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GL BOOK CLUB: The Trials of Kate Hope

Wow!  It’s already week four of the GL Book Club!  So, last week we discussed Suite Scarlett, and on this week’s schedule is The Trials of Kate Hope by Wick Downing.

Lets sum up what’s happened to 14-year-old Kate in the course of this novel. Her brother and father were killed in a car accident when she was just barely 7, and since then her mom has kept a most watchful eye on her.  However, she isn’t the only one guarding Kate.

Kate’s grandfather, although old and sickly, rekindles his law practice with the assistance of his only granddaughter.  Finding a loophole in the law, Kate’s grandfather gets her to take the bar exam to become a lawyer and, lo and behold, Kate becomes the youngest practicing lawyer in the state of Colorado.

Not taken very seriously by her opposition, Kate handles two particular cases to court in the hopes of assisting some unfortunate souls to justice. 

An immigrant from Mexico is wrongly accused of theft and his family is about to be forced back to their home country where they will live in poverty.  The wealthy lawyer of the accusing party underestimates the power of Kate and her grandfather who fight for the justice that normally is bypassed for those who cannot afford the means of defense.

Kate’s other case deals with a dog that was said to have attacked a little baby.  Miss Willow only has her dog Herman in her life to ease her loneliness and insists that the dog did not do wrong and shouldn’t be destroyed.  Kate’s late father is the only other person to have attempted to defend a dog in court, and now Kate fights for her dignity and the life of an innocent pup.

Making her way in the courtroom isn’t the only challenge of Kate Hope’s life.  In addition to being a fourteen-year-old lawyer, she’s a fourteen-year-old girl.  Her peers view her as a weirdo and her boy friend (not boyfriend), Mike, is sending her mixed signals—or maybe she’s just mixed.  Throw in a couple of nutcase witnesses and an ailing grandfather to fill in for, and Kate’s got a whole lot of trouble she needs to argue her way out of.

Let’s get chatting!

1) Can you believe that a fourteen-year-old can be a lawyer?  If you could, would you aspire to be like Kate Hope and have a profession now?  What about if you could be a doctor or a teacher or whatever instead of a lawyer?

GL Emily:  I’m not fourteen anymore, and I don’t aspire to be it again.  In addition to the drama of being a teenager, the last thing I need is the drama of a courtroom.  I’ll just keep living vicariously through Law and Order reruns.  Being a teen is a full-time job.

2) Which part of Kate’s life do you feel was the most complicated?


GL Emily:  As a young girl, she really shouldn’t have to take on the responsibility of somebody’s life.  If she flubbed the cases, a family would be uprooted and a dog would be killed.  I think her grandfather was a little selfish in pushing Kate into being a lawyer.

3) Would you want to date someone like Mike or would you rather keep a guy like him strictly in the “friends” category?


GL Emily:  He was so dorky and very adoring.  I’d have to date him.  I’m a sucker for geeks.

4) Who were your favorite characters and who were your least favorite?


GL Emily:  Ron Benson and Mr. Thomas were such jerks with inflated egos.  Miss Willow, although a good person, was a bit annoying, as was Spencer.  Spencer ruined his testimony and lost his credibility as a witness.  Mike and Kate’s mom were my favorite by far.  They put Kate before everything and that shows how unselfish there love for her was.

5) Did you find this book inspirational?


GL Emily:
  It definitely shows that although people underestimate the abilities of someone who may be younger or a different sex.  In the 1970s, women weren’t often lawyers (let alone teenagers).  Kate overcame all her obstacles and showed how perseverance and a pure heart can win, even with all the odds against her.


DON'T FORGET! Be sure to check out the July Book Club schedule and get involved in all of next month's babetastic book discussions!

6/29/2008 5:31:00 AM
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