Saturday, May 26, 2012

Cages by Peg Kehret - Still Remembered 15 Years Later

Pros: Excellent book
Cons: None

The Bottom Line: My 13-year-old self wants to tell others her age to read this book.

I did read this when I was 13. And you know what? I liked it so much and remembered the storyline so well that years and years later (I’m 28) I was able to re-discover the book without knowing the title or the author. I was quite excited to see it was still in publication.

Kit is a young girl with some problems at home. Her father frequently gets drunk and calls her demeaning things - like an animal. She wishes she could just buy nice things like her friend, and one day she is caught stealing a bracelet. She didn’t even really want it. But now she’s sentenced to twenty hours of volunteer work at an animal shelter. It is there she meets a special dog that means a great deal to her. Kit feels a lot like the animals in the shelter, and it is there she will learn how to free herself.

All right, so I made that sound a little cheesy, but it really is a great book. I think this was one of the few books in my life that almost made me cry – and as a kid I never cried at books. This is a story that I never forgot and there is still one instance in particular that I remember vividly and thought was so great, I’ve always held onto it. I won’t say what it is because that will spoil things though.

And this isn’t the first book that Peg Kehret wrote that’s gotten notice from young readers. At the bookstore where I work, she has four books in our summer reading shelf – several of which were Mark Twain award nominees (and one winner I think) – and I’ve already had to order in more. I ordered in Cages and put it on my recommendation display. To think that years later I’d be able to put a book I enjoyed on display for other kids. Lovely.

Pick this up a bookstore, pick it up at the library, it doesn’t matter. Kit is a character that is easy to identify with and she’s got a strong voice and, and readers will be pleased to see the resolutions she discovers.


Originally published on

 Notes from the playlist: "A Promise" by Alan Silvestri

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