cover image Tangles


Errol Broome. Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers, $13 (108pp) ISBN 978-0-679-85713-6

Neither her family nor her friends can console Sophie after her cat is hit by a car. At a local fair, however, Sophie discovers some kittens for sale at about the same time that she finds a wallet that belongs to her neighbor Mrs. Cochran. ``Borrowing'' five dollars, she purchases the small black kitten. As Sophie struggles with her conscience and some ongoing stomach pains, she learns that the latter are the result of an appendicitis attack. A compassionate, satisfying resolution avoids sermonizing, and the author's native Australian setting adds interest (the five-dollar bill, intriguingly, is purple). Slow pacing may detract from the story, which is, however, credible and focused on a conflict that will be of keen interest to the suggested age group. Simple loose black-and-white drawings neatly grace this quiet tale. Ages 8-12. (Apr.)