Monday, September 2, 2013

diane recommends Kiki Strike by Kirsten Miller

For a very fun, light read, I decided to read the Kiki Strike Series. The reason I really like these books is because they do not have language, but they are still geared to a slightly older audience than my normal middle grade reads.

(On the left, are the original covers to the books. I, personally, like those better than the new ones, on the right, but, if you decide to buy the series, you should get the new ones because the third book only matches the re-done covers.)

Kiki Strike is girl who is a little bit different. She is often described as "elfish" with her pale skin, and her shimmering white hair, but, she is also very pretty, in a different sort of way.

In the first book, Kiki creates a group of friends who call themselves, "The Irregulars" and she takes charge of her group as they start their adventures together. They learn Kiki's true identity, what her mission is, and whether or not they can trust her.

In the next book they continue their adventures together and start to learn things about Oona Wong, the fashion Chinese girl with an attitude. When they discover some dark secrets about her family, they have to decide whether she should be trusted, or whether she is loyal to other people.

And, finally, in the third book, that recently came out, readers learn all about Betty Bent. Betty has her own adventure while the Irregulars can only sit and watch it play out. They discover that being tough is not always the only way to be strong. Being nice is  more courageous at times.

All of the books are written in Ananka Fishbein's voice, and she gives you some nice tips. Although these tips are not necessary to read, and only loosely relate to the book, they are really funny, and they help you understand what Ananka is thinking.
"Test Your Detective Skills
 . . .
The Following test will help you determine whether you're ready for action--or could use a little more practice. Keep in mind--in real life, there are no multiple choice questions.
 . . .
2. What time did your next-door neighbor leave his house this morning?
     a. Exactly ten minutes and eleven seconds later than yesterday
     b. Who knows? I decided to sleep in
     c. I would never intrude on someone's privacy!
     d. Come to think of it, I haven't seen him in weeks. Maybe I should knock at his door"

"How To Plan An Escape Route
 . . .
[These] come in handy when you're avoiding an annoying suitor, evading the authorities, or running from a furious sibling.
 . . .
Wear the Right Things.
Unless you're attending a ball, try to wear clothes that will allow you to move comfortably. In particularly dangerous situations, you may want to choose fabrics such as wool or silk that won't easily catch on fire or melt under extreme heat."

Each book gets a little older, the first book starts out really simple, with a bunch of seemingly little girls. The next one, they are a little bit older, a little more experienced, and you start adding a little bit of boy drama when Kaspar, Betty's soon to be boyfriend, enters the story. By the third one, they have added more boy drama, and a little language. I think that they will probably come out with more books in the series, but I really liked these books because they were language free, so although it will still be a fun, adventurous read, don't count on them being language free from here on.

The only slight problem that I had with the book was that Miller kept foreshadowing and I was very annoyed with it. At the end of the chapter, it would often end with a statement that was going to give away the next part of the book. Personally, I would rather figure it out myself, instead of having it told to me.
"But before the night was over, the Irregulars would discover the terrible price they had paid for their pleasure."

"'I'll wait. It's not that important,' said Oona, and I suddenly suspected it was."
Overall, I really liked these books, and I am still looking forward for the next one to come out.

Kiki Strike: The Darkness Dwellers
by Kirsten Miller
published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
January 2013

Recommended for ages 11-13

Kiki Strike: The Empress's Tomb
by Kirsten Miller
published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
October 2007

Recommended for ages 12-14

Kiki Strike: Inside the Shadow City
by Kirsten Miller
published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
May 2006

Recommended for ages 13-15

1 comment:

  1. These are some of my favorite girl power books! So fun! I agree, I like the old covers better too.