cover image Anna and the Cat Lady

Anna and the Cat Lady

Barbara M. Joosse. HarperCollins Publishers, $14 (170pp) ISBN 978-0-06-020242-2

Believable dialogue and thoroughly engaging characters distinguish this second book to star Joosse's outspoken nine-year-old. Here, the heroine of Anna, the One and Only strikes up a friendship with Mrs. Sarafiny, a neighbor who walks her six cats on leashes and wears a hat crocheted from bread wrappers. When Anna and her best friend, Bethie, get into trouble while exploring a vacant house, Mrs. Sarafiny comes to their aid. She is also there to help out when Anna needs to find a home for a stray kitten. As it becomes obvious that the woman--who is convinced that Martians are stalking her home--is growing increasingly daft, the two girls come to her rescue. Joosse sprinkles this tender story about the rewards--and responsibilities--of friendship with some genuinely funny incidents. Ages 8-12. (Feb.)