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Weber, Lori. Klepto.

WEBER, Lori. Klepto. Lorimer, dist. by Orca. 160p. c2004. 1-55028-836-9. $4.99. JS

Kat is a shoplifting expert. She knows the best places to hit and how to behave so that no one suspects her. Kat's parents are entirely clueless about her criminal activity. They are more concerned with her older sister, Hannah, who is currently living in a home for troubled teens after she was caught making deliveries for a drug dealer. Kat's parents live for the day Hannah will be able to come home, but Kat is not so sure her sister's return will be positive. Her thoughts of her sister range from memories of idyllic sisterly moments to reminiscences of Hannah's explosive rages. Kat was frequently left with bruises, and her stuffed animals and clothing were often ripped to shreds. Kat's thievery begins the day Hannah is taken away.

As the day draws closer that Hannah will return home, the frequency with which Kat steals things increases. She steals impulsively, often coming home with an item she doesn't remember taking. People at school discover her secret, and her classmates give her lists of things they want her to steal. When Hannah returns home, Kat is shocked to see that her sister is now mousy and sad rather than wild and angry. Yet Kat cannot find it within herself to forgive Hannah's previously abusive deeds. However, when Kat is finally caught, it is Hannah who steps up and straightens her out.

Teachers and librarians be warned: this book reads like a how-to manual for shoplifting. Although Kat is eventually caught, it is only because she doesn't follow the precautions she outlined in the beginning of the book. However, that caveat issued, this is a well-written and entertaining book. Kat's voice is one with which many will identify regardless of whether or not they possess any kleptomaniac tendencies. It is fascinating to read how Kat's actions run parallel to those of her sister and how the lackadaisical attitude of their parents feeds this behavior. Klepto is a quick read, and would be a great book to recommend to teenage girls. Heather Lisowski, YA Libn., Castle Rock, CO

J--Recommended for junior high school students. The contents are of particular interest to young adolescents and their teachers.

S--Recommended for senior high school students.
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Author:Lisowski, Heather
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Jan 1, 2005
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