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"Never read books you aren't sure about . . . even supposing that these bad books are very well written from a literary point of view. Let me ask you this: Would you drink something you knew was poisoned just because it was offered to you in a golden cup?"

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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Regarding the Fountain by Kate Klise

If your tween is already an eager reader, this is a perfect little snack: not terribly nutritious but quite yummy.

If your tween is a reluctant reader, it's also perfect. The story is revealed in short notes, memos, and letter bursts smattered with whimsical visual effects.
Geared toward young tweens, it is downright silly with a transparent plot, but don't let that stop you. It is not meant to be a Sherlock Holmes novel. It's meant to be delightfully silly. Fun books are some of the finest.

The entire story is told through notes and memos sent amongst a principal, students, teacher and the artist hired to fix the leaky school drinking fountain. Thrown in are some top secret memos between two dastardly adults who just happen to own the drinking water factory and local swimming pool in this town. Coincidentally, the local water supply dried up at the same time the middle school with the leaky fountain was built. Add a few private messages between the teacher and the fountain-designer who have gained some interest in each other… and you have the basics of a fun read.

And if all that was not enough, the artist listened to suggestions from the students, not the principal.

I was hard-pressed to decide which feature of the final product I most enjoyed: the buttons for the milkshakes or lemonade or the temperature-controlled ice pond in the back. Lucky kids: they didn’t have to choose; they got all that and more, and the villains got their comeuppance, and the teacher got…. Oh, come on. You have to save at least one surprise for yourself.



Nancy Piccione March 2, 2011 at 2:26 AM  

The Klises grew up in our area, and several summers ago they conducted a weeklong writing/illustrating camp at a local school. My younger daughter attended (I think she was 8 at the time, I think the youngest) and loved, just loved it. They were delightful and really sweet to all the budding writers, from 8-high school age.

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