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published: Aug 2014
ISBN:9781554984923

The Cat at the Wall

by Deborah Ellis

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cats, middle east
0 of 5
0 ratings
rated!
rated!
list price: $9.95
edition:eBook
also available: Paperback Hardcover
published: Aug 2014
ISBN:9781554984923
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 is the internationally acclaimed author of more than twenty books for children, including the Breadwinner trilogy; The Heaven Shop; Lunch With Lenin; Children of War: Voices of Iraqi Refugees; and Our Stories, Our Songs: African Children Talk About AIDS. She has won many national and international awards for her books, including the Governor General’s Award, the Vicky Metcalf Award, Sweden’s Peter Pan Prize, the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award, and the Children’s Africana Book Award Honor Book for Older Readers. Deborah knew she wanted to be a writer at the age of 11 or 12. Growing up in Paris, Ontario, she loved reading about big cities like New York. In high school, Deborah joined the Peace Movement, playing anti-Nuclear War movies at her school. Since then Deborah has become a peace activist, humanitarian and philanthropist, donating almost all of the royalties from her books to communities in need in Asia and Africa. Heavily involved with Women for Women in Afghanistan, Deborah has helped build women’s centers and schools, giving children education and finding work for women. In 2006, Deborah was named to the Order of Ontario. She now lives in Simcoe, Ontario.
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Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
Age:
9 to 12
Grade:
4 to 7
Reading age:
9 to 12
Awards
  • Short-listed, Red Maple Award
  • Commended, Cooperative Children's Book Center Choices
  • Commended, Bank Street's Best Children's Books of the Year
  • Commended, OLA Best Bets (Junior Fiction, Honorable Mention)
Editorial Reviews

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

— Kirkus Reviews

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

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

— Booklist

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

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

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

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

— Library Media Connection

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