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  • An African Alphabet
  • Wolf Island

By author: Eric Walters
Selling Points: "Cats, junkyards, teamwork, community"
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Pub Date: Aug/01/2011
Pages: 240
Fiction Ages 9-12
Price:  $9.95
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"I don't like cats," Simon said. "They're dirty."
   "They're not dirty," I said, defending Blinky and all of catkind. "They wash themselves all the time."
   "They wash themselves with their tongue," he said and made a face like he was grossed out. "But if you love cats, then this is the place to be. There are dozens and dozens of them here. I'll show you."
   My desire to get out of the junkyard wasn't as strong as my curiosity. Why would there be dozens of cats here?

Taylor and his mother have moved from a small northern town to the heart of Toronto. The differences are dramatic as Taylor becomes part of a classroom of kids as diverse as the city itself. While taking a shortcut across a junkyard with his new best friend, Simon, Taylor becomes aware of a colony of wild cats that make the junkyard their home. Assisted by his classmates, teacher and the security guard, Mr. Singh, Taylor takes a special interest in caring for the cats. Suddenly there is an announcement—the junkyard is being redeveloped to become condominiums. Can Taylor and his friends save the cats of the colony from certain death?
Booklist Online - October 23, 2012
"Emotions are sharply felt. Conflicts within the colony as well as a scary healthy measures of drama."
The Winnipeg Review - January 23, 2012
"[A] heart-warming cat rescue tale...Taylor is a striking, well-rounded character. He displays all the energy and eagerness of a typical young boy who loves animals, especially cats...The dialogue in this novel, both internal and actual is up-to-date and realistic, moving the action along well...This story will no doubt prove very popular with elementary school readers across Canada and the U.S."
Resource Links - October 1, 2011
"A wonderful read for any young person, especially one who is ready to develop their own values and make their own choices. Educators would find this book an excellent catalyst for a discussion on community, activism and citizenship."
Booklist - September 15, 2011
"Walters' story—written in collaboration with students in Toronto schools—moves fast and is plenty appealing...Readers will be too eager to see what happens...Solid writing, strong kid characters, caring adults, and cute animals could make this a popular choice."
CM Magazine - September 9, 2011
"Walters does a nice job in crafting a story that could be used to teach multiple subjects in a middle-school curriculum...Contain[s] enough interesting information about feral cat colonies and Toronto's cultural diversity to provide for interesting classroom discussions."
Quill & Quire - September 1, 2011
"[With] an authentic-sounding narrative voice...the book does a good job of incorporating the theme of cultural diversity into a personal story about accepting change...Taylor's voice is the novel's greatest strength, and his relationship with the cat colony, and one cat in particular, is where the story really engages."


Resource Links "The Year's Best", commended  CA  2011
Red Cedar Book Award nominee, short-listed  CA  2012

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Middle Reader Fiction

Compelling fiction
for at-level readers

Key Features:
Compelling stories
Age-appropriate plots

Teaching Resources:
Accelerated Reader
Curriculum Connections


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