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Boris Paperback – November 1, 2006


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 80 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (November 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0152058095
  • ISBN-13: 978-0152058098
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,690,896 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 8 Up–This is a memoir told in 19 poignant vignettes. The free-verse poems, with marvelous use of space and line endings to create pacing and suspense, celebrate Boris the cat in Rylant's signature, dry-but-endearing style. None are exuberant, yet readers will certainly enjoy the recognition of feline (and human owner/friend) behavior. The language is delicate and precise. The vocabulary is not erudite or fancy, but it is mighty expressive. The selections encompass companionship, bewilderment, tenderness, apprehension, wry laughter, and all those emotions pet owners (and friends and parents) experience. It's a grand experience, this set of poems, this rumination on the cat and the human condition. Everyone with a pet (and without) will read and remember this title, and come back to it.–Cris Riedel, Ellis B. Hyde Elementary School, Dansville, NY
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Gr. 7-10. This small book, written in terse free verse, introduces Boris, a gray cat who gets himself adopted, even though his unnamed narrator-owner (apparently Rylant) had no intention of getting a new pet. Like almost every cat owner, Rylant feels that her pet is remarkable. His name in his previous home was Hunter, and the moniker was well deserved--so much so that when a new cat moves next door, Rylant fears for its safety (ultimately, the two cats become best friends). Although Rylant, master of the perfectly chosen adjective, beautifully shares the affection she feels for Boris, this is, ultimately, a self-indulgent work. The book's subtext is the inevitability of change, and the larger lessons here are for middle-age women going through their own transformation: the narrator worries about no longer being cute enough to avoid traffic tickets, mourns children growing up, and tentatively welcomes relocation. This can be appreciated for the sway of the writing or for its celebration of cats, but probably those most affected won't be young people. Ilene Cooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Cynthia Rylant is the author of numerous distinguished novels and picture books for young readers. In addition to her beginning-reader series: Henry and Mudge, Poppleton, and Mr. Putter and Tabby, as well as her Cobble Street Cousins early-chapter series, she is also the author of the Newbery Medal-winning Missing May, the Newbery Honor Book A Fine White Dust, and two Caldecott Honor-winning picture books.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on May 21, 2006
Format: Hardcover
"Boris" by Cynthia Rylant is a book made entirely in poem form, where a young, unmarried woman cannot resist the pet shop she passes on her way to work. She finally stops in, promising herself a girl cat, but big, gray Boris catches her eye, laying next to his sister. So she ends up with two cats, and Boris is somecat who opens the woman's eyes to the world and recalls memories she'd forgotten.

She tells of the quirks and mysteries of Boris, the things he does, his pride. She tells of her life before him and the cats who shared her home ahead of him. Her worries and the adventures Boris has on his ten day disappearance.

"Boris" is a rather peaceful book, and a quick read (74 pages). But the author's words will stay with you, and you'll look at your cat after reading it.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By J. Karl on September 1, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This tale is true and a little gritty. Definitely not, Hallmark-ish. It chronicles a segment of life lived by, Boris, the main character. And, yes, I mean character. The author uses humor in such a clever way. Humor that sneaks up and surprises the reader. I read this book late one night and in the quiet of a very quiet house could not keep from laughing out loud. The humor softens the hardness and rounds out the edges. This book is a quick read. An excellent re-read. A small bit of poetic wisdom to keep handy for those days when life catches up and threatens to over take you. Slip into this tale, enjoy a good laugh, and rest assured that if you see life for what it truly is, you will always experience happy endings.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By John & Linda Kuzma on February 13, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the third copy of this book that I have purchased. I have given two away and one was read so often that it disintegrated. It is a great story to read aloud. The cadence of the prose is soothing and relaxing, but the story itself is full of humor, grief and truth. I recommend this book!!
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By Carolyn Corey on September 9, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book will catch your heart.

It is slim enough to carry around to reread in odd moments. There seems to be always something in its spare prose to bring quiet peace and reflection.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By P. Hardy on September 11, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Title: Boris

Author: Cynthia Rylant

Number of pages: 74

Summary: BORIS is a big gray cat who loves sleeping and playing, exploring, and hunting. And his owner loves him for all his simple cat ways. But Boris, typical as he may be, is part of a much larger story in this moving exploration of love, longing, compassion, and most of all, the continuous give and take of companionship.

Reader's thoughts: At first glance I would've thought this book was actually a short story told from the point of view of a cat named Boris. In all honesty, the moment I opened the book is when I found out it was actually a poetry book told from the point of view of a nameless owner who happened to buy Boris (the cat) and his sister (also a cat), though reluctantly. From there the story continues to describe Boris' life with his owner, and his relationship with his sister who is honorably mentioned in the book several times. It's a short read, but its full of the depth you'd get from a book and probably more. Boris' behavior is described just like a cat's much to my delight. It reminded me much of two of my own cats (who happened to be spoiled tabby cats). From his mishaps -breaking his leg, beating down an old cat--- to his lazy behavior -sleeping in other peoples houses, usually annoying them to watching kitty TV-- this book does justice to what it's about. The book is full of humor and heartfelt drama which really got to me. I recommend this book to anyone who loves good poetry stories and cats (9-9-05).--- [a 5 out of 5]
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