the outcast. Anderson earns an A plus for this revealing and realistic take on life, death, and GPAs. (Ages 12 and older) --Jennifer Hubert

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Meet Kate Malone–straight A science and math geek, minister’s daughter, ace long-distance runner, unwilling family caretaker, emotional avoidance champion. Kate manages her life by compartmentalizing it, not unlike the periodic table. She can handle anything–or so she thinks. Then, like a string of chemical reactions, everything happens: the Malones’ neighbors get burned out of their home and move in. Because her father is a Good Man of God (and a Not Very Thoughtful Parent), Kate has to share her room with her nemesis, Flo Litch, and Flo’s adorable, troublemaking little brother. Kate’s ex-boyfriend keeps trying to get back together. And she gets rejected from the only college she has applied to: MIT. Kate’s life is less and less under control–and then, something happens that truly blows it all apart.

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Laurie Halse Anderson
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