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published: Sep 2014
ISBN:9781554987078
publisher: Groundwood Books Ltd

The Cat at the Wall

by Deborah Ellis

tagged: cats, middle east
0 of 5
0 ratings
rated!
rated!
list price: $9.95
edition:Paperback
also available: Hardcover eBook
published: Sep 2014
ISBN:9781554987078
publisher: Groundwood Books Ltd
Description

A cat sneaks into a small Palestinian house on the West Bank that has just 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?

It turns out that this particular cat is not used to thinking about anyone but herself. She was once a regular North American girl who only had to deal with normal middle-school problems — staying under the teachers’ radar, bullying her sister and the uncool kids at school, outsmarting her clueless parents.

But that was before she died and came back to life as a cat, in a place with a whole different set of rules for survival.

When the little boy is discovered, the soldiers don’t know what to do with him. Where are the child’s parents? Why has he been left alone in the house? 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.

Not my business, thinks the cat. And then she sees a photograph, and suddenly she understands what happened to the boy’s parents, and why they have not returned. And as the soldiers begin to panic, and disaster seems certain, she knows that it is up to her to diffuse the situation.

But what can a cat do? What can any one creature do?

About the Author

Deborah Ellis

DEBORAH ELLIS is the award-winning author of several books for kids and teens. She is best known for her novel The Breadwinner, which she wrote following her work at refugee camps in Afghanistan. She has also written on other serious issues affecting young people around the world, including drug use, poverty, HIV/AIDS, and war.

deborahellis.com

Author profile page >
Contributor Notes

Deborah Ellis has won the Governor General’s Award, the Ruth Schwartz Award, the University of California’s Middle East Book Award, Sweden’s Peter Pan Prize, the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award, and the Vicky Metcalf Award for a Body of Work. She is a member of the Order of Canada and has been named to the Order of Ontario.She is best known for her Breadwinner Trilogy, set in Afghanistan and Pakistan — a series that has been published in twenty-five languages, with $2 million in royalties donated to Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan and Street Kids International.

Recommended Age and Grade
Age:
9 to 12
Grade:
4 to 7
Awards
  • Short-listed, Red Maple Award
  • Commended, Bank Street's Best Children's Books of the Year
  • Commended, OLA Best Bets (Junior Fiction, Honorable Mention)
  • Commended, Cooperative Children's Book Center Choices
Editorial Reviews

Quietly moving, full of surprises and, with Clare's colloquial and spirited voice, highly readable.

— Kirkus Reviews

The characters’ complexities are slowly revealed, adding layers to the story. Readers are plunged into the narrative, in the same way Clare must face her new feline life.

— School Library Journal

Without editorializing, Ellis’s suspenseful and thought-provoking novel offers a touching, humane context for one of the world’s most intractable situations.

— New York Times

The ultimate message that every one has a story and that everyone has a chance at redemption is a hopeful one . . . a useful fictional counterpart to Ellis’ nonfiction work.

— Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

Ellis takes quiet characterizations and situations, using gently eloquent descriptions and dialogue to immerse the reader in the raw tension.

— Library Media Connection

There are no black and whites here, only ordinary people caught in the tangle of history, misunderstanding, and fear.

— Booklist

Ellis's premise is an unusual one, but with it she crafts a thought-provoking and sensitive story about the power of empathy and selflessness.

— Publishers Weekly

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