Skip to main content

Klise, Kate

Klise, Kate

Personal

Born in Peoria, IL; daughter of Thomas S. (a writer and film producer) and Marjorie A. (president of Thomas S. Klise Co.) Klise. Education: Marquette University, graduate.

Addresses

Home and office—P.O. Box 744, Mountain Grove, MO 65711.

Career

Writer and journalist. Correspondent for People magazine.

Awards, Honors

Young Adults' Choice Award, Children's Book Council, 1999, for Regarding the Fountain, and 2000, for Letters from Camp; Juvenile Fiction Award, Friends of American Writers, 2002, for Trial by Journal.

Writings

FOR CHILDREN

Deliver Us from Normal, Scholastic Press (New York, NY), 2005.

Far from Normal, Scholastic Press (New York, NY), 2006.

FOR CHILDREN; ILLUSTRATED BY SISTER, M. SARAH KLISE

Regarding the Fountain: A Tale, in Letters, of Liars and Leaks, Avon (New York, NY), 1998.

Letters from Camp, Avon (New York, NY), 1999.

Trial by Journal, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2001.

Regarding the Sink: Where, Oh Where, Did Waters Go?, Harcourt (Orlando, FL), 2004.

Shall I Knit You a Hat?: A Christmas Yarn, Henry Holt (New York, NY), 2004.

Regarding the Trees: A Splintered Saga Rooted in Secrets, Harcourt (Orlando, FL), 2005.

Why Do You Cry?: Not a Sob Story, Henry Holt (New York, NY), 2006.

Regarding the Bathrooms: A Privy to the Past, Harcourt (San Diego, CA), 2006.

Imagine Harry, Harcourt (Orlando, FL), 2007.

Regarding the Bees: A Lesson, in Letters, on Honey, Dating, and Other Sticky Subjects, Harcourt (Orlando, FL), 2007.

Little Rabbit and the Nightmare, Harcourt (Orlando, FL), 2008.

43 Old Cemetery Road: The First Summer, Harcourt (Orlando, FL), 2008.

Sidelights

Kate Klise writes children's books, many of which are designed and illustrated by her sister, M. Sarah Klise. Called a "comic epistolary novel" by a critic in the New York Times Book Review, the duo's first collaboration was Regarding the Fountain: A Tale, in Letters, of Liars and Leaks. The sisters' story is told through a series of drawings, letters, newspaper clippings, memos, and school announcements, a story-telling device used in many of the duo's illustrated novels. Regarding the Fountain focuses on the need to replace a leaking drinking fountain at the Dry Creek Middle School. When Principal Russ decides to get his school's new fountain from Flowing Waters Fountains, he expects to receive a traditional fountain. To his surprise, and to the delight of the children, owner Florence Waters turns out to be an artist who creates fountains that are individually sculpted pieces of art. Her ideas for the school fountain include an ice-skating rink, a chocolate-milk dispenser, a natural whirlpool, and a flock of exotic birds. A subplot involves the disappearance of the town's water supply, the activities of villainous Dee Eel, president of Dry Creek Water Company, and Sally Mander, head of the Dry Creek Swimming Pool. Clues to the mystery surrounding the missing water are uncovered by a fifth-grade class working on a history project about the town. Writing in Kirkus Reviews, a critic dubbed Regarding the Fountain "a tale overflowing with imagination and fun," while Rita Soltan noted in School Library Journal that Klise "cleverly establishes character traits and motive" and called the book "fresh, funny, and a delight to read." A Publishers Weekly contributor called the book a "good-natured story with an irrepressible main character."

Regarding the Sink: Where, Oh Where, Did Waters Go? finds Flo Waters once again taking center stage as the sixth graders of Geyser Creek Middle School ask her to replace a dilapidated cafeteria sink. The only problem is that Flo has vanished while on a trip to China, and now the middle graders are determined to find her. Meanwhile, to further complicate school life, beans have become the staple of school lunches as the result of slimy Senator Sue Ergass's moneymaking scam (which includes feeding cows nothing but beans so they produce more methane gas). A Kirkus Reviews contributor called Regarding the Sink "an amusing sequel," while in Horn Book, Susan P. Bloom commented that, "the Klises provide a satisfying denouement to this utter mayhem." In a review for School Library Journal, Jean Gaffney called the illustrated novel "a clever, unconventional reading experience."

In Regarding the Trees: A Splintered Saga Rooted in Secrets "the puns fall faster than autumn leaves," according to Horn Book contributor Susan P. Bloom. Worried over an upcoming school evaluation, Principal Russ asks Flo to assist in trimming the school trees, thereby sparking student protests, a town uprising, and a cooking face-off between two local chefs. All ends well, however, and romance even blooms. Police reports take their place among letters, newspaper articles, and other communications in Regarding the Bathrooms: A Privy to the Past as the principal's hope of renovating a basement bathroom during summer session is stalled when several escaped convicts are found hiding in the school, along with a cache of stolen Roman antiquities. The action moves to seventh grade in Regarding the Bees, as budding student romances, stresses over standardized tests, and difficulties surrounding the school mascot's appearance at a regional spelling bee culminate in a flurry of humorous visual communications. Describing Regarding the Trees as "filled with humor and whimsical characters," Shelle Rosenfeld added in Booklist that "kids will enjoy the peppy, multiformat read." In School Library Journal, Cheryl Ashton noted that "each page" of the book "is painstakingly laid out in scrapbook form," and a Kirkus Reviews writer dubbed Regarding the Trees "consistently clever and often hilarious."

Leaving the students of Geyser Middle School behind, Klise has also written stand-alone novels for preteen readers, among them Deliver Us from Normal and Far from Normal. In Deliver Us from Normal Klise tells the story of twelve-year-old Charlie Harrisong, who lives in Normal, Illinois, but whose poor family is far from the norm. Charlie is teased at school and is embarrassed about his family and their unusual lifestyle. When the family decides to leave Normal and live on a junky houseboat, Charlie is at first distressed that his life will never, ever be normal, but he eventually learns that not being normal has its benefits. When readers rejoin Charlie in Far from Normal, two years have passed and the family's circumstances have changed drastically. After Charlie's article about life on the houseboat is published in a national magazine, he and the Harrisong family are strong-armed into becoming the spokesfamily for the discount retailer Bargain Bonanza. Although they are set up in an all-expense-paid home in a luxury apartment with all the Bargain Bonanza merchandise they desire, this glamorous life comes with a cost, and the stress of fame takes its toll on everyone.

In a Horn Book review, Susan Dove Lempke wrote that in Deliver Us from Normal Klise "shows a gift for getting inside her narrator, [and] delivering his perceptions with immediacy and self-deprecating humor," while Far from Normal benefits from a "fast-moving plot" and its author's "grasp of family relationships and her sharp wit." In Booklist, Jennifer Hubert compared Klise's humor to that of authors Gordon Korman and David Lubar, noting her arch commentary "on commercialism and the cult of celebrity." Even in the modern world Charlie and his family "remind readers what is really important—honesty, integrity and the loyalty of family," concluded Janis Flint-Ferguson in her Kliatt review of Far from Normal.

Another standalone novel by Klise, Letters from Camp, also features M. Sarah Klise's unique art. The story focuses on Camp Happy Harmony, where brothers and sisters who cannot get along are sent to learn to love and respect each other. The camp's owners, however, are a group of singers turned con artists who are bent on killing each other and who use the children like slaves, to do all the work of maintaining the camp, including cleaning septic lines, building fences, and painting, all the while making them wear strange uniforms and sing bizarre songs. Not-so-happy campers are kept in line through drugged food served in the Wysteria Cafeteria. Despite the circumstances, the children learn to cooperate, and brothers and sisters eventually do learn to care for each other as they solve the mysteries of Camp Happy Harmony. A Publishers Weekly contributor found the book a "bit less satisfying" than Regarding the Fountain, but also noted that "the humor is obvious but kid-friendly, the mystery simple yet fun to solve." Writing in Booklist, Debbie Carton commented that the story is "all in all, an entirely satisfying camp adventure that even those who have never been to camp will relish." Other standalone novels by both sisters include Trial by Journal.

The Klise sisters address a younger crowd in their picture book Shall I Knit You a Hat?: A Christmas Yarn. Here they tell the story of Mother Rabbit who knits a hat for her son to protect him from an oncoming blizzard. Little Rabbit loves his hat and never takes it off, but he is concerned for his other animal friends and suggests that he and his mother make hats for all of them as Christmas gifts. Little Rabbit returns in several other picture books, turning five in Why Do You Cry? and creating an imaginary friend in Imagine Harry. "The Klises consistently sound notes of tenderness and humor," noted a Publishers Weekly contributor of Shall I Knit You a Hat?, and School Library Journal critic Suzanne Myers Harold cited Imagine Harry as a picture book that "strikes a balance between humor and understanding." J.D. Biersdorfer, reviewing Shall I Knit You a Hat? for the New York Times Book Review, described Klise's story as "a nice change of pace" and noted that "the Klise sisters team up to show that the giving is just as important as the gift."

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Booklist, August, 1998, Susan Dove Lempke, review of Regarding the Fountain: A Tale, in Letters, of Liars and Leaks, p. 2006; September 1, 2001, Shelle Rosen- feld, review of Trial by Journal, p. 106; September 1, 2004, Francisca Goldsmith, review of Regarding the Sink: Where, Oh Where, Did Waters Go?, p. 124; December 1, 2004, Ilene Cooper, review of Shall I Knit You a Hat?: A Christmas Yarn, p. 659; November 1, 2005, Shelle Rosenfeld, review of Regarding the Trees: A Splintered Saga Rooted in Secrets, p. 47; May 1, 2006, Kathleen Odean, review of Why Do You Cry?: Not a Sob Story, p. 92; September 1, 2006, Shelle Rosenfeld, review of Regarding the Bathroom: A Privy to the Past, p. 129; October 15, 2006, Jennifer Hubert, review of Far from Normal, p. 45.

Horn Book, May-June, 1998, Nancy Vasilakis, review of Regarding the Fountain, p. 345; May-June, 2001, Susan P. Brabander, review of Trial by Journal, p. 328; September-October, 2004, Susan P. Bloom, review of Regarding the Sink, p. 588; July-August, 2005, Susan Dove Lempke, review of Deliver Us from Normal, p. 471; September-October, 2005, Susan P. Bloom, review of Regarding the Trees, p. 582; November-December, 2006, Susan Dove Lempke, review of Far from Normal, p. 717.

Kirkus Reviews, July 15, 2004, review of Regarding the Sink, p. 688; November 1, 2004, review of Shall I Knit You a Hat?, p. 1051; July 15, 2005, review of Regarding the Trees, p. 792; May 15, 2006, review of Why Do You Cry?, p. 519; July 15, 2006, review of Regarding the Bathrooms, p. 725; September 15, 2006, review of Far from Normal, p. 958; May 15, 2007, review of Imagine Harry; July 1, 2007, review of Regarding the Bees.

Kliatt, March, 2005, Nola Theiss, review of Deliver Us from Normal; November, 2006, Janis Flint-Ferguson, review of Far from Normal, p. 45.

New York Times Book Review, September 20, 1998, review of Regarding the Fountain, p. 32; December 19, 2004, J.D. Biersdorfer, review of Shall I Knit You a Hat?, p. 26.

Publishers Weekly, April 30, 2001, review of Trial by Journal, p. 78; September 27, 2004, review of Shall I Knit You a Hat?, p. 61; May 1, 2006, review of Why Do You Cry?, p. 62.

School Library Journal, June, 1998, Rita Soltan, review of Regarding the Fountain, p. 147; June, 1999, Connie Tyrrell Burns, review of Letters from Camp, p. 132; June, 2001, Sharon McNeil, review of Trial by Journal, p. 152; October, 2004, Jean Gaffney, review of Regarding the Sink, p. 170; November, 2005, Cheryl Ashton, review of Regarding the Trees, p. 138; July, 2006, Robin L. Gibson, review of Why Do You Cry?, p. 80; August, 2006, Wendy Woodfill, review of Regarding the Bathrooms, p. 123; December, 2006, Rebecca Stine, review of Far from Normal, p. 148; June, 2007, Suzanne Myers Harold, review of Imagine Harry, p. 110.

Voice of Youth Advocates, April, 2007, Anita Beaman, review of Far from Normal, p. 52.

ONLINE

Flamingnet.com,http://flamingnet.com/ (February 17, 2005), Caroline Devilbiss, review of Deliver Us from Normal.

Kate and Sarah Klise Home Page,http://www.kateandsarahklise.com (July 20, 2005).

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Klise, Kate." Something About the Author. . Encyclopedia.com. 14 Nov. 2018 <https://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Klise, Kate." Something About the Author. . Encyclopedia.com. (November 14, 2018). https://www.encyclopedia.com/children/scholarly-magazines/klise-kate

"Klise, Kate." Something About the Author. . Retrieved November 14, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/children/scholarly-magazines/klise-kate

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.