Books by Kate Walker

I HATE BOOKS! by Kate Walker
Released: March 1, 2007

A lad wanders off the path to literacy and almost doesn't find his way back in this perceptive cautionary tale. Unlike his older brother Nathan, Hamish fails to pick up the reading knack before starting school, and thanks both to some ingenious concealing strategies and to the fact that he's otherwise a good student, gets to third grade before any adult notices. Things quickly go from bad to worse when he's consigned to a jail-like Book Room, where the "dummies" go for remedial instruction. Mutinously digging in his heels, Hamish fails to respond either to the reading teacher's efforts, or to his parents' clumsy attempts to change his attitude. Surrounded by well-meaning but ineffectual adults, Hamish puts up a stout defense that only crumbles when his admired brother comes up with an effective combination of tangible reward and a self-esteem-restoring show of vulnerability. Short chapters, simple language and lots of line drawings add up to plenty of appeal for less-practiced readers—but grown-ups too will find this a thought-provoking look inside the mind of a reluctant reader. (Fiction. 7-9)Read full book review >
PETER by Kate Walker
Released: April 1, 1993

When he finds himself attracted to his older brother's gay friend David, Peter is plunged into the kind of sexual uncertainty many young men feel. Dismayed at himself, appalled at the thought of being found out, Peter agonizes over his schoolmates' casual taunts and treats his family with tight-lipped hostility; meanwhile, he probes his feelings, ``tests'' himself with a gay magazine, calls a teen hotline, and, at last, has a frank conversation with David—who advises him not to jump to conclusions but to wait and see. Though the story, salted with Aussie slang and rough language, has a heavy air, while minor characters behave stereotypically (an Italian mother greets Peter, ``You come in! You eat!''), the author creates, in David, a wiser head, comfortable with his preference, one who can offer physical affection without sexual overtones; and, in Peter, a realistically distressed teenager who is finally able to muster enough perspective to weather his crisis. (Fiction. YA) Read full book review >