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One big change in Dave Mitchells life–the one that sets everything in motion, really–is when he adopts a stray tomcat and names it, well, Cat. His friendship with Cat sees him through a sea of changes in his relationship with his parents, his first friendship with a girl, and a change of schools and of best friends. And while there is no natural idyll, exotic culture or quaint historic setting in this story, it is neat to see city life through a kids eyes and enjoy the many things it has to offer.
Dont get me wrong, some serious stuff does happen in Daves world. The Mrs. Figg-like neighbor lady (you know, batty and cat-loving) goes through a personal crisis. A slightly older boy with a troubled background prompts Dave to rethink his resentful attitude toward his blustery, lawyer father. And a hair-raising adventure follows when first Cat, then Dave, dive out of the family car in the middle of a Parkway.
Readers who loved Eleanor Estes Pinky Pye will enjoy graduating up to this somewhat more mature story. It isnt high drama or the great American novel, but it is charming and lifelike, and it leaves you feeling good.