Review Detail

Middle Grade Fiction 165
A rare outdoor adventure with a CAT
Overall rating
 
4.0
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
4.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
Haven is a small cat who was rescued as a kitten by Ma Millie and has lived in her house, snuggling with her and basking in the aroma of baking bread. They are occasionally visited by neighbor Jacob Levan, who helps out the older woman and is now raising a cow she once had. When Ma Millie becomes ill, Haven is worried. She tries to find Jacob, but the cows say he has gone into town. How will Haven get there? She finds herself in the company of a fox (who has no name-- thoses are for soft, domesticated creatures!) who is bored. The fox takes pity on Haven and offers to help her get to town instead of trying to eat her. The two struggle to make their way across the treacherous forest, eluding a determined bobcat as well as other threats. When they make it to the town, the fox (who has accepted the name True) goes about her way, but Haven can't find Jacob. Will the cat be able to get help before Ma Millie is in serious danger?
Good Points
Ma Millie's cozy house is a nice foil for the harshness of the woods. My favorite part is undoubtedly the fox, who could so easily have eaten Haven but took her on as a project because she was bored. Are foxes really the wily and deceitful creatures fiction has made them out to be, or is it just their cute faces with inscrutable expressions? The two have an unlikely friendship, but stick together and learn to enjoy each other's company. This is a great book to pair with Hashimoto's 2022 Bound for Home or Burnford's classic 1960 The Incredible Journey.

There are very few books about cat adventures; I can only think of the Warriors books and Blake's 2012 Last Free Cat. This is a somewhat shorter book, so would be good for elementary readers who are fans of Patricia MacLachlan's introspective books; I'm not sure why this one reminded me of her work. It will also work in middle school for the feline obsessed reader who would rather be cuddling a cat than reading about them. I will probably purchase, but enjoyed this author's graphic novel Allergic a lot more. I'm decidedly a dog person and believe in my heart of hearts that cats are evil and want to kill us all. My daughter's cats have not dissuaded me from this opinion!
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