KATIE JOHN AND HEATHCLIFF by Mary Calhoun

KATIE JOHN AND HEATHCLIFF

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Twenty years after her first appearance at age ten, Calhoun's Katie John is entering seventh grade and finding herself suddenly conscious of boys. (""Honestly! What was the matter with her?"") Having read Wuthering Heights during the summer, she is looking for a Heathcliff, and settles on new boy Jason, who gives her long deep looks in cooking class but seems to spend more attention on rich, pretty, cool Trish--one of the first girls at school to sport the KC badge. (It stands for ""Kissed Club,"" to Katie's disgust.) Katie frets over Jason and Trish till Halloween, when she gives a party they consider kiddish. Then she realizes on the spot that there is nothing under Jason's cool looks, and that her unromantic old friend Edwin is the companion for her. The time period of the story is a puzzle: It has the Fifties sensibility (and the even older slang word ""swell"") of the earlier Katie John stories, but references to skateboards and Pizza Huts and hanging out in shopping malls suggest, inappropriately, a more recent background. It's also a little corny for today, but readers who don't mind that will empathize with Katie John in her innocent scrapes--as when she wins a carpet sweeper and is stuck lugging it along the one time Jason walks her home from the movies. In other words, more of the old Katie John, less dimmed by the time lapse than bruised by the update.

Pub Date: Sept. 10th, 1980
Publisher: Harper & Row