Books by K.L. Going

BUMPETY, DUNKETY, THUMPETY-THUMP! by K.L. Going
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 26, 2017

"This winning read-aloud should encourage multiple recitations. (Picture book. 2-5)"
A day of blueberry picking and all it entails is experienced in a jaunty, rollicking romp. Read full book review >
THE SHAPE OF THE WORLD by K.L. Going
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 5, 2017

"A lovely introduction to the impact that a creative mind can have on the world. (author's note, illustrator's note, sources, key to works depicted) (Picture book/biography. 4-8)"
A whimsical look at the life of one of the best-known American architects. Read full book review >
PIECES OF WHY by K.L. Going
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 8, 2015

"Young readers may not be willing to sing in this hallelujah chorus. (Fiction. 10-13)"
Sometimes sugarcoating the truth can leave a bitter taste. Such is the lesson in this middle-grade tale. Read full book review >
DOG IN CHARGE by K.L. Going
CHILDREN'S
Released: May 10, 2012

"A rollicking romp. (Picture book. 3-6)"
Printz Honor-winner Going turns from teens and preteens to preschoolers in her picture-book debut. Read full book review >
KING OF THE SCREWUPS by K.L. Going
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: April 1, 2009

Popular, beautiful slacker Liam spends the majority of his time partying and chasing girls instead of focusing on his studies. To keep him in check, his dad kicks him out of the house and ships him off to live with his gay glam-rocking uncle. Bad hair, tights, bitchy neighbors, reality checks and fashion shows ensue. Going's latest flows easily with smooth, realistic dialogue and reads like a coming-out story for straight guys. This innovative, out-of-the-box approach juxtaposes stereotypes, received values, parental roles and masculinity in a jarringly fun and approachable manner that marks a triumphant left-turn for the genre. Cloaked as a story of tough love, this is actually a psychological exploration of the impact of parental expectations versus the dreams of their children. Nothing earned comes easy, however, and Liam finds that he does need to switch some of the gears inside his head, but he's not as big of a screw-up as his parents make him out to be. Moreover, trouble does follow him wherever he goes, but avoiding it is easier when you've got the right kind of support. (Fiction. YA)Read full book review >
THE GARDEN OF EVE by K.L. Going
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 1, 2007

It's been ten months since her mother died, and Evie feels the loss every single day. Having moved into an old house rumored to be cursed doesn't help matters any, but at least Evie is distracted from her father's withdrawal by the strange residents of their new town. There's Alex, a boy that lingers in the cemetery claiming to be a ghost, and Maggie, a shopkeeper who presents Evie with the gift of a single seed. Evie becomes convinced that the seed hails from the original Garden of Eden, and decides to use it to find her mother. Instead, she learns almost too late that unnatural life can be a far more terrible and destructive thing than natural grief. The book is most effective when it seeks to understand and clarify Evie's pain. Unfortunately, it loses ground when, instead of concentrating on a single fantastical element, Going creates an uncomfortable mélange of ghosts, magic and the Book of Genesis. The emotions may be sound, but the story demands a tighter focus on the otherworldly. (Fantasy. 9-13)Read full book review >
SAINT IGGY by K.L. Going
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Sept. 1, 2006

This charmer, set just before Christmas, will haunt readers long after experiencing the final pages. Iggy, a 16-year-old freshman, is about to get kicked out of high school permanently, pending a hearing. Iggy recognizes that he needs a legal guardian and legal representation to accompany him, but he will have neither. His parents are druggies and his meth-addicted mother has been missing for weeks. Iggy decides that he needs a plan to show the world what he's really made of. He finds Mo, his supposed mentor, a college dropout who's renounced all material goods. Short on funds, Mo decides to buy drugs on credit—from the same dealer who supplies Iggy's parents—and then takes Iggy to his wealthy mother's apartment to ask for money. Here, Iggy's plan gels and all readers are left to do is hang on for the incredible ride. Wild plot twists combined with Iggy's endearing narration will keep turning pages and readers cheering this strangely heroic anti-hero. (Fiction. YA)Read full book review >
THE LIBERATION OF GABRIEL KING by K.L. Going
FICTION
Released: June 1, 2005

It's the summer of 1976 in a small town in Georgia. Gabriel King has just finished fourth grade and is scared about fifth. In fact, he's scared of many things: spiders, alligators, falling into the toilet, killer robots, corpses, swinging off the rope swing, his neighbor Mr. Evans and bullies at school. His best friend Frita is out to liberate Gabriel from his fears. She has him make a list of them and work through them one at a time. However, Frita, who is African-American, has fears of her own and the story becomes a study of standing up to fears and to bullies, from the schoolyard to the Ku Klux Klan. Strong voice, lively dialogue, humor and important themes make this a winner. Readers will enjoy following the sometimes-tempestuous friendship of Gabriel and Frita, and they'll be completely absorbed in watching the friends and their community come together to stand up against the evil within. (appendix) (Fiction. 10+)Read full book review >
FAT KID RULES THE WORLD by K.L. Going
FICTION
Released: May 1, 2003

Curt MacCrae, a semi-homeless, blond ferret of a boy and guitar genius, saves big Troy Billings from leaping to a splattering demise in front of the F train. The two boys form an unlikely friendship, each offering what the other needs and, ultimately, saving each other's life. Curt recruits Troy to be the drummer in his band, Rage/Tectonic, and the story gathers momentum as the first gig approaches. The problem is that Troy isn't much of a drummer. It takes lessons from a scarecrow of a guy with a purple Mohawk to get his skills in shape, thus adding another larger-than-life character to the assemblage. Just as Curt saved Troy's life, Troy must find a way to help Curt, who is sick, addicted, and malnourished. Newcomer Going's descriptive writing sometimes goes over the top, but it's also what makes this offering come alive from the very first page. The strong language and themes make this a raw, yet immensely likable tale for older teens. (Fiction. YA)Read full book review >