Cauli Le Chat

Cauli Le Chat
Cauli Le Chat, MPL Roving Reporter

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

I Can Certainly Relate

I can certainly relate to the feline main characters in Paul Gallico's classic children's chapter novel, The Abandoned (1950).  Minions, make with the book trailer.

MPL Book Trailer #460
The Abandoned, by Paul Gallico

Human readers may find it far-fetched that the little boy Peter turns into a white cat after being accidentally struck by a coal lorry (in American English, that's a truck).  The change is definitely an improvement, as far as I'm concerned.  Peter is only cat on the outside, however; inside, he's still a little boy, and that makes him a lousy street-roaming kitty.  Luckily, he quickly meets Jennie, a street-wise feline who is willing to teach Peter the ropes and watch out that his human qualities don't get him into too much trouble.

It's truly a hard life for strays--I know, for I've lived it--but with good friends to take care of one another, the duo sets sail from London to Glasgow in search of Jennie's family.  Although Jennie is a heart-hardened cat--her experience with humans has been filled with betrayal and sadness--Peter's humanity shines through at times, teaching his protector that not all two-leggeds are irretrievably bad.

Can the little boy trapped inside a furry feline body find his way home?  You'll have to read the novel to find out.  Can he change back to being a kid-person again?  More to the point, why would he want to?  Being a cat is such an improvement over being human.

Although this novel is classified as a children's chapter book, it would be a difficult read for any people under age eleven.  I think it would be better suited for older 'Tweens and young adults (traditional teens) (i.e., ages 11-18), and even adult readers should thoroughly enjoy Peter and Jennie's adventures.  So, in short, ages 11 and older would be my recommendation.

The author, Paul Gallico (1897-1976), was clearly a cat lover who wrote several novels (and nonfiction books) devoted to feline characters.  Goodreads has an excellent bibliography of Gallico's books, of which my library has three available to checkout from our Evergreen Indiana catalog (search all Evergreen libraries to find additional Gallico works).

On a personal note, I was once a street-wandering kitty.  Having a loving family and a forever home is much better.  Thank you, kindly couple, for "rescuing" moi.  That said, I still enjoy venturing out now and again, so let's leave that kitty door open, shall we?  'Nuff said.

Your Roving Reporter On The Go,

Cauli Le Chat

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