Review Detail

Kids Fiction 117
Pets and Shared Custody
Overall rating
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
Elvis is a kitten who has ended up in a shelter with his sister, Etta. He is glad to be going to a forever home, but devastated that he and Etta are separated. He ends up in a home in San Franciso with Georgina, a girl whose parents are divorced and who also has Mo, a guinea pig, Laverne, a fish, and Clementine, an older cat who isn't very glad to see him. Georgina is sad about her parents being apart, and is very interested in architecture. She (and sometimes the animals) works on Lego models of famous buildings, and is very interested in the Twin Towers. She wants to visit New York City with both of her parents, but her mother in particular is less than thrilled. She splits time between her parents' apartments, but is not allowed to have pets at her father's.
Good Points
It is always good to see children with particular interests, and Georgina's love of building with Legos is one that many children share. She doesn't use kits for her buildings, but has an architecture book she uses to guide her. She is a little on the shy side, but takes a lot of comfort in the animals. Her parents, and their somewhat complicate shared parenting schedule, and good to see portrayed. This is a good way to introduce the topic of 9/11 to young readers. Mueller's occasional illustrations are completely charming and add a lot to the book. Reader who love Florence's Jasmine Toguchi books or Miles' Puppy Place series will enjoy this one a lot.

Keep in mind that this is told from the animals' points of view, and at first I thought that the animals were talking to humans and the humans could understand them. This is not the case.

This is a charming book for elementary students who are interested in animals but also might want some insight into how to deal with a divorce situation. The parents are referred to as Mommy and Daddy, which makes this seem young for middle school. The depiction of shared custody is realistic and positive, and will be great for readers of Sharp's Just Pretend, Rhuday-Perkovich and Vernick's Two Naomis, Murphy's Sweet Pea, and Klas' Second Dad Summer.
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