The Kid Table

( 10 )

Overview

What does it take to graduate from the kid table? That's what Ingrid and her five teenage cousins want to know when the oldest cousin lands a seat at the adult table. Over the course of five family events Ingrid chronicles her generation's attempt to grow up-from the laugh-out-loud dysfunctional moments to the more serious situations, like when Ingrid falls for her cousin's boyfriend. This is a must-read novel for anyone who has ever sat at the kid table . . . or is still ...

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The Kid Table

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Overview

What does it take to graduate from the kid table? That's what Ingrid and her five teenage cousins want to know when the oldest cousin lands a seat at the adult table. Over the course of five family events Ingrid chronicles her generation's attempt to grow up-from the laugh-out-loud dysfunctional moments to the more serious situations, like when Ingrid falls for her cousin's boyfriend. This is a must-read novel for anyone who has ever sat at the kid table . . . or is still sitting there!

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Myrna Dee Marler
Ingrid Bell's family has a portable kids' table for the six cousins, which appears at every family event, and in the Bell family, many family events mark the calendar year. As a result, the six cousins have grown remarkably close even though they all go to different schools. Ingrid is the seventeen-year-old protagonist, who feels herself in competition with her slightly older and more glamorous cousin Brianne, who is now in college and on the cusp of leaving the kids' table behind. Ingrid is dedicated to getting along with everybody and being the most charming (she considers herself a winner at this game). However, at one family party she meets a handsome, mysterious stranger to whom she is strongly attracted; but, alas, learns he is her cousin, Brianne's boyfriend. Although the boyfriend is equally attracted to Ingrid and they have many enigmatic and flirtatious encounters, he continues as Brianne's boyfriend and later becomes her fiance. All of which leads Ingrid to wonder if she really has the courage and the will to stop the wedding, one she knows is a mistake. It might well mean giving up her title as the family's most charming member. Ingrid is an interesting and complex character. The romance is compelling, and the other characters in the novel are all strongly drawn. There is some language and sexual talk but nothing graphic. Reviewer: Myrna Dee Marler
VOYA - Bonnie Kunzel
This delightfully quirky novel explores family relationships, with all their dysfunctional turmoil and insanity, as observed (and participated in) by its youngest members, those still relegated to sitting at the kid table. The protagonist, seventeen-year-old Ingrid Bell, has a refreshingly direct outlook on life and the ability to charm her way out of most situations, even when her older cousin, studying psychology in college, has the adults in the family more than a little convinced that Ingrid is a psychopath, based on her lack of emotions, inappropriate responses to certain situations, and a few dead pets (clearly not her fault, but still). Ingrid and five almost-grown cousins—Cricket, the anorexic; Dom, trying to clue his family in that he's gay; Micah, the exhibitionist; Autumn, the mother figure; and Brianne, the pseudopsychologist—and four-year-old Katie get together for five celebrations at the kid table: Bar Mitzvah, Thanksgiving, New Year's Brunch, Independence Day Pool Party, and Wedding. To set the record straight, Ingrid, who spends the year hiding her love for Brianna's boyfriend, is the most level-headed of all the cousins. Laugh-out-loud humor punctuates her clear-eyed musings about family and relationships, narrated in a perceptive, analytical, with-it voice, clearly not the voice of a psychopath but rather a perceptive teen with the gift of seeing things for what they are and coping with reality no matter how much those around her are off in their own worlds. Teen girls in particular will enjoy this unusual coming-of-age novel. Reviewer: Bonnie Kunzel
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—The Kid Table chronicles the lives of 16-year-old Ingrid Bell, her five teenage cousins and kid-table companions, and their family. First, Ingrid's cousin Brianne, a sophomore psychology major at Pepperdine, knocks Ingrid out of her spot as "most charming" by making a convincing argument that Ingrid is a psychopath. Then, at her Uncle Kurt's bar mitzvah, Brianne successfully graduates from the kid table, leaving the five remaining cousins to ponder her new status while dealing with being left behind. While Ingrid rationalizes her nonemotional responses, Seigel does not do much to deter readers from questioning Brianne's diagnosis. Ingrid's lack of empathy and morality are showcased especially when she laughs at Uncle Kurt's heartfelt bar-mitzvah speech, steals Aunt Brit's cell phone, gets sober Aunt Tish drunk and off the wagon, and makes out with Brianne's boyfriend, Trevor. Her desire to be liked and her feelings for Trevor take precedence over her cousins' problems, which include Cricket's eating disorder, Dom's strong desire to have someone else out him to the family, and Micah's identity crisis. In spite of Ingrid's psychopathic tendencies, her voice is bold, biting, and incredibly insightful. Seigel lightens some dramatic events with well-played humor, and the plot evolves over the course of five family events. This first YA novel is worth purchasing.—Adrienne L. Strock, Maricopa County Library District, AZ
Kirkus Reviews

Ingrid Bell, one of six mostly teenage cousins in a charmingly dysfunctional family, is a psychopath, according to oldest cousin Brianne. Or perhaps it's just part of the jockeying for position that happens around the Kid Table. Ingrid's psychopathy (or calculated charm and a few dead pets?) provides the thread through a particularly tumultuous year as the family unravels. Ingrid's first-person narration, especially in those moments when her calm makes the reader wonder if she is a psychopath, is fantastic, and the trials and tribulations manage to be both funny and sad (adult cousin Tish drinks too much, teen cousin Cricket has anorexia, Ingrid's mother busily collects memories for her scrapbook but forgets to live and Ingrid's in love with Brianne's boyfriend). The episodic structure (a handful of chapters at major events throughout the year from not-Jewish Uncle Kurt's post-adultery Bar Mitzvah to a wedding) serves as a metaphor for the family: a whole made of several disparate parts with some unanswered questions. Weirdly whimsical, adult author Seigel's (Like the Red Panda, 2004) YA debut delights. (Fiction. 14 & up)

From the Publisher
“Weirdly whimsical . . . Seigel’s YA debut delights.”

—Kirkus Reviews

 

“Bold, biting, and incredibly insightful. Seigel lightens some dramatic events with well-played humor.” —School Library Journal

 

“Quirky characters mixed up in sometimes all-too-real situations make The Kid Table a memorable and enjoyable read.”

—teensreadtoo.com

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781599904801
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
  • Publication date: 9/14/2010
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 1,410,951
  • Age range: 14 - 17 Years
  • Lexile: 950L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

ANDREA SEIGEL is the author of two acclaimed novels for adults, Like the Red Panda and To Feel Stuff. She decided to write her first young adult novel while sitting at the kid table at a cousin's wedding as she watched her preteen tablemates hit each other.

www.andreaseigel.com

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 10 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 11, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Sally Kruger aka "Readingjunky" for Teens Read Too

    Alright, I'll admit it, a book with mac and cheese on the cover grabs my attention. Sigh...it's a weakness I have grown to accept. My gluttonous desires aside, here's a review of THE KID TABLE by Andrea Seigel. The cousins have been sitting at the Kid Table for as long as they can remember. They've had a lot of fun sitting off to the side of the grownups' table over the years. The thing is, most of the "kids" are bordering on being grownups now themselves. Ingrid is a senior in high school, and Brianne is in college. Cricket, Dom, Micah, and Autumn are well on their way to adulthood, too. Only little Katie, not yet in kindergarten, really qualifies as a kid. Yet, here they all sit at each family celebration. The story begins with the Bar Mitzvah. Uncle Kurt is forty-six, but he's decided that converting to the Jewish faith and having a Bar Mitzvah is the next important milestone in his life. The family has gathered, of course, to show their support. Somehow, Ingrid has become the center of the conversation at the Kid Table. Brianne, a psychology major, has declared that Ingrid is a psychopath. She is ticking off a list of behaviors she insists verify her diagnosis. Ingrid finds it difficult to defend herself as she listens to Brianne recount the sudden and mysterious deaths of so many of Ingrid's beloved pets over the years. Just because her dog, Long John, died of old age while asleep at the foot of her bed, doesn't make his death her responsibility. Or does it? As these older "kids" find themselves attending family events like the Bar Mitzvah, Thanksgiving, New Year's Brunch, and more, this cast of cousins reveals all their unique and interesting characteristics. One cousin's anorexia is becoming more apparent, another is most definitely gay, and yet another's changing behavior and dress are crying out for some sort of attention. As Ingrid tells their stories, she battles with her own guilt about possibly being in love with her older cousin's boyfriend. Author Andrea Seigel brings back many a childhood memory for readers who can recall their own experiences while dining at the Kid Table. These infrequent holiday get-togethers offer cousins a chance to catch up, cause a little mischief, and also reveal the growing pains and stress of getting older and someday living up to family expectations. Quirky characters mixed up in sometimes all-too-real situations make THE KID TABLE a memorable and enjoyable read.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted July 28, 2013

    NYREADER

    I loveddd this book! I could totally connect with it, becaise my family has "a kid table" for all events too. As I started reading, i could start to connect with all the characters. Of course you have to think twice about Ingrid hooking up with her own cousins soon to be fiance, but thats how book are, they make u think. I loved the bond between Ingrid and Cricket, it made me remember all my cousins amd the close connection we have too. Each person i nthe family reminded me of my own, especially Grandma Cookie, who remended me of my oen, granny, who is the peace keeper and go to advice giver. The book is overall great ,the characters are solid and relateable, and i couldnt put it down. Some momemts were laugj out loud funny, others made you mad or upset.
    Great book that i recomend!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 23, 2013

    AWSM

    im going to read this book

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 5, 2011

    The Kid table, a book I thought would end differently.. (Spoiler alert)

    The cousins of the Bell family have been sitting at the kids table for as long as they can remember. The problem is that Ingrid, the main character, is a senior in high school, and Brianne is in college. Cricket, Dom, Micah, and Autumn are all in high school as well. Only Katie, who is not even yet in kindergarten, is the only one who qualifies as a kid. Yet, there they all sit at every family celebration. The story begins with Uncle Kurt's Bar Mitzvah and that is where Ingrid meets Trevor, who happens to be Brianne's boyfriend. Ingrid instantly falls for Trevor, before she knew he was Brianne's boy friend. Brianne, a psychology major, has declared that Ingrid is a psychopath. Ingrid sometimes believes she is a psychopath, seeing the signs of her own insanity. Trevor later asks Brianne to marry him, even though he knows that Ingrid loves him. I found this strange, because who gets married after only knowing each other for 2 months and you know you love another person. I found my self not relating to Ingrid at all sometimes because she thought way to much like an adult. I found a few characteristics of a teenager, but none that where major issues. The theme of this book caught me off guard. I thought it was going to be a book about a girl who was trying to grow up, but then it turned into this complicated mess with a guy that she cannot have. The ending of the book also felt as there was no resolution at all. I really wanted to know who Trevor would pick, Ingrid or Brianne. Also I wanted to know what Ingrid was going to do with him if he picked her to be his girlfriend. I enjoyed the book but, I did not end up where I thought I would at the end.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 2, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Weird but very interesting

    This book just felt weird to me in both good and bad ways. I couldn't connect with Ingrid very much. Because I view life in a polar opposite sort of way, I felt off-kilter at times. Maybe that's because so many YA books are depict a perspective of someone with a personality similar to mine? Or because the character herself is just erratic and disenchanted? I don't know. The texture of her thoughts was hard to relate to, though she was originally and authentically portrayed.

    I wasn't in love with the whole scenario. I thought that the character was being selfish by considering hooking up with her cousin's boyfriend, and the connection with him didn't seem mind-blowing enough to want to betray someone (albeit an annoying someone) that has been in your life forever.

    The family interactions were interesting, and the reader was able to glimpse life inside their quirky world. This part I could relate to because I, like most everyone else, have an incredibly weird family. It was refreshing to view the weirdness of someone else's family for once.

    Although I was very irked by various events in the story, it propelled me along with a readable quality. I had to keep reading because I wanted to see Ingrid make a responsible choice because I could tell that responsibility was lurking down deep in there somewhere despite some of her unpredictability.. By the end of the book, despite some of my misgivings, I was hanging on each word to find out what would happen in the final scene because I wasn't sure what would happen.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2010

    Read This Book

    Once I began this book it was hard to put down for any amount of time. Another great book from Andrea Seigel.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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