A Cat Called Ian by Wolfren Riverstick

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A Cat Called Ian by Wolfren Riverstick

Category: Confident Readers
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: A morality tale neatly packaged in a pacey and exciting story will be enjoyed by the 9 to 12 age group - and quite a few adults.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 160 Date: November 2006
Publisher: Crazy Wolf Books
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-0955431401

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The lad was trouble. He was a bully, a thief and a liar. We've all known someone like him – the company into which you hope that your own child doesn't fall. He's cocky with it too, convinced that he can do whatever he likes and get away with it – and that's when we meet him on his way to climb the great white oak at the top of Sunrise Hill, despite the fact that his mother has told him he's not to. It was a difficult climb and it wasn't long before he remembered the old story that some people climbed so far up the tree and then were never seen again.

There wasn't time for him to think about this for long because he suddenly found himself falling into the middle of the tree – and then into Catland. The lad had never liked cats – in fact he'd been particularly cruel to them on occasions – but now he found that he was a cat and was told that he had nine lives. Bad behaviour would lose him a life and by Christmas Eve he had to have earned the right to nine lives if he was to become human again. And – as a cat he would be called Ian.

Did Ian get the message that his behaviour and attitudes would have to change if he was to have any chance of becoming a human again? Not a chance…

I really enjoyed this story, not least because the boy came off the page and I knew him so well that I could put a face to him without any description. And I loved the way that the cats dealt with him – firmly and supportively. He had to behave properly, but there was help available too, so long as he was prepared to accept it. It's a message that many a child who has got into trouble should hear – that they might have done wrong but no one is without the possibility of redemption, even Ian the cat.

There's no preaching in the message and it's neatly wrapped up in a pacey story line. Ian begins by squandering his lives. He knows that there's bound to be a simple way in which he can cheat his way out of the problem. He doesn't need to be honest, behave or consider other people. Part of me was wondering what on earth he would do next – and the rest was willing him to pull himself together and behave reasonably.

I liked the characters and I enjoyed the story and I've only one quibble with the book. It's particularly important for children in this age group to read books which are grammatically correct and several errors have been over-looked in the proof reading.

I'd like to thank the author for sending a copy to the Bookbag.

For more of cats try The Great Cat Conspiracy by Katie Davies and Hannah Shaw.

Buy A Cat Called Ian by Wolfren Riverstick at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy A Cat Called Ian by Wolfren Riverstick at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy A Cat Called Ian by Wolfren Riverstick at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy A Cat Called Ian by Wolfren Riverstick at Amazon.com.


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