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Caleb and Kit: 07/30/18
Caleb and Kit by Beth Vrabel is about a secret friendship between children who live across the river from each other. Caleb is experiencing his first summer of relative freedom, unusual because he has cystic fibrosis. Kit is newly moved into the old house across the stream and she is full of stories of fairies and magic. But not everything she says adds up.
The story is narrated exclusively from Caleb's point of view. He's twelve and he's going through a rebellious phase. He's upset at being forced to go to summer day camp — something usually reserved for much younger children. His older brother is working an internship. His parents are divorced. His mom, therefore, is working extra shifts and she doesn't feel like she can trust Caleb to be by himself.
Caleb spends a lot of this book ignoring his mother's wishes and sneaking out from day camp. He's being a kid but he's also putting himself at risk because of the CF. Because of his ongoing irritation at being different and at having a condition that most people don't understand he comes across as a not so likable character.
But the book does include all the details of what it is like to live with CF — something I've not seen in a novel before. The only other CF book I can think of is Breathing for a Living, Laura Rothenberg's memoir.
The book isn't just about Caleb. There's also Kit. She's clearly not being well cared for — any adult reading this book will see that. She pulls Caleb into a bunch of things he otherwise wouldn't be doing — some that could get him into trouble or hurt or worse.