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Cat Running Hardcover – October 1, 1994
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"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover," illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Learn more
From Publishers Weekly
Play Day is approaching, but Cat Kinsey, the fastest runner at school, won't be participating in the races because her old-fashioned, bull-headed father won't allow her to wear pants even while playing sports. Cat is so busy being angry at her family that she doesn't have time to think about bigger problems-the Depression, for instance-until circumstances involve her with a family of "Okies" who work on a nearby farm. Cat's gripes seem small compared with the obstacles facing the Perkinses, who have lost both their land and their house to dust storms. Now, camping out in an old Studebaker, the Perkinses work long hours just to make enough money for food. Cat can offer the family little besides sympathy until the youngest Perkins, Samantha, catches pneumonia and Cat, running the most important race of her life, fetches a doctor in the nick of time. Snyder (The Egypt Game) gracefully demonstrates the strength and pride of the Perkins family. With equal skill, she relates how Cat's initial repugnance of "Okies" evolves into enormous compassion-which extends to her own family as well. This tender historical novel is as moving as it is insightful. Ages 8-12.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
Grade 4-7-Sixth grader Cat Kinsey is sure she is the fastest runner in Brownwood School until Zane Perkins arrives barefoot and clothed in ragged overalls. He's an "Okie," and to most Californians during the Great Depression, that automatically translates to "lazy, dirty, and shiftless." When Cat's father forbids her to wear slacks because he feels they are unseemly, she ignores Zane's challenge and refuses to race during the school's annual Play Day. Escaping from her father's restrictions and negativity, her mother's headaches, and her stepsister's sniping, Cat crawls through a blackberry thicket and finds a hidden grotto. It is the perfect sanctuary until she discovers a small, dirty child playing there, who turns out to be Zane's sister. As she comes to understand the family's desperate poverty, Cat begins to rethink her attitude, and when the little girl almost dies from pneumonia, Cat and Zane join together to race against the elements, prejudice, and deadly time. Seen through Cat's eyes, this story is both appealing and informative. The characters are well drawn and beautifully motivated. Cat is an egocentric child, but is stretched by events to a wider view. The author's tapestry of time and place speaks to the value of one-on-one relationships and to the strength we gain when we discard preconceived notions and unite to do what really matters. A compelling addition to Snyder's superb body of work.
Cindy Darling Codell, Clark Middle School, Winchester, KY
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top customer reviews
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Children who read this will definitely have to be advanced readers to enjoy this book. The author goes into great detail when describing the setting of the story, which many children will find extremely interesting, but the ones who are not used to reading might be bored to tears. A lot of insight is to be gained from the setting, though. Many students will not have known much about the Dust Bowl and the Depression until they have read this book.
The characters in the book are also wonderful. Children will find it touching to see the relationship that Cat forms with the "Okies", especially the little girl, Sammy. And of course, the climax of the story centers on Sammy and her bout with pneumonia. It is truly moving to see the way Cat and Sammy's family care for her. Readers will no doubt find at least one character they can relate to, as there is a wide array of characters in this book.
The entire book carries an underlying theme that will teach such an important lesson to children-to look beyond physical differences and a family's background. The author cleverly ties lessons about poverty, prejudice, and helping those in need into this amazing story of self-discovery. The old cliché holds true: It's what's on the inside that counts.