18 Jan

Unknown

I almost abandoned The Cat at the Wall by Deborah Ellis. I didn’t like the voice and it got off to a very slow start. In situations like this, I tend to peek ahead to see if it is worth continuing. I was curious about the teacher connection and wanted to know more, so I decided to persevere. In the end I was pleasantly surprised. There is a lot of depth in this slim novel about conflict, forgiveness, resolution and reconciliation. I am not certain the intended audience will get everything Ellis hopes they will, but some might.

Goodreads Summary: A cat sneaks into a small Palestinian house on the West Bank that has been commandeered by two Israeli soldiers. The house seems empty, until the cat realizes that a little boy is hiding beneath the floorboards. Should she help him? After all, she’s just a cat. Or is she? She was once a regular North American girl, but that was before she died and came back to life as a cat. When the little boy is discovered, the soldiers don’t know what to do with him. It is not long before his teacher and classmates come looking for him, and the house is suddenly surrounded by Palestinian villagers throwing rocks, and the sound of Israeli tanks approaching. As the soldiers begin to panic and disaster seems certain, the cat knows that it is up to her to diffuse the situation. But what can a cat do? What can any one creature do?

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