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HAVEN by Megan Wagner Lloyd


A Small Cat's Big Adventure

by Megan Wagner Lloyd

Pub Date: Aug. 2nd, 2022
ISBN: 978-1-5362-1657-8
Publisher: Candlewick

"You don't have to be big to be brave."

Haven is perfectly comfortable being a "strictly indoor cat." She loves the warmth and the smell of treats and baking bread. Most of all, she loves her human, Ma Millie. Ma Millie, who saved her from the cold and lonely forest when she was just a kitten. Ma Millie, who will take care of Haven forever. Ma Millie, who grows so sick that she can take care of her no longer. To save her owner, Haven will do anything—even brave the shadows of the forest to find help. Along the way, she meets new allies, including a cunning fox, and faces dangers unlike any she could have imagined from the safety of home. Lloyd's tale of a pet cat learning to survive in the wild hearkens back to the original Warrior Cats series; punctuated with action scenes, however, Haven's story is ultimately one of friendship and finding oneself through others. Haven's journey progresses at an unhurried, unflagging pace. Simple prose evokes a sense of tenderness, although the narrative takes some time to settle into itself emotionally, occasionally coming off as detached. But the primal energy of the climactic fight and the final chapters' heart-rending subversion of the death narrative typical of animal stories more than make up for the first half's meandering. Ma Millie’s race and ethnicity are not specified.

A sweet, sincere tale of self-discovery.

(Fiction. 8-12)