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de Campi, Alex. Kat and Mouse; Teacher Torture, vol. 1.

de CAMPI, Alex. Kat and Mouse; Teacher Torture, vol. 1. Illus. by Federica Manfredi. Tokyopop. 96p. illus. c2006. 1-5981-6548-8. $5.99. J *

Young Kat is moving from rural Iowa to New England, where her father will be teaching science at a private school for the privileged. At Dover Academy, Kat learns that breaking into the school's impenetrable cliques is near impossible, but she's befriended by a self-appointed "cool nerd" named Mee-Seen, also known as Mouse. When Kat's father's lab is burglarized and her father blackmailed and in danger of losing his new job, she quickly learns that there is more to Dover Academy than snobby girls and dull-witted athletes. Kat and Mouse decide to get to the bottom of this mystery and together use science and forensics to finger the culprit.

This slender graphic novel with manga-style illustrations will hold wide appeal for young girl readers. Geared towards a predominately 'tween female-audience with an emphasis on math and science, this book comes across as smart rather than didactic or pedantic. Kat and Mouse are believable characters and their social troubles are masterfully captured. Clearly drawn illustrations feature hip hairstyles and clothes; this book should resonate with its intended audience. Think Nancy Drew meets Mean Girls; a surefire combination of mystery and science, this book is sure to please. Jennifer Feigelman, YA Svcs. Libn., Goshen PL, Goshen, NY

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

*--The asterisk highlights exceptional books.
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Author:Feigelman, Jennifer
Date:Nov 1, 2006
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