Friday, January 23, 2009
Please Welcome Children's Book Author, Linda Thieman
Katie and Kimble: A Ghost Story
Chapter book for ages 7-10
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Nine-year-old Katie Russell and her family LOOK like a normal family. But the Russells don't know they are living with Kimble, the ghost of a ten-year-old girl. That is, until Katie discovers Kimble and the two of them set off on a quest to find out what happened to Kimble's mother. -- Katie & Kimble: A Ghost Story is a chapter book at RL3 (reading level 3), and is the first in a series. The Katie & Kimble books are funny, engaging and exciting, but are not fear-based.
Linda Thieman (pronounced TEE-mun) writes the Katie & Kimble chapter book series (RL3) and runs the Katie & Kimble Blog (http://www.katieandkimbleblog.com). She has a master’s degree in applied linguistics and is a former English language teacher who has created a set of reading skills worksheets and classroom materials that teachers and homeschoolers can download from the Katie & Kimble Blog free of charge. The materials correspond to the first two books in the Katie & Kimble series and are guided by the standards set for third grade reading skills in Iowa school systems. Linda lives in Sioux City, Iowa.
Here's What Linda Has to Say:
Making Kimble Real: How an Entire Family Comes to Believe in a Ghost
by Linda Thieman
When I set out to write the Katie & Kimble: A Ghost Story chapter book series for ages 7 to 10, I knew that in order for future stories to work, the reader had to be convinced that Kimble, the ghost of a 10-year-old girl, was not just a figment of 9-year-old Katie Russell’s imagination. As a matter of fact, it was essential to future storylines that Katie’s whole family knew that Kimble was real.
How to accomplish that was the dilemma. One thing that helps Katie make up her own mind about Kimble is that both Toby, Katie’s two-year-old brother, and Twinkle, Katie’s dog, can see and hear Kimble. And they like her! From this Katie is able to deduce that Kimble is not only real but is also friendly.
By the end of the first book, Katie & Kimble: A Ghost Story, Katie and Kimble have become fast friends. Katie’s mom, Mrs. Russell, believes in Kimble but still can’t see her. She has become convinced of Kimble’s existence, though, because when Katie got into some big trouble, it was Kimble who used her own ingenuity to notify a still-not-quite-believing Mrs. Russell of where Katie was and the need to get there quickly.
So, by the start of the second book, Katie & Kimble: The Magic Wish, Mrs. Russell will casually include Kimble in conversations with Katie, but Katie’s dad, Mr. Russell, still knows nothing about Kimble. The family has only been in the new house for a few days and everything has happened so quickly that Katie never got around to telling her dad about Kimble.
That is all to change, and dramatically, when Katie and Kimble find a coupon for a magic wish in a box of breakfast cereal. The girls figure out the rules for the wish, talk it over, and decide it would be great for Kimble to be human for two days. The girls try it and the wish works, and the next thing you know, Kimble is in the arms of Mrs. Russell, whom she adores and calls “Mama.”
But no sooner has Kimble transformed than the three of them are faced with the central dilemma of the novel: how are they going to explain Kimble to Mr. Russell? There are no houses around, Katie has no friends, and Kimble is dressed like a girl out of time. As soon as Mr. Russell and Toby get home with the groceries, the girls bungle their way through an explanation, and Mr. Russell is suitably shocked.
Eventually, Mr. Russell just kind of lets the unreality of the situation wash over him and accepts Kimble as a normal child. And unless he is reminded, he keeps forgetting that she is actually a ghost.
In the end, the two days are over and Kimble disappears. But this time, there is proof that Kimble was there, that Kimble was real. For one thing, when Kimble was riding Katie’s new bike, she fell and the bike got scratched—and the scratch is still there. For another, when they had a picnic with Kimble out in the backyard, Mr. Russell took a picture of Katie and Kimble together, and the picture still exists once Kimble disappears.
The upshot of Kimble’s two days of being human is that once she returns in ghostly form, both Mr. and Mrs. Russell can see and hear her. The fact of whether she is real or not is never addressed again. She is real, and now it’s time to integrate Kimble into the family. There are a few bumps in the road along the way and boundaries need to be set when one lives with an active and intelligent little ghost. And that is the story of book three, Katie & Kimble: The Golden Door, which will be out in the fall of 2009.
Please leave a comment below to welcome Linda here.