Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Underneath

by Kathi Appelt

There is nothing lonelier than a cat who has been loved, at least for a while, and then abandoned on the side of the road.

The opening sentence of this novel says it all. This is a sad story. It is a sad story about an abandoned cat, an abused bloodhound, and the kittens they raise.

After being dumped, the pregnant calico cat happens upon a blues-howling bloodhound named Ranger. Ranger and the cat become fast friends. The cat gives birth, and the animals become a family. But their family is not for long.

There will be heartbreak, bravery, injury, and a whole lot of excitement. Beautiful and lyrical writing, this novel is best suited for reading aloud. Here’s the problem: the story is so sad and so brutal—I’m not sure who the audience for this book really is.


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