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Review 32: Misfit McCabe by LK Gardner-Griffie

Misfit McCabe
by LK Gardner-Griffie
Copyright: © 2008
$12.95 Paperback
ISBN: 9781435704053
179 Pages

Well, in Review 30, I asked what happened to good ole books like the ones Judy Blume wrote, and with Misfit McCabe, I got my answer!

LK Gardner-Griffie is a clever author who has truly embraced the “tween” readers of today with a rambunctious young lady they will certainly relate to.  Katie McCabe, the main character, is a rebellious fourteen year old tom girl looking for trouble.  And most of the time, she gets exactly what she’s looking for!

Timmy Lawrence (I can just hear that name being yelled out the back door by an angry mother!) is Katie’s best friend and partner in crime!  Right from page one, the author shows you these two are up to no good.  They are in a neighbor’s shed with a flask of rum to spike their Cokes…and they toast to their adventures in smoking as they light up cigarettes!  Like any child, they become entranced by the flame when they start playing with the matches and end up catching the hay in the shed on fire.

Playing with fire, drinking stolen booz, trying cigarettes for the first time…the friendship between Timmy and Katie definitely brought back memories.  I can recall the next door neighbor’s grand daughter who only visited during the summer.  I was always anxious for her arrival, and even more anxious for her departure by the end of the season.  She was pure evil!

When she wasn’t persuading me to steal eggs or kitchen matches to make magic potions, she was pulling me around the yard in a cardboard box and busting my head on the rocks when the box split open.  I seem to recall a collection of Garbage Pail Kid trading cards that also went missing from my room one year shortly after she visited!

More importantly, Katie does not lie about her involvement in the shed burning when her father questions her.  Very smart!  After all, her father is the town sheriff.  He sends Katie to live with his brother, her Uncle Charley who also happens to be very strict.  With a house full of cousins, the trouble has just begun.  But when Katie starts up a friendship with her older cousin, Sarah, who helps Katie through those “changes of life,” Katie really begins to mature and change.  But this certainly doesn’t happen in a day.

In the meantime there are new friends to make and new enemies.  A battle of wits pursues between Katie and and a nasty little snot named Harvey Denton Jr.  He’s the local banker’s son and enjoys letting everyone know it.  He also enjoys seeking revenge against Katie.  Cheating, lying, stealing…the list goes on and on of obstacles Katie must continue to face, even though she is trying her best to be the better person.

LK GG moves her story along with well versed dialogue and has penned an array of characters who are each interesting and unique in their own way.  Her descriptions of the predicaments Katie faces practically on every page are complex (and often seem unfair) to a 14 year old, but provide enough excitement and detail to keep a reader of any age interested.

Despite Katie being a few years younger than my own niece, I plan to purchase a copy of this book for her as she turns 17 this year.  There are situations and outcomes here that any teen could (and will) face, and Misfit McCabe is a character who high school readers will relate to and learn from.  This book would make an excellent gift for those just about to enter high school and begin that often troublesome phase of life.

Kudos to LK for embracing this age group.  Katie McCabe is a character who I hope to visit with again soon!

3 Responses to “Review 32: Misfit McCabe by LK Gardner-Griffie”

  1. You make me blush. Thanks so much for your enthusiastic review. It has definitely made my day.

  2. I’m old enough to be a grandmother, but I still loved the book! It’s nice to read a story that doesn’t rely on violence or gore to keep the reader’s attention. Mr. Yarbrough’s comment is right on - an excellent gift for those entering that often “troublesome” phase of life.

  3. [...] joined the LLBR review team this month!  You’ve actually already met her back in August in Review 32.  That’s right!  It’s the amazing author of Misfit McCabe.  Say hello to LK [...]

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