Review: Kat, Incorrigible by Stephanie Burgis

Published by Atheneum
Released April 5, 2011
304 pages
Where I got it: Public library
Rating: 4 stars

Twelve-year-old Kat has always been feisty.  The story opens with her cutting off her hair, dressing like a boy, and trying to go to London to make a living.  This is because her oldest sister is about to be married off to a terrible man, all to bring money into the family to cover Kat’s brother’s debts.  However, Kat has inherited her mother’s magical capabilities, drawing her into a society of magic workers.  Kat does not want to play by their rules, and uses her powers to get into a series of hilarious situations while trying to save the day, and her sister.

Kat, Incorrigible is a light-hearted middle grade novel set in Regency England, and full of magic and mayhem.  I normally am very skeptical of historical fiction, but this was written in such a way that it doesn’t try to hard to convince the reader that it is strictly adhering to history.  Rather, the focus is on characters, lively situations, and, best of all, magic.

Kat is a very likable heroine, and readers will be rooting for her and laughing along as she gets into trouble and finds a way to always have fun, even when society doesn’t want her to.  She doesn’t always know when to keep her mouth shut, and is unafraid to speak her mind.  In fact, her stubbornness is one of her best traits when doing magic.

The other characters rounded out the story well: Kat’s two sisters, one prissy (Elissa) and the other sassy (Angeline), Step-Mama who is always trying to better herself within society, Angeline’s dashing true-love, Elissa’s bumbling but sweet paramour, the Guardian who wants to teach Kat magic, and the dastardly Sir Neville.

All in all, Kat, Incorrigible was a great read when you want to be taken away by a story, but don’t want the fuss and muss of stress and over-emotional involvement.  This book is recommended for middle grade readers, as well as adults who want something light and pleasant that won’t take too much effort to slog through.

Plus, the cover art is gorgeous!  It really captures the whimsy of the story.

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