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Finding Katie: The Diary of Anonymous, A Teenager in Foster Care Mass Market Paperback – October 18, 2005


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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 7-10–Fans of Go Ask Alice (S & S, 1971) and Dave Pelzer's A Child Called It (HCI, 1995) will be interested in this sensationalized autobiography written by a teen in dire straits. Katie is almost 16 when her diary begins. She is an only child, living on a private, gated estate near Hollywood. Her mother, a former beauty-pageant winner, was once attentive but now uses drugs and alcohol to dampen the psychological and physical pain of domestic violence. Her father, while violently abusing her mother, has always ignored Katie until he sees her in a two-piece bathing suit and begins showering her with gifts and inappropriate physical caresses. He becomes enraged when he finds out that Katie has seen a boy behind his back, and forces her, alone, onto the streets. Abandoned, she begins an odyssey from shelter to foster and group homes and, finally, to an adoptive mother. Teens will relate to Katie's lightning-quick mood changes, her idealism warring with depression, and her universal experiences with school and a first crush. They'll also get a glimpse into the lives of the enormously wealthy, followed by a look at life in truly hellish physical surroundings. Readers drawn to this account of lifelong emotional neglect and the resilience to withstand it won't mind the immature writing style, exclamation points and all, or the gaps in the narrative. A foreword explains the extent of abuse in the U.S., and brief information at the close includes toll-free crisis lines. If your library emphasizes popular materials, order multiple copies.–Faith Brautigam, Gail Borden Public Library, Elgin, IL
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 181 pages
  • Publisher: Avon Books (October 18, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060507217
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060507213
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.5 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,355,712 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Anyechka on December 29, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Perhaps I'm being too easy on this book, but I did find it marginally better than most of the other books written by Dr. Sparks. The plot seems to have more substance than usual, and I must hand it to her for getting through an entire book without constantly breaking out into excessive italics, exclamation points, and sentences written in all caps. The book even starts out seeming like it could have been taken from (or at least based on) an actual teenager's diary instead of entirely made up by the over the hill ultra-conservative ultra-religious psychiatrist.

However, as in all of her other books, there are a number of suspicious problems. It just reads too much like a book written, in journal form, deliberately and premeditatively about a specific problem, and not drawn from the pages of a real-life teen's journal. How many teen journals has Dr. Sparks really read if she thinks that they all focus so exclusively on a certain issue in their lives? It's like she wants us to remember her characters by their problems (Katie's in foster care, Kim has an eating disorder, Nancy has AIDS, Alice does drugs, Jennie has an affair with her teacher) and not by realistic fully-rounded personalities. For example, what are Katie's favorite foods, what would she do with a million dollars, what was she like as a child, what are the types of mundane things she does to fill her time, what was going on in her life before she started having problems? In spite of being a bit better-developed than usual, the characters in this book just never really came alive for me and seemed like more than one-dimensional cardboard cutouts. Most teen journals are also composed of a lot of mundane he said-she said-type chatter, you know, writing about things besides problems in their lives.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on January 12, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The book, Finding Katie, is a diary that was written by an anonymous teenage girl who after being rich, popular and having everything she wants would soon find out what it is like being in foster care. Katie is a 16 year old girl who goes to a Catholic school with her friend Jennifer and lives in a mansion like house with a pool. Katie's mother uses drugs and alcohol to get her through her pain from being abused by Katie's father. Katie's mother is a lot like Juana from The Pearl because Katie's mother is being treated badly by her (Katie's mother) husband just like Juana was being treated after Kino found the pearl. Katie's father ignores her until he sees her in a pink 2- piece bathing suit and then he starts to buy her things that she doesn't need. Katie goes into 3 foster homes and teaches the children living there about education. This book should be read by only mature readers because the book talks about things that children who aren't in middle school wouldn't know about and shouldn't know about until they are in middle school and are old enough to understand it. This book is excellent because it taught me that not all teenagers have an easy life but that some have a very rough and brutal life. This book would be a good read for teenagers who like true stories about someone their age who talks about finding a first crush and having their whole life change because of a parent or both parents.
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By Jordyn on September 15, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I expected way more from this book after reading other titles by this author, but this was a huge disappointment.
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By Avid reader on December 8, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The book provides a perspective not often heard. I respect the anonymity of the protagonist but in some ways it took away from the power of the message.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Momo on July 3, 2014
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
great
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on March 26, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Sorry, but this was written by a 15 year old? If she was coming from the "great" education that she had that was emphasized so much by the teen in the book.... no way. It wasn't very realistic. The fact that she seemed like an 8 year old but was about to turn 18 kept me from getting into it.

Worth a read for younger kids, although some of the parts may scare them.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By stormy on February 21, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was a great book I have read all of them and wished there where more of them. Hope you read them too
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Hannah on July 16, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
hey guys I love this book im not even done reading it and I LOVE it. like I said it is a must read!!!! This book really makes my life seem like a true blessing. after what she goes through in the beginning. her being between lies and painful experiences. I love this book and I hope u do too
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