The Abandoned
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The Abandoned

5.0 8
by Paul Gallico
     
 

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London hasn’t been kind to Peter, a lonely boy whose parents are always out at parties, and though Peter would love to have a cat for company, his nanny won’t hear of it. One day, as Peter is walking out the door, he sees a truck bearing down on a tabby. Dashing out to save the cat, he is struck by the oncoming truck himself.
   

Overview

London hasn’t been kind to Peter, a lonely boy whose parents are always out at parties, and though Peter would love to have a cat for company, his nanny won’t hear of it. One day, as Peter is walking out the door, he sees a truck bearing down on a tabby. Dashing out to save the cat, he is struck by the oncoming truck himself.
   
Everything is different when Peter comes to: He has fur, whiskers, and claws; he has become a cat himself! But London isn’t any kinder to cats than it is to children. Jennie, a savvy stray who takes charge of Peter, knows that all too well. Jennie schools young Peter in the ways of cats, including how to sniff out a nice napping spot, the proper way to dine on mouse, and the single most important tactic a cat can learn: “When in doubt, wash.” Jennie and Peter will face many challenges—and not all of them are from the dangerous outside world—in their struggle to find a place that is truly home.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Unalloyed delight.... You should be warned that if you hate cats you’d better not read this story, for it will so entertain you and instruct you in the ways of cats that your interest and liking will be aroused in spite of you.” —Chicago Daily Tribune

“When I was 9 years old I plucked The Abandoned from my school library’s dusty shelves and fell in love with literature. The adventures that unfolded, reminiscent of The Wind in the Willows and Peter Pan, captured me so thoroughly I knew writing was part of my destiny.” —Naomi Serviss, Newsday

“This is one of Gallico's best works, making a perfect companion to his more famous 'Thomasina' and telling of a boy transposed into the body of a cat by accident. His life as a cat involves many hard lessons from companion Jennie in this excellent, sensitive story.”  —Midwest Book Review
 
“Unalloyed delight.  . . .You should be warned that if you hate cats you’d better not read this story, for it will entertain you and instruct you in the ways of cats, that your interest  and liking will be aroused in spite of you.”  —Chicago Sunday Tribune
 
“In portraying Jennie, a London tabby, Paul Gallico has given us not only a cat’s-eye-view of the cosmos, but also a cat immortal.” —Saturday Review of Literature
 
“Poetry and fantasy so skillfully impregnate the story that a parable of haunting wistfulness emerges.” —Christian Science Monitor
 

Children's Literature - Barbara L. Talcroft
Many children have loved this novel and countless adults remember it fondly, so it seems fitting that the New York Review of Books should choose it for their collection of children's classics. Gallico's tale of Peter, the London boy who turns into a cat, and his mentor Jennie, a bony but aristocratic tabby, was first published in 1950, not long after Britain had endured World War II, and the ambience of heroism and self-sacrifice still lingers. Gallico has been accused of sentimentality and a faintly Edwardian air, but he is a gifted storyteller, knowing just how to draw a child in and to wring the utmost emotion from the increasingly tender relationship between Jennie and Peter. And then, of course, they are cats; even an adult can find it fascinating to imagine the world through feline eyes, as Jennie teaches Peter how to eat mouse, fight rats, and, most important, always to remember: "when in doubt, wash!" (Gallico inserts some deliciously amusing details, like Jennie's huge antique bed with a red silk cover and, inside a crowned wreath—the letter N.) Peter, though only eight as a boy, begins to grow up into a tomcat, accepts responsibility, relishes the excitement of a sea voyage, and becomes a hero, ultimately sacrificing himself for the enchanting Jennie. So it is a coming-of-age book and in many ways, a "boys adventure," too, with echoes of J.M. Barrie or Kenneth Grahame; at the finale, Carlo Collodi creeps in as well, for an ending that is parallel to Pinocchio's, though the very different heroes are a cat and a puppet. (Could Peter or Pinocchio really wish to forget their dazzling adventures and settle for conformity?) But, even with this unsatisfying finish, Gallico's valiant cats will probably be around for a long time to come. Reviewer: Barbara L. Talcroft

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781590176269
Publisher:
New York Review Books
Publication date:
04/09/2013
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
644,676
Product dimensions:
5.68(w) x 8.36(h) x 0.91(d)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Related Subjects

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
“Unalloyed delight.... You should be warned that if you hate cats you’d better not read this story, for it will so entertain you and instruct you in the ways of cats that your interest and liking will be aroused in spite of you.” —Chicago Daily Tribune

“When I was 9 years old I plucked The Abandoned from my school library’s dusty shelves and fell in love with literature. The adventures that unfolded, reminiscent of The Wind in the Willows and Peter Pan, captured me so thoroughly I knew writing was part of my destiny.” —Naomi Serviss, Newsday

“This is one of Gallico's best works, making a perfect companion to his more famous 'Thomasina' and telling of a boy transposed into the body of a cat by accident. His life as a cat involves many hard lessons from companion Jennie in this excellent, sensitive story.”  —Midwest Book Review
 
“Unalloyed delight.  . . .You should be warned that if you hate cats you’d better not read this story, for it will entertain you and instruct you in the ways of cats, that your interest  and liking will be aroused in spite of you.”  —Chicago Sunday Tribune
 
“In portraying Jennie, a London tabby, Paul Gallico has given us not only a cat’s-eye-view of the cosmos, but also a cat immortal.” —Saturday Review of Literature
 
“Poetry and fantasy so skillfully impregnate the story that a parable of haunting wistfulness emerges.” —Christian Science Monitor
 

Meet the Author

Paul Gallico (1897–1976) was a popular and prolific sports columnist, screenwriter, and author of books for adults and children. He was born in New York City to an Italian immigrant musician father and a mother who had studied to be a singer, and paid his way through Columbia University by tutoring children and working as a longshoreman. He began his career at the New York Daily News, where he soon became famous for his adventures with star athletes of the day. In 1937 he published the essay “Farewell to Sport” and turned to fiction, publishing stories in publications like Cosmopolitan, The Saturday Evening Post, and The New Yorker. Among his forty-one books are the novella The Snow Goose (1941); Manxmouse (1968, often cited by J.K. Rowling as one of her favorite books); Mrs. ’Arris Goes to Paris (1958) and its four sequels; and The Poseidon Adventure (1969), the basis for the hugely successful 1972 film. From 1950 until his death Gallico lived outside of the United States, mostly in England, Antibes, and Monaco.

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Abandoned 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I live this book It is sad and sweet at the same time Simply touching :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have just reread it for the first time in 50 plus years. It's every bit as great as it was then. It's too bad that Jennie and Thomasina, among others, aren't still available. Paul Gallico's children's writing are still lovely.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is absolutly stunning. Gallico has brought the reader into the world of cats, how they feel and what they see. All of the theories on why cats do what. A true leson of being able to know two worlds and how to be truly content in your own. You can't help but cry in the end.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Paul Gallico's attention to the details of a cat's world is breathtaking. As Jennie Baldrin teaches Peter how to be a cat, we stand beside Peter, gathering insights into the minds of cats (to the extent that mere humans can do so). None of the characters, whether feline or human, is perfect--not even Jennie herself--but their imperfections make them more accessible to the reader, and their selfless gestures become more noble because of their foibles. This is, without question, one of the most wonderful books I've ever read--but be sure to have the tissues handy when you get to the end (if you haven't already needed them).
Guest More than 1 year ago
In the UK, where this was originally published, the title is simply 'Jennie.' 'The Abandoned' doesn't make much sense as a title, but this is a fabulous book which really deserves to be read more than it is. The detail of a cat's life in mid-20th century London is fascinating, and Peter's ordeal in learning to live there will be familiar to anyone who has ever felt awkward encountering a new set of social rules. A funny, intelligent, charming book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a great story of fantasy in a cats world. it will make you cry in the end.
Guest More than 1 year ago
An abandoned ,although noble by birth, cat befriends a young,and not so royal,kitty from the streets . She teaches him the arts of the Feline world. Grooming,eating and survival. She also divulges the rotten side of some people and what happens when you give your heart away to them. The young one teaches her that not everything is as it seems where the humans are concerned. He has a 'special' knowlede of them and their kind. Very insightful. This is a person who fully knows cats.