Ghost Cats

Susan Shreve, Author Scholastic $14.95 (128p) ISBN 978-0-590-37131-5
Shreve (Jonah, the Whale) skillfully upends a familiar subject--a move to a new home--and crafts a memorable, emotionally honest story. The oldest of four children, 11-year-old Peter has grown up all over the globe: Tokyo, Edinburgh, Rome, Ghana, Prague, Washington, D.C., and Houston. He's liked changing cities and he's especially enjoyed being the head of the ""domestic army"" of siblings. But now Peter's father, a pediatric neurologist, has settled the family in Boston. As Peter's mother finally enrolls in law school and as his siblings make legions of new friends, Peter misses his old role as his mother's ally and second in command. Making sophisticated use of flashbacks, Shreve anchors Peter's complex feelings in everyday exchanges. Peter narrates, in a voice that is distinct and credible but that lets the other characters--the family members and even their cats--emerge with clear, well-formed personalities. Readers who have struggled with various forms of loss will especially warm to this illuminating and sympathetic story. Ages 8-12. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/30/1999
Release date: 09/01/1999
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