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Kat, Incorrigible Hardcover – April 5, 2011

4.4 out of 5 stars 72 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 6-9–Resentful of her stepmother, her secretive older sisters, and the whole code of ladylike conduct in early-19th-century England, 12-year-old Kat Stephenson takes action. She chops off her hair, learns to use her mother's magical mirror, and fends off both well-meaning and threatening adults. Posing as a highwayman, she captures husbands for her sisters. There is more than a little wish-fulfillment here as the ignored younger sister–constantly criticized for her curiosity and impulsive behavior–discovers her exalted status while providing for her less-adept older siblings. The Regency world is drawn in broad strokes, and some secondary characters are more caricature than convincing, but the sisters–clearly close to the 21st century in their basic outlooks, even if Elissa, the eldest, fancies herself a Gothic heroine–are appealing and their relationship is believable. Regency romance and fantasy adventure all in one, this is a satisfying read and a promising beginning to a trilogy that is sure to be popular with middle school girls.–Kathleen Isaacs, Children's Literature Specialist, Pasadena, MD. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

This first title in the Unladylike Adventures of Kat Stephenson series evokes Jane Austen, Georgette Heyer, Alfred Noyes, and Libba Bray with tongue firmly in cheek. It’s 1803 and 12-year-old Kat must deal with her heritage of as-yet-untrained magic powers while saving her eldest sister from marriage to a wealthy cad old enough to be her father and helping the middle sister connect with her true love. Also in the mix are a loving but ineffectual father, a vicious stepmother, a dashing highwayman, and the mysterious “Order” of witches trying to recruit Kat for proper training in magic. Although it’s unlikely that young readers will be familiar with all the literary references, Burgis’ debut title rides on its swift pace and the delightfully feisty Kat, whose fearless and frequently impulsive actions will have readers cheering her on. Historical-fiction fans will enjoy this quick romp, and romance readers may discover Regency England’s charms, perhaps even enough to seek out Pride and Prejudice and other inspirations. Grades 6-10. --Debbie Carton

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 - 14 years
  • Grade Level: 5 - 9
  • Lexile Measure: 740L (What's this?)
  • Series: Kat, Incorrigible (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (April 5, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416994475
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416994473
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #768,475 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is the type of book that makes me say words like "delightful" and "charming" in this affected and giggly tone. Readers who liked Marissa Doyle's Bewitching Season or Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer's Sorcery and Cecelia will probably love Kat, Incorrigible. Kat has the same upbeat, spunky feel found in these books and is also set in Regency England.

Though a MG book, I can see this book appealing to YA and adult readers as well. Kat is only 12 and so she doesn't have any romance of her own, but she does act as matchmaker for her two older sisters. Her sisters' romances were completely heartwarming and satisfying.

Each of the sisters was equally endearing but very different from one another. It is impossible for me to choose which sister I liked the best, though Kat and Angeline are pulling a tiny bit ahead of Elissa. Kat is spunky and always getting herself into trouble (with hilarious commentary about it all). Angeline has a delightfully wicked streak and a take-charge attitude I loved. Elissa is the prim and proper sister who harbors a penchant for the drama and romance of Gothic tales. The interaction between the sisters reminded me of Jeanne Birdsall's Penderwick sisters (another series I highly recommend!). I hope we continue to see all of the sisters in future installments.

There is a light-hearted streak through the whole book and all of the scenes are laced with this giggly tongue in cheek undercurrent. I was laughing late into the night at both the events of the book and Kat's hilarious and over the top commentary. I kept reading each scene and thinking, "This is my favorite scene!" only to read a scene a few pages later and think the same thing all over again.
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Format: Hardcover
It's 1803 England and twelve year old Katherine Ann Stephenson is no lady! And she has no plans on being one either! So there!

Katherine Ann, or "Kat" for short, just discovered that she's managed to inherit her Mama's magical talents, and much to the consternation of all, she's bound and determined to use them. One way or the other. But when her eldest sister Elissa's sinister fiance, Sir Neville, shows decidedly too much interest in her magical talents and then Angeline, her other sister, is running amuck with her own wayward magical abilities, of course it's Kat to the rescue for one and all.

Kat, Incorrigible opens with these words "I was twelve years of age when I chopped off my hair, dressed as a boy, and set off to save my family from impending ruin." I was enchanted! I was hooked! I loved every word in this book! Stephanie Burgis has successfully created an alternate world and characters that jump off the page and into your heart and imagination. Kat, Incorrigible is funny, heartwarming and all together too much fun. I loved that Burgis had Kat find her Mama's magic book with her Papa's name written beside the love spell. Kat is rebellious and yet respectful and determined to save her family!

Stephanie Burgis has created a magical world within Kat's Regency England that is filled to the brim with fully developed characters, both the good and the not so good, the bumbling, the charming and the not so nice people in Kat's world are clearly written and easy to envision. The story and plot lines flow with a well timed rhythm that you willing want to follow.

I can't say enough about my love for Kat and this book. I"m sharing it with every young person I can find this year. And a few not-so-young people too! I can't wait to see what Kat and Ms. Burgis bring us next!
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Format: Hardcover
Sometimes middle-grade books are the some of the best books out there, and Kat, Incorrigible, Stephanie Burgis' fabulous debut, proves this point even further. Full of memorable characters, action, and wit, there is nothing not to love about this book, in my opinion!

Kat has always been the one most likely to get in trouble in her family, though she cannot help it that she does not like to follow the rules of society. She just has too much fun being her own improper, unique self. To make matters even better, she has recently discovered that she has inherited her mother's magical talents. Hoping that they will be able to bring about truth in her mother's demise, she knows she will have to learn how to use them, especially when her sisters' own disastrous love lives came into the mix as well. However, with the Order of the Guardians as well as her oldest sister's fiancée following her every path, this will not be the easiest of tasks! Will Kat be able to save the day? Will she ever get Step-Mama to understand her better? Only time and more pages will tell in this tale perfect for all ages!

Kat is without a doubt one of my favorite protagonists ever for many, many reasons. For one, she is smart and feisty- a girl who will do anything to make her family happy, even if it means taking some dangerous jumps along the way! Secondly, she is a perfect role model for young girls and boys. She shows that it is okay to be yourself, that doing what you think is right is the best thing in the world. Lastly, she is resilient yet feeble in some ways, making a perfect mix, if I do say so myself. Oh, how I wish I had Kat to read about in my younger years...

Better yet, the secondary characters in this are amazing as well.
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