Deborah Ellis is a familiar author to me. I have reviewed her book Moon At Nine and I'm sure many of you would be familiar with her Pavana series.
The Cat At The Wall is another power packed read. Using the premise of an American adolescent girl who discovers herself as a cat in Bethlehem, the story unfolds. What I think is really clever about this book is how unlikeable I found the main character of the cat. That may sound like a criticism but to me it is a testament to the power of Ellis' writing skills. I managed to stick with the cat and maybe even start to like it. And along the way so much more than just an 'ancient conflict far away', is discussed, uncovered and explored.
If I were still teaching at middle school level I would recommend this as a book for all the children in my class, especially the girls, to read. There is so much about growing up, being mean, being a victim as well as humanity and conflict told with a powerful narrative that stops the book from feeling teachy.
Ellis is a writer who deals with big topics well and who opens up a world away for a modern young reader in a brilliant way. We need these kind of storytellers in the world. She is also incredibly generous - more than a million dollars in royalties from her books have been donated to organisations supporting health and education in Afghanistan.
Details - Allen and Unwin, September 2015 - hitting a shelf near you now. RRP $16.99.
love you more than an annoying cat who steals batteries xxx