Going, K.L. 1973- (Kelly Louise Going)

views updated

Going, K.L. 1973- (Kelly Louise Going)


Born August 21, 1973, in Rhinebeck, NY; daughter of William "Bud" and Linda Going; married. Education: Eastern University, B.A., 1995. Hobbies and other interests: Music, reading, travel.


Home—Glen Spey, NY. E-mail—[email protected]


Writer. Has worked variously as an adult literacy tutor, airline ticket agent, resort hotel desk clerk, and assistant to a literary agent; Merritt Bookstore, Cold Spring, NY, manager.


Michael L. Printz Award, American Library Association, 2004, Reader's Choice Award, Pacific Northwest Library Association, Best Books for Young Adults citation, Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), Best Books of the Past Decade citation, YALSA, and Junior Library Guild selection, all for Fat Kid Rules the World; Children's Choice winner, Children's Book Council/International Reading Association, for The Liberation of Gabriel King; Best Books for Young Adults citation, YALSA, Best Book of 2006 citation, Publishers Weekly, 2006, Best Book of 2006 citation, School Library Journal, 2006, and Junior Library Guild selection, all for Saint Iggy.


Fat Kid Rules the World, Putnam (New York, NY), 2003.

The Liberation of Gabriel King, Putnam (New York, NY), 2005.

Saint Iggy, Harcourt (Orlando, FL), 2006.

The Garden of Eve, Harcourt (Orlando, FL), 2007.

The author's works have been adapted for audio and translated into Korean, Japanese, and Italian. Contributor of short fiction to the anthology Full House, edited by Pete Hautman, Putnam Juvenile, 2007. Contributor of short fiction to periodicals, including Rush Hour.


Author K.L. Going made her writing debut, and also earned the American Library Association's Michael L. Printz Award, with Fat Kid Rules the World, the story of a dejected six-foot, one-inch, 300-pound Watson High School senior named Troy Billings. Through the development of a rather unlikely friendship with local rock musician Curt MacCrae, Troy becomes a drummer in his new friend's band, and he begins to deal with his depression while simultaneously working through numerous other personal issues as well. A reviewer for Publishers Weekly called the debut novel "savvy and fast-paced," while Ilene Cooper commented in Booklist that while Going's "narrative could have been tighter in places," Fat Kid Rules the World "is an impressive debut that offers hope for all kids." Renee Steinberg stated in a School Library Journal review that because the novel contains "many unexpected twists and turns," readers "will love" Going's "wonderful, engrossing tale."

The Liberation of Gabriel King is the story of a ten-year-old boy living in rural Georgia in the mid-1970s, and how he overcomes his fear of the local bullies with the help of his best friend, a girl named Frita, who is the only black student in his class. Gabriel's newfound courage is put to the test when Frita is threatened by the Klan, and he has to decide whether or not to stand by her. Hazel Rochman, reviewing for Booklist, remarked: "Going's message sometimes overwhelms the story," but added that "there is lots of farce and fun, too." Renee Kirchner, writing for Kids Read.com, opined: "Readers can connect to Gabriel King and may even learn a thing or two about conquering their own fears."

In Saint Iggy, the title character finds himself suspended from high school after getting into a fight with one of his teachers. Despite a distinct lack of support from his dysfunctional parents, he determines to turn his life around before he has to face a hearing to decide if he will be expelled. His need for parental approval and role models sends him to his friend Mo, a college dropout with a drug problem, and from there Iggy must decide whose advice he can trust. Gillian Engberg, in a review for Booklist, remarked that "Going … grounds her story in grim, realistic urban details, and she creates a memorable character in Iggy."

On her Home Page, Going explained that her fiction is based on the feelings she experienced while growing up. "I've always been small and thin (4'11 and 3/4"!), but I've spent a vast amount of my life feeling like the ‘fat kid’—namely, self-conscious. I try to tap into the extreme ends of the emotional spectrum. I'm not as interested in the stable feelings in the middle. I take the best and worst feelings and try to make those emotions come alive through my characters."



Booklist, May 15, 2003, Ilene Cooper, review of Fat Kid Rules the World, p. 1659; May 15, 2005, Hazel Rochman, review of The Liberation of Gabriel King, p. 1674; September 15, 2006, Gillian Engberg, review of Saint Iggy, p. 60.

Horn Book, July-August, 2003, Peter D. Sieruta, review of Fat Kid Rules the World, p. 456.

Kirkus Reviews, May 1, 2003, review of Fat Kid Rules the World, p. 676.

Publishers Weekly, June 23, 2003, review of Fat Kid Rules the World, p. 69.

School Library Journal, May, 2003, Renee Steinberg, review of Fat Kid Rules the World, p. 152.


Kids Read.com,http://www.kidsread.com/ (August 29, 2007), Renee Kirchner, review of The Liberation of Gabriel King.

K.L. Going Home Page,http://www.klgoing.com (January 5, 2005).