Catalyst is a 2002 novel by Laurie Halse Anderson about a senior named Kate Malone. Teenreads.com put Catalyst on its Ultimate Teen Reading List. It is set in the same fictional setting of Anderson's previous novel Speak.
The book tells the story of Kate Malone, a preacher's daughter and high school student who is excellent in chemistry and aspires to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, but faces multiple tragic situations, ranging from rejection by MIT, to her neighbor Teri Litch's house burning down at the end of her senior year.
Throughout the novel Anderson makes extensive references to the periodic table of elements.The Book Report's Roberta O'Hara liked Kate's inner struggles, describing them as "realistic".
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