Kladstrup, Kristin 1961-
Kladstrup, Kristin 1961-
Born March 31, 1961, in Sioux City, IA; daughter of Arlo (in business) and Barbara (a librarian) Kladstrup; married; children: two sons. Ethnicity: "European." Education: St. Olaf College, B.A., 1983; Lesley University, M.Ed., 1990.
Home—Watertown, MA. E-mail—[email protected]
The Book of Story Beginnings (novel), Candlewick Press (Cambridge, MA), 2006.
Kristin Kladstrup is an American writer. Born in Sioux City, Iowa, on March 31, 1961, Kladstrup is the daughter of a businessman and a librarian. She went on to earn a bachelor of arts degree from St. Olaf College in 1983, and later, a master of education degree from Lesley University in 1990.
Kladstrup published her first novel, The Book of Story Beginnings, in 2006. The novel introduces Lucy, a twelve-year-old girl who uncovers a magical element in her family's past. She moves to the family farmhouse after her father receives notice that he will not get a tenured position at the college where he teaches. At the new house, she learns of the disappearance of her great-uncle Oscar in 1914 when he was just a teen. Legend has it that he sailed away from the house on a black sea that surrounded the landlocked house. When Lucy discovers his notebook, she also finds that Oscar has returned from some magical world, unaware that he had been missing for scores of decades and still a teen. Lucy, who wrote in the notebook, learns that whatever is written comes true. Unfortunately, she had put her father in danger with her writing and needs Oscar's help to fix the problem by taking her to the magical world that the notebook connects to their reality.
Booklist contributor Carolyn Phelan noted the variety of topics and genres this single novel offers, commenting: "If that sounds like a plateful, it is, but many readers will find something here" that they will enjoy. Lesley Farmer, writing in Kliatt, remarked that "family dynamics are cleverly transformed and addressed in this fanciful cautionary tale." A contributor to Publishers Weekly observed that the story seemed "convoluted," but conceded that the mixing of alchemy and transformations "makes for whimsical escapism." The same contributor noted that "plot trumps character development; as a result Lucy never quite comes into focus." Writing in School Library Journal, Sue Giffard mentioned that the beginning and end of the story were both "exciting" and "thrilling," but found that the middle part of the story "moves slowly." Overall, Giffard described the story as "an interesting investigation into the power of writing and story, along with a warm and believable look" at Oscar and Lucy's relationship. A critic writing in Kirkus Reviews found the story "densely plotted." The same critic noted that "the resolution spans the storied world and Lucy's own; committed fantasy fans might enjoy the metaphysical journey."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, March 1, 2006, Carolyn Phelan, review of The Book of Story Beginnings, p. 88.
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, July 1, 2006, Karen Coats, review of The Book of Story Beginnings, p. 505.
Kirkus Reviews, April 1, 2006, review of The Book of Story Beginnings, p. 350.
Kliatt, March, 2006, Lesley Farmer, review of The Book of Story Beginnings, p. 13.
Library Media Connection, August 1, 2006, Daniel R. Beach, review of The Book of Story Beginnings, p. 73.
Publishers Weekly, May 15, 2006, review of The Book of Story Beginnings, p. 72.
School Librarian, summer, 2007, Dennis Hamley, review of The Book of Story Beginnings.
School Library Journal, April, 2006, Sue Giffard, review of The Book of Story Beginnings, p. 142.