Book Review: Undercover, by Beth Kephart

undercover_coverThis book review is part of series of reviews written by students at St. Margaret’s Episcopal School for their 7th grade English classes.

The book Undercover by Beth Kephart is a very intriguing and well-written book. Friendship, if it’s meant to be, it will always come through in the end. Beth Kephart was born in Boston, Massachusetts and taught herself to skate, just like Elisa in the book , on a frozen pond in Boston. She won her first competitive freestyle competition at Wilmington, Delaware, rink.

There are three main characters in Undercover: Elisa an outcast, Theo a jock, and Lila a popular girl. Elisa is a poetic girl who doesn’t like to stand out. She has a passion for poems and ice skating. Beth Kephart states, “I got my dad’s curly auburn hair and altogether sensible- looking eyes. I got his pinprick freckles. And believe it or not, I got his double earlobe” (7). She is describing Elisa and when she did this it made a really vivid picture of Elisa in my head. She doesn’t have any friends, that is until Theo. She is only known by her poems, but no one understands her. Theo is a jock who asks Elisa for poems so he can give them to Lila, who he is dating. Immediately, Elisa and Theo have feeling for each other, but they cover it up and pretend that it’s not there. Lila is a popular girl who could care less about Elisa. She is always catching Elisa and Theo together, she thinks that they are friends. Elisa is really just giving Theo poems, but since Lila doesn’t know about the poems she gets really mad at them.

The book mainly takes place in the woods where there is a frozen pond. Elisa takes a pair of her mom’s skates and teaches herself how to ice skate. She teaches herself; crossovers, mohawks, spread eagles, spirals, waltz jumps, lunges, Ina Bauers, and spins. I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone who loves poems, big words, ice skating, and love stories. As Beth Kephart stated, “Here is how I skate: with music spilling directly through my bones. When I’m on the ice, I’m where the story begins” (92). I chose this as my book because I enjoy ice skating and, just like Elisa said in the quote, I feel the same way about ice skating.

If you are even a slight bit interested by my review I recommend you at least try reading Undercover by Beth Kephart.

-Allie A., 7th grade

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