Kat's Promise

Kat's Promise

3.38 (54 ratings by Goodreads)
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Kat is just twelve years old when her mother dies. Suddenly an orphan, she has no choice but to move in with her bitter, wealthy aunt--the same aunt who Kat believes caused her mother's death. And that is just the beginning of Kat's awful eighth-grade year. The thing that keeps her going, even in her darkest moments, is the promise she made the day her mother died. With an exceptional voice and haunting insight, Bonnie Shimko has written a story about uncovering dark family secrets, finding friends in the most unlikely places, and learning to let go. Kat is both wise beyond her years and frighteningly vulnerable--but above all, she is wholly unforgettable.
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Product details

  • 12-17
  • Hardback | 272 pages
  • 139.7 x 210.8 x 30.5mm | 408.24g
  • Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company
  • Harcourt Children's Books
  • Boston, United States
  • English
  • 0152054731
  • 9780152054731

Rating details

54 ratings
3.38 out of 5 stars
5 22% (12)
4 24% (13)
3 33% (18)
2 11% (6)
1 9% (5)

Our customer reviews

A week before her thirteenth birthday, Kat loses her mother to cancer and becomes an orphan. You would think she would be relieved to have an aunt take her in. Especially a very rich aunt. You would think that, and you would be very wrong. Indeed, Kat's one wish is to see her aunt dead. Kat's mother worked for meager earnings. She taught Kat how to sew, how to cook, and how to be frugal. She taught her how to love, and how to forgive even the most unforgivable as Kat sat at her mother's bedside after another of her father's beatings. Her mother said he couldn't help it. It was the orphanage's fault. It damaged him. But her mother's death? That was her aunt's fault. Kat's mother worked in the school cafeteria until the cancer got so bad she couldn't bear it anymore. Because of Aunt Paulina, Kat's mother died in their tiny apartment, with only Kat to care for her, instead of in a hospital where drugs could have relieved her pain. Rich, stingy Aunt Paulina, the aunt who inherited all the family money after her mom was disowned, spent more money on the funeral than it would have cost to pay for her mother to have a life-saving operation. There's nowhere else for Kat to go. Forced to live with her mother's sister, Kat promises to make her pay. She begins to make good on that promise when Aunt Paulina says, "I'd like you to call me Mother." Kat makes her feelings clear and sets the tone of their relationship by responding, "I'd rather be thrown off a cliff, burning alive, than to call you my mama's name." If I leave you thinking that KAT'S PROMISE is just another book about a mother dying and the bitterness that follows, then I have done you, the reader, and Bonnie Shimko, the author, a grave disservice. This book is so much more. Kat discovers a history of family secrets that give her a deeper understanding of both the sisters, as well as her father. She bonds with Nettie, Aunt Paulina's harassed housekeeper. And she finds purpose in helping a neighbor regain his love for life. Ms. Shimko uses Beamer, Kat's new best friend, and Johnny, the neighbor's grandson, to add light to the story. And there are many other sweet moments that I'll let you discover. The writing will delight you, especially the brilliant descriptions. I absolutely could not put this book down once I started it, and I was sad to say good-bye to Kat, especially when things were going so well. I do not doubt that the characters will stay with me and I'll want to read this book again. For that reason, I give KAT'S PROMISE a gold star. *Gold Star Award Winner!show more
by TeensReadToo
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