Cat in the City

illus. by Jill Weber. 208p. Dial. Sept. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780803740563; ebk. $10.99. ISBN 9781101627129.
Gr 4–6—A stray cat—later named Pretty Boy—is living on the streets of New York City when he is befriended by Roxie, Maggie, and Henry, a canine trio that often frequents Washington Square. Through his newfound friendship, Pretty Boy is taken in by Dee, the salon stylist who lives next door to Roxie's owner, and meets Eli, a lonely boy with a love of music, whose family has recently moved to the city. Just as Pretty Boy begins settling down, Dee decides to move and must leave him behind. Salamon interweaves the lives of several characters together, all of whom impact Pretty Boy as he learns to value friendship and family. With the theme of belonging at the forefront of the novel—from Pretty Boy's search for a home to Eli's struggle to adjust to urban life—the author successfully offers a story for young readers trying to discover their place in the world and their niche in life, and the flux and uncertainty that often goes with it. Weber's full-color illustrations brighten the pages, further adding to the charm of the book, and the ending, in which Pretty Boy finally finds a permanent, happy home, is satisfying. Bittersweet and meaningful, Cat in the City shows the solemnity and inevitability of change and the importance of finding a family and a home to call your own.—Laura J. Giunta, Garden City Public Library, NY
This story follows the adventures of a stray New York City cat named Pretty Boy, who goes from stubbornly self-sufficient to comfortably nestled within a circle of quirky companions. Weber's detailed, charming color illustrations bringing the culture of Greenwich Village vividly to life only somewhat compensate for Salamon's trite prose; still, the book may hold some appeal as an easy family read.

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