Anna and the Cat Lady

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Believable dialogue and thoroughly engaging characters distinguish this second book to star Joosse's outspoken nine-year-old. Here, the heroine of Anna, the One and Only strikes up a friendship with Mrs. Sarafiny, a neighbor who walks her six cats on leashes and wears a hat crocheted from bread wrappers. When Anna and her best friend, Bethie, get into trouble while exploring a vacant house, Mrs. Sarafiny comes to their aid. She is also there to help out when Anna needs to find a home for a stray kitten. As it becomes obvious that the woman--who is convinced that Martians are stalking her home--is growing increasingly daft, the two girls come to her rescue. Joosse sprinkles this tender story about the rewards--and responsibilities--of friendship with some genuinely funny incidents. Ages 8-12. (Feb.)
School Library Journal
Gr 3-5-- Following the funny, snappy realism of Presenting Anna (HarperCollins, o.p.) and Anna, the One and Only (Lippincott, both 1988), this third entry is less effective. It begins as a mystery, when Anna and her best friend are accidentally trapped in a ``haunted house'' while trying to save a cat, and are rescued by a strange elderly lady, Mrs. Serafiny. The mood abruptly changes to a realistic adventure. First, the girls temporarily adopt a lost kitten; next, they attempt the more difficult task of taking care of Mrs. Sarafiny, a paranoid schizophrenic with no family. In both situations, the children have the maturity to realize that they cannot fully provide for others. This theme is overshadowed by flawed plotting, especially the ending: it doesn't ring true when Mrs. Sarafiny is taken to a hospital for a quick fix of medication and readers are led to believe that she will be as good as new. The subplot of Anna and her sister's anxiety over their parents' bickering seems hackneyed, although the sibling rivalry is convincing. The strength of the story lies in Joosse's characterizations; Mrs. Sarafiny is a true-to-life schizophrenic, and readers will identify with Anna--there are some wonderful touches of humor in her childlike logic and private yearnings. Of potential appeal where the earlier books are popular. --Jacqueline Rose, Southeast Regional Library, NC
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060202439
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 2/1/1992
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Pages: 176
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years

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