Books by Wendy Halstead

CALLIE AND ZORA by Barbara Burris
Released: Aug. 1, 1998

When Zora finds a stray cat she knows that her mean stepmother will not let her keep it. She names it Callie, and for awhile she feeds it by the fence. But when the weather turns cold, Zora smuggles Callie into her dreary basement room. Her stepmother, of course, finds out, and the cat, sent to live with a stranger across town, runs away. Zora catches pneumonia trying to find it, but they are reunited on Christmas Eve. With clichÇs, overwritten passages, and amateurish illustrations, Burris saws away at the heartstrings by including some fairly obvious elements: nasty stepmother, selfless waif wasting away in damp basement, adorable cat, and a Christmas Eve ending. Zora gets well, gets her cat back, and is moved to a beautiful new bedroom by her father and stepmother, who has seen the error of her ways. The result, however, of such obvious emotional machinations is curiously unaffecting. (Fiction. 8-10) Read full book review >