Coming of age amidst the seething unrest of the Civil War era, feisty fourteen-year-old Katie McCafferty infiltrates the Molly Maguires, a secret Irish organization, to rescue a lifelong friend. Under the guise of Dominick, a draft resister, Katie volunteers for a dangerous mission in hopes of preventing bloodshed. Katie risks job, family, and ultimately her very life to intervene. A series of tragedies challenge Katie's strength and ingenuity, and she faces a crisis of conscience. Can she balance her sense of justice with the law? Call Me Kate is suitable for readers from eleven to adult. The story is dramatic and adventuresome, yet expressive of daily life in the patches of the hard coal region during the Civil War era. This novel will appeal to readers of the Dear America series, as well as more mature readers who will enjoy the story's rich context and drama.
I love that the cover looks hand-painted and the smirk on Kate's face is great!
I wasn't really expecting this book to be so true to life, but it really is.
Much like the Dear America series, as the synopsis mentions above, this book is a fictional look into our past history. It's gritty, it's realistic, but it is written so perfectly that readers will fall in love. I personally fell in love with Kate's spunky demeanor and was committed to her struggle from the beginning. In fact, I felt for her whole town. Molly Roe is an expert at writing characters that come to life on the page.
I vaguely remember learning about how the Civil War affected Irish immigrants. Sadly those types of things tend to fade into the background in school, as they are skimmed over and before you know it the text has moved on. However when I started reading this book it all came rushing back to me. The research that went into this story is apparent on every page, from the descriptions of outfits, to the Irish words that are thrown back and forth between family members. Although it seems like it would be difficult to understand these terms, there is a very handy glossary in the back! I was pleasantly surprised!
What really struck me most about Call Me Kate was the fire behind Kate's actions, and the way her people worked together to help those who struggled. It was a look at how people can bond when trouble strikes them all. It actually made me a bit nostalgic for that "for the good of all" mentality. I think any readers that come into this book willing to learn and get lost in Kate's life will have a great read. I definitely recommend this to high school readers and teachers.
To wrap things up, Call Me Kate was a fascinating read. The learning aspect of it was simply a bonus, buried under the rich storytelling and characters. I am happy to say that I throughly enjoyed this book and am proud to recommend it to you!
Title: Call Me Kate: Meeting the Molly Maguries
Author: Molly Roe
Publisher: Tribute Books
Pages: Paperback; 168
Source: Received from publisher.
FTC Disclosure: I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.