Kat and Meg Conquer the World

Anna Priemaza. HarperTeen, $17.99 (368p) ISBN 978-0-06-256080-3
Two tenth-grade girls become partners for a yearlong science fair project in Priemaza’s engaging debut, set in Edmonton, Alberta. Each struggles with a condition that impedes her social relations: Kat’s severe anxiety keeps her isolated in her new school, and Meg’s ADHD makes sustaining relationships difficult. When the girls discover a shared love of LumberLegs, a gorgeous internet sensation whose millions of subscribers watch him play the video game Legends of the Stone, a friendship develops and they decide to base their project on testing the effects of sugar on reaction times in the game. Writing in alternating first-person narratives, Priemaza captures the protagonists’ distinctive voices: Kat’s counting-based breathing exercises (“Seven crowds... eight socialization...”) and Meg’s hyperactive interactions that generally end with the question “Why do I always end up alone?” Snippets of game chat convey the freedom from social angst the girls find in their online avatars, while compelling supporting characters including Kat’s grandfather and Meg’s stepfather offer affecting subplots. Genuine friendship leads to acts of great courage in this entertaining and heartwarming story. Ages 13–up. Agent: Lauren Abramo, Dystel, Goderich & Bourret. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/11/2017
Release date: 11/07/2017
Genre: Children's
Ebook - 368 pages - 978-0-06-256083-4
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-06-268946-7
Compact Disc - 978-1-5384-5762-7
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Audio book sample courtesy of HarperAudio
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