The Abandoned
  • The Abandoned
  • The Abandoned

The Abandoned

5.0 7
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.
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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.

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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

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781590176443
Publisher:
New York Review Books
Publication date:
04/09/2013
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
212,124
File size:
1 MB
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

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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
 

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