Kiki Strike: Inside the Shadow City by Kirsten Miller
Publisher: Bloomberg Publishing PLC
Subject: Action & Adventure, Identity, Crime
Publication Date: May 2006
Ages: 11 and up
Kiki Strike is a mysterious new seventh grader at the Atalaya School for Girls. Ananka, the book’s narrator and classmate of Kiki, decides to find out more about her. At the same time, Ananka also wants to find out more about the giant sinkhole in the park across the street from her apartment in New York City, and why it leads to a hidden underground city. In fact, Ananka’s curiosity leads her to these discoveries and also to membership in a group of talented misfit girls called “The Irregulars”, led by Kiki Strike. Together, they work to explore the underground city and realize their adventures may lead them to more trouble and danger than they ever anticipated. Closing each chapter is a list of handy real-world survival tips, including “How to be a master of disguise”, “How to detect a lie”, and “How to take advantage of being a girl”.
Kirsten Miller’s debut novel is a rollicking adventure. The plot and intrigue keep the pages flowing at a brisk pace. Although some of the adventures are quite fantastic, this book is not a fantasy novel. The reader is convinced that, although unlikely, these adventures could actually happen. Reading this book can bring a sense of wonder, excitement, and intrigue to one’s everyday life. This book would appeal mainly to 11-14 year old girls, as the narrative shows how normal girls can find their own individual talents and have adventures. Boys might have a harder time finding an appeal in this book as there are no strong male characters. One other thing to note: although aimed at female readers, this book does not deal with romance or other traditionally “girly” topics, so it would appeal most to girls who desire something a little different from everything normally aimed at them.
Kiki Strike’s Web site: http://www.kikistrike.com/
“Unshelved” comic strip about Kiki Strike: http://www.overduemedia.com/archive.aspx?strip=20070204 (originally run 2/4/07)