Thursday, March 09, 2006

Okay, I know I should be reading books for my class, but I borrowed this ARC (ARC = advanced reading copy; publishers send these out before a book is published to people who write reviews) through yaarc (a blog for librarians & others to share advanced reading copies, if you aren't familiar with it, check it out) and I need to pass it on - I've already had it too long. Today I have to finish skimming Looking for Alaska for our book club, which meets this afternoon, then I'm moving on to the second week of books for class (see blow for a list).
So, back to Kiki Strike. This is a weird book. Good. But weird. And fun. It's sort of like Alex Rider for girls - adventure & action, but with a good plot. It starts with a big hole appearing in the park across fro Ananka Fishbein's apartment. Intrigued, especially after she sees a diminutive figure climbing out of it, she investigates and discovers a room, and an entrance to a tunnel. Nearly discovered, Ananka is forced away before she can investigate, but she takes with her a book that describes the Shadow City, a secret city deep beneath the buildings and streets of New York.
Shortly after, a mysterious new girl appears in Ananka's classes. There's a connection between Kiki Strike and the Shadow City, and Kiki draws Ananka into her plans to explore the deserted world beneath their feet. Pulling together a group of talented and dangerous twelve-year-olds, Kiki forms the Irregulars and the adventures begin. But is Kiki really who she claims to be? What is her real reason for exploring the Shadow City?
I did figure out much of the mystery before it was revealed, and the lists at the end of each chapter ("How to Tell A Lie;" How to Foil a Kidnapping;"and "How to Know if Someone's Eavesdropping," for example) got a bit tiresome to me, but young people might enjoy them. The story is told from an older Ananka's point of view as she chronicles her first adventure with Kiki Strike. The premise is fun (a great if improbable adventure novel for girls) and the style leave an opening for a sequel.

For more info on Kiki Strike and Ananka and their adventures, you can read Ananka's Diary online.

Miller, Kirsten. Kiki Strike: Inside the Shadow City. New York: Bloomsbury, 2006. $16.95 ISBN 1-58234-960-6
Released June 2006.

What I'm Reading (besides Looking for Alaska): Orphea Proud by Sharon Dennis Wyeth
On my Bookshelf: The Body Eclectic: An Anthology of Poems by Patrice Vecchione; Every Time a Rainbow Dies by Rita Williams-Garcia
Possible Re-reads for Class: Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan; Sandpiper by Ellen Wittlinger; Far from Xanadu by Julie Ann Peters; Sammy and Juliana in Hollywood by Benjamin Alire Saenz and First Part Last by Angela Johnson.
And: Another ARC, Dairy Queen


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