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The Kate In Between

4.35  ·  Rating details ·  62 ratings  ·  26 reviews
In this timely, call-to-action contemporary middle grade novel from Claire Swinarski, author of What Happens Next, a twelve-year-old girl must face herself, and the truth, after her participation in a bullying incident goes viral. 

Kate McAllister is desperate for a change. Something to hit refresh and erase the pain of her mother leaving town without her. So when a group o
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published May 18th 2021 by Quill Tree Books
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Average rating 4.35  · 
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 ·  62 ratings  ·  26 reviews

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Who is Kate? Is she Kate the Great? Or is she Kate the Bully? She is a 12-year-old who has good days and bad days. Someone who makes mistakes, but is willing to learn from them. Why does the world want to label her? Aren't we all more than one thing? There were so many things I loved about this book. Kate's dad drives her to school in his police car. He is my favorite character! Her mom is struggling to build a career in a Mary Kay like business and the motivational hash tags are so authentic. K ...more
Ms. Yingling
Mar 31, 2021 rated it it was amazing
E ARC provided by Netgalley

Kate's life isn't easy, but her family is hanging in there. Her parents were still in high school when she was born, so are much younger than her classmates' parents. They divorced when she was young, and she has lived with her mother, who is currently involved in selling True U cosmetics, an Amway or Lularoe type business which requires her to buy her own product and recruit others to sell as well. She has just moved to be closer to the corporate headquarters so that
Mid-Continent Public Library
Who is Kate? Is she Kate the Great? Or is she Kate the Bully? She is a 12-year-old who has good days and bad days. Someone who makes mistakes, but is willing to learn from them. Why does the world want to label her? Aren't we all more than one thing? There were so many things I loved about this book. Kate's dad drives her to school in his police car. He is my favorite character! Her mom is struggling to build a career in a Mary Kay like business and the motivational hash tags are so authentic. K ...more
Afoma (Reading Middle Grade)
The Kate in Between is a timely, complex, and engaging middle grade book about identity, popularity, bullying culture, and going viral. This unique middle grade book highlights the nuances of being human and shows that no one falls neatly into “good” or “bad” boxes. With a messy, but likable and relatable protagonist, this book will prove to be a true conversation starter and resonate with middle school kids and adults alike.

Read my full review on my blog.

Many thanks to the publisher for an eARC
Megan Rivera
Dec 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was a great book and would recommend reading it. Thank you to NetGalley for allowing me to read it.
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
People call Kate a hero saves her former best friend Haddie’s life. What they don’t know is that Kate and her new friends bully Haddie if not for bullying, Haddie’s live wouldn’t need saving.

KATE IN BETWEEN is a meaningful story about friendship, social media fame, bullying and bystanders, economic class and peer pressure. Kate knows what the right choices are, she doesn’t always make them because in the short term, sometimes wrong choices seem easier.
Jan 21, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: arcs, juvenile
An important read detailing the rocky life of middle school and what it means to fit in. Kate is labeled a hero by the media for saving the life of her former best friend when she knows she truly isn't. This novel explores the concepts of friendship, bullying, popularity, social media, and what it means to do the right thing. Thank you Edelweiss for an ARC. ...more
Jan 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Animated bookstagram:

We all know that news travels fast in our social media world and before long, a video can go viral and stream just about anywhere. But what happens when there’s more to the story that can’t be seen on screen? In THE KATE IN BETWEEN (5/18/21), a heroic action will be caught on tape and the ensuing media circus and “celebrity status” at school isn’t necessarily cause for celebration as it stirs up plenty of emotions and tough questions
May 13, 2021 rated it really liked it
Sometimes I read a MG novel and realize that the author has perfectly captured something from my middle grade years and given it back to me.

This time author Claire Swinarski has reminded me of how badly I wanted to be accepted back then—enough so that I was willing to participate in bullying or stand by as it occurred in front of me. These are not happy memories for me. Even all these years later as I type these words, I am awash in shame.

What I do like about this novel is that it really shows
Katrina Reads
Apr 03, 2021 rated it really liked it
Kate is in between in various ways, in between her parents, in between her friendship groups, and that in between age, not a child, not quite yet a teen, just between it all.

Her story is a familiar one, in that she wants to fit in, wants to be ‘normal’, popular, liked. But things go too far when trying to fit in with her new friends and although she wants to stop things from happening she can’t, and her old best friend suffers for it.

We see bullying throughout the book, with the relentless comme
Sara Thompson
May 30, 2021 rated it it was amazing
In Swinarski's The Kate in Between, she reminds us that people aren't one dimensional. You can be a hero and a bully both. The important thing is not just knowing the right thing to do, but finding the courage to do it. Kate struggles with wanting to fit in, in middle school and she's willing to sacrifice her lifelong friendship with Haddie to make it happen. When Kate's new friends mercilessly bully Haddie, Kate stands silently by. When one instance of bullying gets out of hand, Kate finally sp ...more
May 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This is such a great look into bullying and what can happen in this day and age when you don't always know that you might be being filmed.
Kate has a hard time as it is with her parents not together, they have different rules, her mom sells makeup & bothers all the other moms & embarrasses Kate and her dad is a cop.
When Kate finally makes it with the "in crowd" she leaves her best friend Haddie behind and actually becomes one of the ones who bullies her.
In a freak Insta Kate throws Haddie's ha
Mary Emma
May 23, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2021-releases, own
*4.5 stars*

Another great book from Swinarski! I read What Happens Next last year, and it was one of my favorite books of 2020, so I knew I had to get my hands on The Kate In Between right away, and it did not disappoint.

This book follows Kate, a 7th grader who has recently gotten caught up in the popular crowd at school. She becomes involved in a bullying incident involving her former best friend Haddie, and ends up saving Haddie's life. The story goes viral, making Kate a national hero, but is
Just brilliant!! Kate is someone you’re rooting for and want to win, but she makes a lot of bad decisions that your screaming at her for. She’s a typical 12 year old trying to figure out how to navigate life. She makes mistakes. She doesn’t understand long term consequences. She gets hurt, and so do her friends.

A page turner … also her dad! I want to know him in real life, maybe go in a few dates with. Do you always love the parents when you’re reading middle grade fiction? I mean, he’s the one
Reem Faruqi
Dec 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I loved THE KATE IN BETWEEN. The voice of Kate sucked me in right away to her story and I found her predicament fascinating. There were lots of twists and turns for Kate and her friendships that she wishes to strengthen. I also loved the way the author described Kate's parents. Kate's voice was so compelling and I found myself rooting for her to tell the truth. I think many will be able to relate to Kate's journey of staying true to oneself, I couldn't put this book down! It hooked me in from th ...more
Dec 08, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was an ok story about the many ways bullying happens and how being a bystander is just as bad. Middle schoolers will find this book compelling and I will likely recommend it to students looking for realistic friend-drama stories. As a reviewer who has read a lot of books with similar themes, this one just doesn’t stand out for me unfortunately. I appreciate the publisher providing this book to me free in exchange for my honest opinion.
Jun 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this middle grade novel that deals with friendship, family stuff, bullying, social media, and the woes of middle school. These can be tough topics to write about well, and through Kate’s story, Claire Swinarski does just that. The story Is beautiful, hard at parts (I teared up once or twice) and yet remains hopeful and optimistic without being cheesy or cliche. I definitely want to include The Kate in Between in our school library!
Jenn Burchill
Apr 19, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love everything Claire Swinarski writes. While The Kate in Between started off feeling like something I've already read before, it quickly turned into a unique and powerful story of doing the right thing and the challenges that come with finding one's way. The choices Kate had to make (and the ways she continued to make mistakes throughout the book) make her so relatable to young readers trying to navigate all kinds of situations. ...more
Jules Hucke
Jun 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best middle grade books I’ve ever read. It’s raw and real and painful but still sweet and heartwarming and beautiful. Highly recommend—not just for kids, but anyone who works with kids or parents kids or knows kids. Middle school is all about being in between, and for most of us, it wasn’t the easiest time. But this book is a solid reminder that when life is the hardest, we learn the biggest (and sometimes best) lessons.
Feb 28, 2021 rated it really liked it
Kate and Haddie are best friends and have been best friends since first grade. But seventh grade is different, and when Kate finds herself in popular mean girl, Taylor’s orbit, there just isn’t room for Haddie. When a near tragedy turns Kate into a hero, she begins to question exactly what it means to be Taylor’s friend and why it is harder than it should be. Kate will be left wondering who she is.

Claire Swinarski takes a familiar MG theme of friends growing apart and makes it fresh. I would re
Leah Dobrinska
May 23, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This book packed a necessary punch. It’s a reminder that being human is messy...especially in 7th grade! We’ve all got stuff, and most of us are trying our best, even if we’re making mistakes in the process. The Kate in Between takes a compelling look at identity and friendship. Middle grade readers who pick up this title are sure to feel less alone within its pages.
May 26, 2021 rated it liked it
3 middling stars. I didn’t feel this book lived up to the promise of its storyline. Great premise but didn’t deliver. I also thought there needed to be better editing to make the overall storytelling more animated and for the language to sound more alive.
Amber Webb
Mar 14, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Incredible story about deciding who you want to be while realizing that everyone isn't just one thing. I couldn't wait to hand it off to my tween daughter to help her work through her identity issues with classmates and friends. ...more
LS Johnson
Jun 11, 2021 rated it really liked it
Beautiful cover art. Such a compelling, raw, honest book. I read it in one day. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoyed RESTART by Korman.
Jan 24, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Link to my book talk: ...more
Jennifer Halbur
Mar 29, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Such an important book about middle school bullying and the search for quality friendships! Thanks for sharing an ARC with #bookposse.
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Born and raised in snowy Wisconsin, Claire Swinarski is the middle grade author of WHAT HAPPENS NEXT, coming spring 2020 from HarperCollins. You can usually find her scribbling away, drinking coffee, or wrangling her two littles. She's also the voice + author behind The Catholic Feminist Podcast and GIRL, ARISE: A Catholic Feminist's Invitation to Live Boldly, Love Your Faith, and Change the World ...more

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