Kaline Klattermaster's Tree House
Kaline Klattermaster's Tree House

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Annotation: Third-grader Kaline Klattermaster's father has gone somewhere and his mother cannot seem to keep everything straight the way he did, but the two brothers and one hundred dogs that live in his imaginary treehouse--and his strange neighbor Mr. Osiris Putnaminski--help him cope with his father's absence, his mother's forgetfulness, and the bullies that torment him in school.
Catalog Number: #23870
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
All Formats: Search
Common Core/STEAM: Common Core Common Core
Publisher: Atheneum
Copyright Date: 2008
Edition Date: 2010
Illustrator: Brown, Peter,
Pages: 152 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-689-87403-0 Perma-Bound: 0-605-17628-0
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-689-87403-1 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-17628-7
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2007031979
Dimensions: 20 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
When his father leaves, Kaline's carefully structured life quickly dissolves into CHAOS. Matters get worse in school where the class bullies target Kaline, stealing his pants and demanding money. Kaline, who does not waste much time differentiating between reality and imagination, finds solace in an extravagant pretend tree house peopled with two older brothers and a hundred puppies. The brothers give him advice about the bullies and his missing father, urging Kaline to approach his eccentric neighbor, Mr. Putnaminski, for help. Mr. P pulls through, setting into motion a satisfying resolution to both problems. Kaline is a likable boy eet, vulnerable, funny. The book's central themes of being true to oneself and standing up to bullies are well handled.Written to reflect the thought processes of Kaline's high-charged mind, the style is eccentric, often employing CAPITALIZED WORDS for emphasis. Children who can tackle the quirky reading style will find a hero as wild and engaging as Joey Pigza.
Horn Book
A boy uses his imagination to cope with bullies and his parents' separation. Readers may find humor in the coy malapropisms, pig Latin, and quirky names. However, the characters are two dimensional, and randomly all-capitalized words ("Mr. Putnaminski was a light-brown-skinned man with a beard and WHITE HAIR, which he wore in a PONYTAIL") make the sentences difficult to read.
Kirkus Reviews
<p>Kaline Klattermaster, fresh out of third grade, is one of those kids who TALKS IN CAPITAL LETTERS, has a crazy mother and moves between his imaginary world and the real world with breathtaking frequency. Though the book is written in the third person, this style of using capital letters all the time gives the appearance that Kaline is actually writing the book himself. From within this frantic narrative, the reader has to dig out the bones of the story: Kaline's obsessively organized father has left the family and everything is out of whack. There is no one to make the dinners, clean the house, mow the lawn or keep everything straight. Kimmel peers into the world of a creative, wildly imaginative boy facing his first real crisis. She cares deeply for the boy, but it will take a special reader to sort through the imaginary friends, side trips into the absurd and detours into the unlikely. Worth the effort, though, for those who persevere will find abundant laughter and sweet resolution. (Fiction. 7-10)</p>
Publishers Weekly

At the beginning of third grade, Kaline Klattermaster has a lot of troubles. His father has disappeared from home, and Kaline's ditzy mother won't say where he is. At school Kaline is tormented by bullies and needs to follow all sorts of rules, such as keeping his bottom on his seat and writing “consistently” with the same hand. When things become overwhelming, Kaline escapes into an imaginary world, where he has a magnificent tree house and two friendly older brothers. In her children's fiction debut, bestselling novelist Kimmel (A Girl Named Zippy) creates some memorable moments, especially near the end, when Kaline bonds with Mr. Osiris Putnaminski, his eccentric white-haired neighbor, who looks “like a CRAZY SANTA CLAUS” and provides help when it's needed most. However, the narrative abruptly jumps from Kaline's fantasies to his down-to-earth concerns about family and school; the shifts are problematic and confusing. Gimmicky devices (like the frequent use of capitalization) are more distracting than effective, and at times Kaline comes off as much younger than his years. His mispronunciation of words (“pangemonia,” “The Declamation of Inkpendence”) and academic struggles contradict the precociousness offered as an explanation for his having started school a year early; if anything he seems to have some sort of disability. However much readers may sympathize with Kaline's circumstances, they are likely to have trouble relating to the character and understanding what makes him tick. Illustrations not seen by PW. Ages 7-12. (Feb.)

School Library Journal
Gr 3-4-Third-grader Kaline Klattermaster can't sit still. Sounds he doesn't even know he is going to make just pop out of his mouth. He starts out to do a task or his homework but then a single word or idea captures his complete attention and he's off in a daydream. In the real world, his dad has disappeared (Kaline's scatterbrained mother says only, "He's not here") and bullies are making school miserable. When his mother reads him a newspaper article about "grown up" tree houses, his imagination is off and running, creating a dream tree house filled with interesting objects, 100 puppies, and two cool older brothers who understand him perfectly. However, Kaline may need some real-world help to deal with his problems. His perceptions and actions are often hilarious, and the story offers a great look into the mind of someone who marches to a different drummer. No mention is made of a disability, but those familiar with ADHD might make a connection to Kaline's behavior. Fortunately he has parents (Dad has moved out but makes an appearance at the end) and a kindly neighbor who, while they develop different strategies for dealing with him, love him exactly the way he is. Kaline is a real, likable character and is reminiscent of a younger Joey Pigza. Readers will enjoy stepping into his imaginary world, empathize with his troubles, and cheer him on throughout the story.-Kelly Roth, Bartow County Public Library, Cartersville, GA Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
ALA Booklist (12/1/07)
Horn Book (8/1/08)
Kirkus Reviews
Publishers Weekly
School Library Journal
Wilson's Children's Catalog
Word Count: 20,164
Reading Level: 5.5
Interest Level: 3-6
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 5.5 / points: 3.0 / quiz: 120554 / grade: Lower Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:6.7 / points:6.0 / quiz:Q43210
Lexile: 990L

It’s easy to understand why wiggly Kaline Klattermaster wants to squirm away from his life: Already struggling with his inability to sit still or stay quiet, now his dad is gone and his mom won’t say where. To escape the chaotic world of his mother’s reign, Kaline thinks up a perfect hiding place—an imaginary tree house complete with 100 puppies and two older brothers who give him advice. Like Joey Pigza in Jack Ganto’s bestselling novels, Kaline has ADHD, making him all the more relatable to young readers, who will empathize with and cheer for him as Kaline finds the courage to leave the tree and face the real world.

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