CATCALL by Linda Newbery


Age Range: 10 & up
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An eerie psychological tension drives this unsettling account of two brothers challenged by the ever-evolving nature of their family. Josh and his younger brother Jamie have been through a lot of changes. Although their divorced parents have maintained a friendly relationship and work hard to respect and reassure both boys, that doesn’t change the fact that their worlds have been turned upside down, most recently by the birth of their half sister. On a trip to a wildlife park, Jamie undergoes a strange experience in which he believes a lion has communicated with him, and thereafter his behavior takes a turn for the bizarre. Josh, while coping with his own feelings of displacement, puzzles over how to help him. Jamie’s odd conversion is chilling, and Newbery crafts a compelling picture of this loving family while deftly avoiding melodrama. However, the ending feels hasty, and though a scrapbook about cats maintained by Josh is central to the story, the inclusion of excerpts disrupts rather than enhances the narrative flow. (Fiction. 10 & up)

Pub Date: Oct. 14th, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-385-75164-3
Page count: 192pp
Publisher: David Fickling/Random
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2008


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