Sunday, January 25, 2009

Katie and Kimble: A Ghost Story (Book 1) by Linda Thieman

Katie & Kimble: A Ghost Story (Book 1)
by Linda Thieman
Copyright 2007
Pale Silver Rainplop Press - Children's Paranormal
(3rd grade level)
107 pages
Author's website

Katie and Kimble: A Ghost Story

is (as you can tell from the parenthetical bit) the first in a series of books geared specifically to young readers at the third-grade level. I chose to read it because "ghost" is another one of those key words that piques my interest. Regardless of age level, I love to read ghost stories.

Katie is a 9-year-old girl who moves into a large house after her mother gets a new job and the family relocates. The house has a resident ghost, Kimble, a young girl who died at the age of 10.

Warning: Spoiler alert! Since this book is directed at youngsters, I've gone ahead and described some details, assuming there probably aren't too many 9-year-olds reading my blog. Skip this next part if you want the contents of the book to be a surprise.

Shortly after her arrival, Katie's dog Twinkle leads her to an empty log, where she discovers a beautiful and very old hair bow. As she's unpacking and moving things within the house, Katie hears laughter several times and eventually she finds two more "gifts" from the ghost of a young girl who desires to be Katie's friend. As Katie investigates, she determines that the ghost is named Kimble and she died in the flu epidemic of 1918. Kimble occasionally materializes and is even able to touch Katie. They play dreidel together, check out a secret room and go on an adventure to discover what happened to Kimble's mother.

End of spoilers!!

I no longer have young children, since my youngest is 17 years old, but I still love reading children's stories and I thought Katie & Kimble was nicely written for its intended audience. If you've got an advanced reader or are interested in reading the book aloud, rest assured that Katie and Kimble is not particularly frightening and I don't think younger children who can read at 3rd-grade level will find it at all disturbing. Kimble is a good ghost. The story of how she died is sad, but she saves Katie from several mishaps and it's a very positive book, overall. I think my children and I would all have enjoyed it at the early-reading stage. I particularly enjoyed learning about the Jewish Hanukkah game, dreidel.

The cover of this book turned me off a little. Don't let it. It pertains to the story; and, the drawings inside are equally relevant. You can download the first 6 chapters of the book at Linda Thieman's website (see link in book description, above).

Other reviews (let me know if you've reviewed this book and would like to have a link added):

Cafe of Dreams

Up next:

Reviews of Never Say Diet and Grace for the Afflicted. And, a giveaway post of history and historical fiction. Please be patient with me, as I've fallen a bit behind on posting and we're still busy going through piles of things that were buried behind the canned foods for years, before our pantry shelf collapsed. Soon we'll be working on the countertop for the new cabinets and tiling the backsplash. Between fix-it jobs, nudging the kiddo to do his schoolwork (man, that job can be a real bear) and training for a marathon, we're awfully busy, around here, but I'll do my best to catch up when I have a spare minute.

Just Walked In (with a little help -- okay, I confess, I just felt like buying a few books):

Victoria Victorious: The Story of Queen Victoria by Jean Plaidy
The Soul of a New Machine by Tracy Kidder (entirely Care's fault)
Grace (Eventually): Thoughts on Faith by Anne Lamott

Grace (Eventually) has a wonderful Prelude. I read the first paragraph aloud to my husband at the bookstore and I'll share that along with a few other quotes that have thrilled my little heart recently, later in the week. I'm still loving absolutely everything that I'm reading, although I've realized lately that maybe 5 or 6 books at a time is a bit too much for me. I'm finding that I'll set one or two aside for as long as 2 or 3 weeks and then eventually focus on a single title till I complete it. If a cover image stays in my sidebar forever, it doesn't mean I'm not enjoying it. It's just that I'm overdoing. We're still working on that whole balance concept. Actually, I think it's going quite well -- the balance thing -- and that is possibly why I'm finding less time to blog and to visit other bloggers. I haven't forgotten about you, though, and I will visit when I can!!

Bookfool, still all full of bloggy love

17 comments:

  1. Great review, Nancy! I loved this book (as you can tell in my review, lol) and can't wait to read the next one. Hannah really enjoyed it also, and I can't wait to sit down and read more of it with her.

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  2. Thank you for the nice review, Bookfool! I love the way your personality shines through your writing!

    Your readers can download the first six chapters of Katie & Kimble: A Ghost Story free of charge at the Katie & Kimble blog (right sidebar). Click my name.

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  3. This one sounds cute!!!! I do love a good children's ghost story.

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  4. April,

    Yes, I noticed you had fun with this book! I actually found myself wishing I had a younger child to read it to (or with). Reading children's books can be a fun mental break, though, so I still had a good time. :)

    Linda,

    You're very welcome. And, thanks for the compliment. :)

    I'll add a note about the free six chapters to my review. Thanks for mentioning that!

    Andi,

    Cute is a good descriptive term for this one. It's never really frightening -- in fact, it can be a tiny bit saccharine, but only in a sense that it's about the joy of new friendship.

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  5. I'm curious, Nancy, did this book take you back to your childhood at all? Remind you of any of the books that you read as a child, as it did me?

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  6. April,

    Not really, but the only ghost story I recall reading as a child was A Ghost Named Gus. It was quite different. Actually, now that I think of it, that was one of my childhood favorites. :)

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  7. You know I almost requested this one for review and then decided not too. I don't know why. It sounds interesting enough. It's good to see a ghost story that won't scare the pants off of kids!

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  8. Katie & Kimble sounds cute.

    The cat needed me is my all purpose excuse.

    My new computer is amazing!! So fast! Alas, it's also at work and I must work.

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  9. Chris,

    I had second thoughts about this one, but I'm not quite sure why. I guess I felt like it's silly to read books like that when I don't have a child to pass them on to. I'm glad I read it, though, and I do think that young children don't need the pants scared off them. Sometimes a sweet and innocent story is the best kind, you know?

    Carrie,

    'Tis.

    Well, um, I think I knew that. Here, Hezzy!! Come sit on my lap. No, you don't really want to go outdoors, silly thing!

    Oh, darn. Desktop? Too bad you have to actually work on the thing. What a waste of good computer time.

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  10. ugh, my first thought when I read about Kimble in the year 1918 was that was the flu epidemic that almost killed Edward of Twilight! oh my.

    I hope you like the Kidder book. :)

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  11. Care,

    I'd completely forgotten about that! I love reading about that flu epidemic, viruses, potential plagues. Does that make me sick?

    Oh, I can tell I'm going to love the Kidder book, thanks! It'll probably be a while before I get to it, but what I read was so good. I can see why you love him.

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  12. Hi Nancy
    I received my bookmarks in the mail today. Thank you so much. I love them both. :)
    Brittanie

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  13. Brittanie,

    Wow, that was fast! Thanks for letting me know. :)

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  14. "Ghost" stories have always peaked my interest as well! Since you read ghost stories intended for children maybe you can help me. I remember reading this book that had a collection of ghost stories in it, some I've actually memorized since I read it so many times but the one I remember most is about a babysitter whose charge is a little baby boy and when the house catches fire a black lab (I'm almost positive) named Midnight that she had interacted with all night helps her and the baby get out of the house. The parents come rushing home as the fire department gets there and it turns out that they had a dog named Midnight who had died in a fire because he was locked in the kitchen while they were gone. So she doesn't believe them and they show her the grave which has paw prints and the child's baby blanket on top of it.

    I'm almost positive that, that is the story but I can't seem to find it or the collection anywhere since I can't remember the name of it :(

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  15. Tink,

    That doesn't ring a bell, but wow. What a great story! I can see why you'd want to find that collection for a reread. How bizarre that the same family had two fires, though, don't you think?

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  16. I just received this one in the mail yesterday. The Girl and I can't wait to read it. We both love ghost stories.

    I'm glad my daughter is still young enough that I have an excuse to read kid's books, but I bet I'll still read them here and there when she's moved on to bigger books.

    --Anna
    Diary of an Eccentric

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  17. Anna,

    I can't wait to see what your daughter thinks! I thought it was awfully fun and found myself wishing I had a young enough child to read it with. 17-year-old . . . nope. Won't do.

    Sometimes I still make excuses. Robin posted about a book by Berke Breathed called (I think) "Martians Need Moms," the other day. It was promptly added to my wishlist. My excuse is that I love the illustrations. I'd pull out, "Someday I'll have grandchildren" if I could count on it coming true, but you never know. Not everyone reproduces.

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