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Catalyst Summary
Laurie Halse Anderson

Everything you need to understand or teach Catalyst by Laurie Halse Anderson.

  • Catalyst Summary & Study Guide

Catalyst Summary

Plot Summary

The novel Catalyst by Laurie Halse Anderson is a tale of teenage growth and coming of age. The protagonist and narrator of the novel, Kate Malone, is an eighteen year-old senior at Merryweather High School. She loves math, science, running track, and is fiercely loyal to her family. Her father, Jack, is a reverend; her brother, Toby, is fourteen. Kate cares for them, doing their laundry and making sure they take their medicine and eat well. Kate's mother has been dead for nine years, having died of sudden pneumonia.

Kate reveals to the reader that there are two sides to her: a good side (the Reverend's daughter, obedient, scholarly, athletic) and a bad side (where in her mind she is rebellious, and in person allows her boyfriend to put his hands all over her). Kate dreams of getting into MIT. Down the hill behind the Malone house and...

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Catalyst Study Guide

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