CATCHING A STORYFISH by Janice N. Harrington
Kirkus Star

CATCHING A STORYFISH

Age Range: 8 - 12
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Poet and storyteller Harrington offers a verse novel about a girl named Katharen, nicknamed Keet for the parakeetlike chattiness that her family loves, particularly her grandpa, an avid fisherman.

When Keet's family moves from Alabama and the "brown arms" and "brown legs" of her friends to Illinois and the classmates with "faces like sour grapefruits" and "eyes like measuring tape" who tell her that she "sounds funny," she silences her storytelling voice. She slowly befriends Allegra, a Spanish-speaking girl who lives in the neighborhood, with whom she bonds after telling Allegra where her cockatoo escaped. Through this emerging friendship, her grandfather's encouraging love and life lessons imparted while they wait to catch Ol' Muddy Joe the legendary Fish, and an Appalachian storyteller who visits her school, Keet finds her voice again—and with heartwarmingly victorious results. Harrington announces Keet’s race as subtly as she develops her characters and in details such as the simple, almost-missable mention of the number of braids Allegra draws in her rendering of Keet. A poetry glossary concludes the book, explaining the various forms used, including blues poems, contrapuntal poems, and pantoums.

A gentle-spirited book about a black girl who almost gives up her gift but for love and friendship. (Verse novel. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 13th, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-62979-429-7
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Wordsong/Boyds Mills
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 2016




MORE BY JANICE N. HARRINGTON

ChildrenBUSY-BUSY LITTLE CHICK by Janice N. Harrington
by Janice N. Harrington
ChildrenROBERTO WALKS HOME by Janice N. Harrington
by Janice N. Harrington
ChildrenTHE CHICKEN-CHASING QUEEN OF LAMAR COUNTY by Janice N. Harrington
by Janice N. Harrington
ChildrenGOING NORTH by Janice N. Harrington
by Janice N. Harrington

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenNOT ONE DAMSEL IN DISTRESS by Jane Yolen
by Jane Yolen
ChildrenTHE SWEETEST SOUND by Sherri Winston
by Sherri Winston
ChildrenBROWN GIRL DREAMING by Jacqueline Woodson
by Jacqueline Woodson
ChildrenHOW I DISCOVERED POETRY by Marilyn Nelson
by Marilyn Nelson