Parents' Guide to

The Five Lives of Our Cat Zook

By Sally Engelfried, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Realistic story of girl coping with sick cat, dad's death.

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Kids say (1):

As Oona says in her Theory of Story-making that she learned from her dad, "A story doesn't have to be true, but it does have to be real"; by these exacting standards, ZOOK definitely succeeds. Oona's inner struggles are all the more believable because they aren't easy -- even when she knows what she should do to make a situation right, she can't always bring herself to do it, and her quandaries make her a sympathetic, relatable character. Oona defines herself as "a noticer," and she invites the reader to notice right along with her. Her observations about the lively and diverse community of Oakland are delightful, and her stories and theories to fit all situations help both Oona and the reader understand her world, even when the stories don't have happy endings.

Book Details

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