"Katy's New World"
by Kim Vogel Sawyer
Source: Goodreads First Reads contest, sent from Zondervan Books
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Athena Smith, the costume curator for a Chicago museum, is elated to finally see the legendary vintage gowns worn by a city icon, Bertha Palmer. But the gowns are owned by the Clayworth family, who are not on good terms with Athena's family. The Clayworths just fired Athena's father from their company for unknown, but scandalous, reasons. So Athena has little hope of gaining the gowns for an exhibition at the museum. While looking at the gowns, she inhales a toxin which acts as a truth serum. Wh...more Katy is the only teenager in her Mennonite community who wants to extend her education past the required 9th grade. She is given special permission to attend the public high school, but will she be able to keep her faith while exposed daily to "worldly" things and experiences? Katy's mother left the Mennonite faith when she was little, and that meant she left Katy and her father too. Katy worries that by being exposed to "worldly" things, she'll follow in her mother's footsteps, hurting her father and grandparents.
"Katy's New World" is a great story for young teens. Katy is high school, but this book is geared more to younger teens and tweens and their issues. At first, I was skeptical about this one because it seemed a little cliche, but once the characters were developed, I was really drawn in. Katy's relationships with her old friends, her new friends from her new school, and her father are carefully written and realistic.
At her new school, Katy realizes that not all "worldly" things are bad. She quickly makes friends with Shelby, the daughter of a preacher. Sometimes, Shelby proves to be a better friend to Katy than her friends from the Mennonite community. Katy struggles trying to balance her two worlds, and the result is that she feels like an outsider both at school and in her community.
Katy overcame challenges to her faith and she does make mistakes. However, she learns from her mis-steps and in result she makes a choice, a decision, instead of blindly following along with what she is told to do.
Main Characters: 4/5
Supporting Characters: 3/5
Cover: 2/5 (not really a fan of this cover)
Bottom Line: This was a great book for tweens, with rich characters and honest feelings about fitting in that all young people feel.