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The Kayla Chronicles

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Overview

Kayla Dean, junior feminist and future journalist, is about the break the story of a lifetime. She is auditioning for the Lady Lions dance team to prove they discriminate against the not-so-well endowed. But when she makes the team, her best friend and fellow feminist, Rosalie, is not happy.

Now a Lady Lion, Kayla is transformed from bushy-haired fashion victim to glammed-up dance diva. But does looking good and having fun mean turning her back on the cause? Can you be a strong ...

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The Kayla Chronicles

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Overview

Kayla Dean, junior feminist and future journalist, is about the break the story of a lifetime. She is auditioning for the Lady Lions dance team to prove they discriminate against the not-so-well endowed. But when she makes the team, her best friend and fellow feminist, Rosalie, is not happy.

Now a Lady Lion, Kayla is transformed from bushy-haired fashion victim to glammed-up dance diva. But does looking good and having fun mean turning her back on the cause? Can you be a strong woman and still wear really cute shoes? Soon Kayla is forced to challenge her views, coming to terms with who she is and what girl power really means.

Narrated with sharp language and just the right amount of attitude, The Kayla Chronicles is the story of a girl's struggle for self-identity despite pressure from family, friends and her own conscience. Kayla's story is snappy, fun and inspiring, sure to appeal to anyone who's every questioned who they really are.

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Editorial Reviews

Detroit Free Press
"A well-told story."
Romantic Times
"The writing is as strong as the tropical sun in this Florida journalist's second young-adult novel. "
BookPage
"Kayla narrates her story with plenty of sass, energy and enthusiasm....sure to inspire young women."
(starred review) - Booklist
"A refreshing departure....a buoyant thoughtful comedy....few recent novels for younger YAs mesh levity and substance this successfully....will transcend racial lines to hit home with a large number of young women."
From the Publisher
"A fun, sassy, lighthearted story."—School Library Journal

"More novels are needed like this one about a diverse, smart, talented, black young lady determined to leave her mark on society."—VOYA

"A refreshing departure....a buoyant thoughtful comedy....few recent novels for younger YAs mesh levity and substance this successfully....will transcend racial lines to hit home with a large number of young women."—(starred review), Booklist

"A well-told story."—Detroit Free Press

"The writing is as strong as the tropical sun in this Florida journalist's second young-adult novel. "—Romantic Times

"Kayla narrates her story with plenty of sass, energy and enthusiasm....sure to inspire young women."—BookPage

VOYA - KaaVonia Hinton-Johnson
In this witty novel, fourteen-year-old Mikayla Alicia Dean sets out to prove that teen girls can be smart, pretty, and athletic and still save the world. Kayla's life is complicated from the start: She has to come to terms with the loss of a loving grandmother, the reemergence of two career-seeking parents, and the "stankaliciousness" of best friend Rosalie Hunter. The plot gets moving when Rosalie forces a half-hearted Kayla to try out for a coveted position on the Lady Lions, the most popular dance team in the area. But Rosalie and Kayla have two different missions. Rosalie hopes that Kayla will be cut from the dance team and write a scathing exposT accusing the Lady Lions of discriminating against girls, whereas Kayla hopes that she will make the team and motivate the dancers to join her group, SPEAK, as they rally against injustice and demand the empowerment of girls. In a little over a month-and just in time for her fifteenth birthday-Kayla reflects upon herself, matures, and develops into a well-rounded sophomore unafraid of trusting her own gut instinct. Variations in font size and style and the insertion of headlines, e-mail messages, and quotes from notable women, make this book a fun but informative read. A humorous but unnecessary list of terms (see, for example, stankalicious, crunktacular, joygantic, and slangaroo) called "Lexicon of Kayla-isms" concludes the book. Although Kayla's actions are often predictable and many of the characters, such as the flawless younger sibling, are staples in this genre, there are still a few surprises involving race and class issues. More novels are needed like this one about a diverse, smart, talented, black young lady determined to leaveher mark on society.
KLIATT - KLIATT Review
Kayla is almost 15, a sophomore in high school, trying to figure out how she fits into her family and her world. For years she has been bossed around by her best friend, Rosalie, who is trying to save females from exploitation. Kayla thinks she agrees; well, of course she agrees. Mostly raised by her feminist grandmother, a professor, Kayla is trying to come to terms with her grandmother's death just as she is attempting to discover what she herself wants out of her own life. She knows she has a good mind and she wants to be a serious student. She loves to use her body, trained by years of gymnastics, and when there is a chance to audition for the champion dancers, the Lady Lions, she goes all out. Rosalie figures Kayla won't be chosen because she isn't glamorous, and thus it's going to be an opportunity to blast the Lady Lions for discrimination. Kayla's proud when she is accepted by the dancers, much to Rosalie's disgust. Now what? A makeover? A boyfriend? Race doesn't seem to be a component in this story because every character (I think) is African American. The high school is known for academic excellence, and even those once-suspect Lady Lions turn out to be smart, friendly, and community-minded. Kayla chronicles her dilemmas, interspersing her comments with quotes from feminists and using her own vocabulary at times for emphasis. (A lexicon of Kayla-isms is included at the end of the novel; well, do you know what "funktaciousness" means?) Frequently funny, earthy, and as fast paced as Kayla's dance moves. Age Range: Ages 12 to 18. REVIEWER: Claire Rosser (Vol. 42, No. 1)
School Library Journal

Gr 7-9- This is a fun, sassy, lighthearted story of a Florida high school freshman who's trying to make a graceful transition into young adulthood. Kayla faces the usual difficulties: parents who don't understand her, a beautiful younger sister, and, of course, boy troubles. An aspiring journalist, she is persuaded by her friend Rosalie to try out for the Lady Lions dance team and expose its prejudice for large-breasted girls. This is an opportunity to stand up for women and show that looks don't make the person. Things don't turn out as expected, however, and Kayla finds herself making the team and enjoying the friendship of the other dancers. The novel is written in first person, diary style, with teen jargon and quotes from Zora Neale Hurston, Oprah Winfrey, Mary Wollstonecraft, and others interspersed throughout. A "Lexicon of Kayla-isms" is appended.-Sheilah Kosco, Bastrop Public Library, TX

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316114318
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
  • Publication date: 3/1/2009
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 723,356
  • Age range: 11 - 14 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Sherri Winston lives in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, where she is a columnist for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. The Kayla Chronicles is her debut novel.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 9 )
Rating Distribution

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(7)

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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2014

    Cat

    Hay

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2014

    Kayla

    She did it on purpose

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2014

    Jake

    Really? Why?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2014

    Love her

    Just like me

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 16, 2013

    Priesdent of the whole fifth grade


    Ilnhtkj

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2012

    Chloe Age 12

    If you are a christian then I sugest have your parentes lookit over frist : )

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  • Posted November 2, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Katie Hayes for TeensReadToo.com

    Aspiring journalist Kayla Dean and her best friend, Rosalie, are committed to feminism and fighting the injustices of society. Rosalie's latest plan is one that will push Kayla out of her comfort zone: Kayla will try out for their school dance team in order to prove their hypothesis that the Lady Lions only take girls with ¿big, luscious breasts,¿ and Kayla will <BR/>write an expose for the school paper. <BR/><BR/>But Kayla, a great dancer who has never quite gotten her confidence level to the point where she's comfortable performing, is in for a shock when, despite wearing an A-cup, she makes the team. Even more surprising is her realization that she likes being a Lady Lion and enjoys getting dressed up and wearing cute outfits. Now she has to find a way to reconcile her long-held beliefs with her newfound hobby¿¿"and to do so without losing her best friend. <BR/><BR/>I liked this book because it takes a fairly ordinary high school situation and makes it interesting with a distinct, funny style that reflects the main character's personality. Kayla tends to think in headlines, like ¿Kayla Dean Infiltrates Dance Team. Senate Probes Plight of Itty-Bitties. A-cups Get Their Due!¿ She also invents so many of her own words and phrases that there's a ¿Lexicon of Kayla-isms¿ at the end of the book. Kayla-isms include ¿blind-sexy: when someone looks so good even a blind person would go, `Mmm!'¿ and ¿dis-bliss: the point at which bliss gets run over by the dump truck of disgrace.¿ <BR/><BR/>Kayla is a funny, memorable character, and the book's theme - "the ability to retain one's femininity while still fighting for women's rights - "is one that will resonate with readers.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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