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Hey World, Here I Am! (Harper Trophy Book) Paperback – April 25, 1990
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Kate has already appeared in two book, Kate and Look Through My Window, but Hey World, Here I Am! certainly stands on its own. Little's writing style capture the teenage voice perfectly, without any of the angst or drama found in so many other books with a teen protagonist. Kate is caught between a world where she is old enough to have experience and reflect on her opinions, but still new to the world of adults. Truesdell's illustrations, wobbly black and white drawings, are both silly and sentimental. The drawings interact with the poems, somersaulting around the words. Not only will younger readers find a companion in Kate, they will be introduced to poetry and the short story format.
Kate is a great character. Strangely enough, the title poem "Hey World, here I am" is probably the one I liked the least in the whole book. I haven't read any of the other books that include Kate, but this book does stand alone. With this book, the reader gets an insight into Kate that is refreshing.
Rather than using long journal entries, Kate relates little things in her world through poems and through short stories. Some of these things are quite moving, such as the time that Kate's mother yells at her to clean her room. Later, Kate's mother comes back to apologize, saying she had a bad day at work, etc, and that she didn't mean to snap like that. Kate's observation on the situation is that she could deal with being snapped at, but having to deal with her mother's sadness was something much harder. Other observations are more joyful, such as the hope for spring (in February in Canada!) or being happy to have a best friend like her friend Emily.
I think this is a wonderful book. Don't let it's shortness put you off. Not every book is meant to be 300 pages.