June 22, 2019

Why I Love Kate Messner's Books

This is a first. Instead of talking about an individual book, I'm talking about four of an author's books.

Sugar and Ice and All the Answers by Kate Messner

The Seventh Wish and Breakout by Kate Messner

So why do I love Kate Messner's books?

1. The protagonists have varied interests.
The main characters can be athletic (figure skaters and Irish dancers, and, in her upcoming book, Chirp, gymnasts). Or they can aspire to be journalists or scientists. Since all of Kate's protagonists are girls (in her books that I've read, at least), this is such a great message for young readers - that girls can pursue any interest.

2. Kate tackles tough topics for young audiences.
Breakout covers racism (systematic and on a more personal level). The Seventh Wish addresses a family member's drug addiction, but in a way that never feels too old for a middle grader. All the Answers covers anxiety in a way that even felt relatable to me.

3. The family representation is realistic.
None of the families are perfect, but in general, the parents and children love and care for each other. 

4. The books feel homey.
Maybe that's due in part to the settings (Vermont and upstate New York, I think), but I think Messner's books are perfect for a snow day, or on a front porch in spring, or on the trip home from a good vacation.

5. There is a variety of books.
I haven't read all of Messner's backlist yet, but she's written straight-up contemporary, as well as stories with hints of fablism (a wish-granting fish and a talking pencil), and even some science fiction. Any young reader has their pick of adventures when it comes to Kate Messner's books.

Have you read and enjoyed Kate Messner's books too? What's your favorite?

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