Wednesday, March 05, 2008

kiki strike: inside the shadow city

I think this is my favorite modern juvenile fiction read since Blackbringer. Lidia couldn't put this one down, and yesterday picked up The Empress's Tomb, the next in this series by Kirsten Miller. She is glued to the book. I've seen a couple reviews that say the second one is even better than the first.

I just finished Kiki Strike this morning. Have you ever read one of your own child's books and wished it had been around for you to read as a child? This book would have been the ultimate vicarious-living read for me when I was 9-12. The setting is glamorous New York City and starts out at a tony school for girls. When I was a kid in rural Maine, that was the stuff dreams were made of. There is a princess (though a mean, nasty one), international intrigue, and a band of delinquent genius ex-Girl Scouts. At the end of each chapter there is a section dedicated to practical advice for the spy girl wanna-be, like "How to Prepare for Adventure," "How to Care for an Injured Colleague," and "How to Foil a Kidnapping." I learned quite a bit! It is evident that the author did loads of research, not only on spying, but also the history of New York City. The author's underground world beneath Manhattan may not be part of the real history of NYC, but it is fascinating and convincing in every detail. This book was so much fun! I look forward with great anticipation to the second and to all of the subsequent books I dearly hope Kirsten Miller will write. Check out her fantastic website. One of the best author websites I've seen.


Karen ~ said...

Oh my goodness, I haven't thought of "The Witch of Blackbird Pond" in a long, long time. That was absolutely one of my all-time favorites when I was Lidia's age. Wow. I am waxing nostalgic now about eagerly awaiting the arrival of the Scholastic Book Orders in my classroom, which is where I got that book (among many, many others!)

Thanks for the memory!

Gabriela said...

I think I'll get the Kiki strike for Margarita. Thanks for the recomendation.

Calandria said...

Karen, I got my copy of The Witch of Blackbird Pond from a Scholastic book order too! In 5th grade. The book made a huge impression on me. G, L, and I listened to it last year on audiobook and the girls really got into it too. After hearing the book, they were fascinated when I told them that we had Puritan ancestors and they wanted to learn more about that time period in American history.

Gabriela, I actually thought of you when I was writing this post and wondered if it wouldn't be a good book for your daughter.

Auntie Lee said...

I have a page on and I'll have to add some of these books on my 'to read' shelf. At the moment I'm working on my thesis so I have no time but I will get to it eventually. I'm always interested in what others are reading.

Anonymous said...

When a mother of a 9-12 year old girl asks me for assistance in picking books at the library, I always go to "Witch of Blackbird Pond", and to the Susan Cooper "Dark is Rising" series. I also recommend "Roll of Thunder Hear my Cry," "Ruby Hollar" and one other by Sharon Creech, I forget the title. I tried to read that " A Great and Terrible Beauty" book and thought it was a bore so I stopped after two chapters. Lots of girls love that series and I think they are drawn to the cover, it looks edgy and sexy. That is really what sells the books now a days. Put some cleavage and a pout on the cover and it's off the shelf in 5 minutes.