THE NINE LIVES OF TRAVIS KEATING by Jill MacLean

THE NINE LIVES OF TRAVIS KEATING

Age Range: 10 - 12
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

A grieving middle-grader suffers repeated encounters with a vicious bully while finding both solace and allies in efforts to rescue a group of feral cats. Moving with his dad to a remote Newfoundland hamlet in the wake of his mother’s death, Travis has a lonely time of it until he discovers seven cats, one pregnant, living in a cluster of abandoned fishing shacks. MacLean economically bestows Issues on each of her major characters. Working through his grief and anger by caring for the cats, Travis makes friends with classmates Prinny (alcoholic mother, mild learning disability) and Hector (severe shyness, overprotective mother), while befriending crusty old Abe (raised in grinding poverty by a harsh father who drowned kittens) and taking repeated beatings from Hud (passing along the brutal treatment he gets from his own dad). Still, the story never turns moralistic, and Travis displays plenty of inner stuff; by the end he’s broken the ice at school, reached a rough truce with Hud by providing an alibi after a local building is torched, begun to heal his inner wounds and even found homes for all the cats. Not a complicated tale, but not heavy-handed either. (Fiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 11th, 2008
ISBN: 978-1-55455-104-0
Page count: 192pp
Publisher: Fitzhenry & Whiteside
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2008




MORE BY JILL MACLEAN

ChildrenNIX MINUS ONE by Jill MacLean
by Jill MacLean
ChildrenTHE PRESENT TENSE OF PRINNY MURPHY by Jill MacLean
by Jill MacLean

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenJACK AND THE GREEN MAN by Andy Jones
by Andy Jones