THE KID TABLE by Andrea Seigel


Age Range: 14 & up
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Ingrid Bell, one of six mostly teenage cousins in a charmingly dysfunctional family, is a psychopath, according to oldest cousin Brianne. Or perhaps it's just part of the jockeying for position that happens around the Kid Table. Ingrid's psychopathy (or calculated charm and a few dead pets?) provides the thread through a particularly tumultuous year as the family unravels. Ingrid’s first-person narration, especially in those moments when her calm makes the reader wonder if she is a psychopath, is fantastic, and the trials and tribulations manage to be both funny and sad (adult cousin Tish drinks too much, teen cousin Cricket has anorexia, Ingrid’s mother busily collects memories for her scrapbook but forgets to live and Ingrid’s in love with Brianne’s boyfriend). The episodic structure (a handful of chapters at major events throughout the year from not-Jewish Uncle Kurt's post-adultery Bar Mitzvah to a wedding) serves as a metaphor for the family: a whole made of several disparate parts with some unanswered questions. Weirdly whimsical, adult author Seigel’s (Like the Red Panda, 2004) YA debut delights. (Fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-59990-480-1
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 2010