Catching a Storyfish
Published by: Wordsong
Release Date: September 20, 2016
This lyrical middle-grade novel-in-verse celebrates the power of story and of finding one’s individual voice.
Keet knows the only good thing about moving away from her Alabama home is that she'll live near her beloved grandfather. When Keet starts school, it's even worse than she expected, as the kids tease her about her southern accent. Now Keet, who can "talk the whiskers off a catfish," doesn't want to open her mouth. Slowly, though, while fishing with her grandfather, she learns the art of listening. Gradually, she makes her first new friend. But just as she's beginning to settle in, her grandfather has a stroke, and even though he's still nearby, he suddenly feels ever-so-far-away. Keet is determined to reel him back to her by telling him stories; in the process she finds her voice and her grandfather again. This lyrical and deeply emotional novel-in-verse celebrates the power of story and of finding one's individual voice.
A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year
Winner of the Paterson Prize for Books for Young People
Arnold Adoff Poetry Honor Award
A Cooperative Children's Book Center Choices Selection
"Keet, a girl from Alabama, loves language and storytelling, but her family's move to Illinois makes her feel silenced. . . . Harrington perfectly captures her character's growth by using all the tools poetry provides: artfully chosen words, thought-provoking metaphors, appropriate rhythm and pacing, and changing points of view. . . . Harrington also includes various poetic forms and a postscript offering additional information about each of them: an unusual addition for a title of this format. . . . Keet's is a simple and familiar-feeling story, but one that is understated, fully realized, deftly written, and utterly absorbing."
—Starred Review, School Library Journal
"A gentle-spirited book about a black girl who almost gives up her gift but for love and friendship."
—Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews
"This lyrical novel in verse effortlessly weaves together multiple poetry forms to introduce readers to Katharen, called Keet, a young girl who loves to talk and spin stories.... The poems effectively convey conflicting emotions; different styles (haiku, concrete, blues, etc.,) express moods and nuances without being distracting... This is a wonderful addition to the novel-in-verse canon, whether enjoyed individually, shared as a read-aloud, or used as a class text."