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Kat and Mouse: Teacher Torture
A Review

review by Scott Tingley, October 27, 2006

Would you be interested in an intelligently written and smartly illustrated book that empowers young girls and even has a cool science experiment and history of the leading character's female heroes? Its name is Kat and Mouse: Teacher Torture and it's not for you. It's for kids. Oh, all right. You can read it too, but give it right back.

“When Kat's dad gets a job as a science teacher at a posh private school, things seem perfect--that is, until her rich, popular classmates shove her to the bottom of the social heap just for being smart. And bad turns to worse when an anonymous student blackmails Kat's dad to give the class better grades! Can Kat and her new friend, a rebellious computer nerd named Mouse, find the real culprits before Kat's dad loses his job?”

Now, like I said when I reviewed The Babysitter's Club from Scholastic a while back, I am not exactly the target audience for this book. But, just like I said for Babysitter's , I liked it anyway. Alex de Campi has written a story that is simple, but intelligent – a hard thing to do that many fail at when writing comics, tv, etc. for kids. The artist, Federica Manfredi, is as unknown to me as de Campi, but she is a perfect complement to the writing. Her art takes the best of Manga style (those Japanese comic digests found all over the place) and the best of Western storytelling to make a smooth, engaging book that was a lot of fun to read.

I would say that Kat and Mouse is what you would get if you crossed Babysitter's with Nancy Drew (or Hardy Boys, or any other youth mystery series that I've never actually read) with CSI (minus the cameras going into bullet wounds) . The science element is fun, interesting, and not forced at all (the experiment shows you how to DUST FOR FINGERPRINTS! None of my Spiderman comics ever showed me how to do that).

Speaking of The Babysitter's Club graphic novel that came out a few months ago, this is a great companion for it. It is the kind of series that I would like to see offered right next to it in the Scholastic Book orders.

Make it happen. I'll wait here.

By the way, the publisher has rated the book as being appropriate for ages 8-12, and I agree.

$5.99 (US) $7.99 ( Can. ) 3.99 ( UK )

Pages:96, ISBN:1-59816-548-8, Item #:TPBK-16548

Or, just order from the publisher.

I wanted to steal lines from this piece by the book's editor, but I thought I would link it for you to read instead. This is where you will find a preview of the book as well.

Any questions or comments, contact me at comicsintheclassroom @ gmail.com


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