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Time of the Cats Paperback – November 5, 2013
"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. Pre-order today
About the Author
Gail Webber is a retired science teacher who grew up fascinated by the interaction of animals with their changing world and with the lessons people can learn by careful observation. She currently lives in western Maryland.
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
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I heard about this book sometime last year and finally got a copy, it sounded familiar and from the first page, I found myself creating images in my head to match those wonderful Disney stories of decades gone by. It's a close match thematically, environmentally - with a touch of many many John Wayne and Jimmy Stewart westerns in the mix (also a favorite), a little bit of "Shane" among others.
Not to say this is derivative. Not at all. No more so than any single story anywhere, anytime is simply derivative of the 5,000-plus years of old testament Biblical lore and the Maerchen of the Brothers Grimm. Human stories follow common lines the world over and this one will seem familiar while somewhat strange as it's written both from points of view of the dynamics of a young boy in a changing culture and of mountain lions as they survive the world changes encroaching on them.
It's a simple story, a "coming of age" story for a young boy fast becoming a man while one of cultural clashes, of old-old primitive world vs. more modern culture - the "old west" to us, late 1800s - where a new paradigm of conquering the land came about, pushing beef into land once occupied by buffalo, European-Americans into a land formerly occupied by subsistence hunter-gatherers dying out by competition and stubborn clinging to misogynistic/paternalistic warrior cultures far outmatched by germs and steel [anyone still mourning the death/absorption of Cro-magnon man? Didn't think so].
This story "works" on so many levels - to paraphrase Freud "sometimes a story is just a story" - it was a pleasure to read and hard to put down. I'm not going to risk putting any spoilers in here by going into any more detail.
I look forward to re-reading this someday soon, reading it to my grandchildren while I teach them to shoot and hunt and I look forward to more stories from Ms. Webber. I have a feeling there are many more to come.
I hope the author writes a sequel.