Anderson, Laurie Halse. Catalyst.

Author:Rohrlick, Paula
Position:Book Review - Young Adult Review - Brief Article
 
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Penguin Putnam Viking. 240p, c2002. 0-670-03566-1. $17.99. S

Anderson, author of the acclaimed YA novels Speak and Fever 1793, returns to the same high school Speak is set in for another story of courageous but struggling young women. Kate, the narrator, is the daughter of a minister and a star student and runner. A high school senior, she has set her sights on studying chemistry in college. She is convinced that MIT, her dead mother's alma mater, is the only school for her--so convinced that she hasn't bothered to apply anywhere else. When MIT turns her down, Kate is devastated, but her growing understanding of the plight of a fellow student, scary, tough Teri Litch, puts Kate's own troubles in perspective and changes her life. Teri is a neighbor of Kate's, and when her house burns down Teri and two-year-old Mikey move into Kate's room, to her initial horror, while Kate's father mobilizes the community to help rebuild their place. When Mikey dies in a freak accident, and Kate realizes that he is not Teri's brother but her son (by their violent jailbird...

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