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Callie and Zora

Callie and Zora

by Barbara Burris

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 4-5--A cliched, melodramatic story. Zora is battling her evil stepmother, who makes her live in the basement with a bare bulb for lighting. The woman frightens the child with scary stories and forces her to eat oatmeal every day for breakfast. The real battle, however, is about keeping Callie, a stray cat that gives Zora's life purpose. One day Callie escapes the basement, breaks all of the stepmother's prized figurines, and is given away. Zora becomes desperately ill, and the doctor tells her parents that she must have a real room, not the cold, damp basement. On Christmas Eve, Zora gets her new room, the kitten is returned, and all live happily ever after. Character development and motivation are nonexistent, and the lackluster black-and-white illustrations add nothing to this poorly written novel.--LF
Kirkus Reviews
When Zora finds a stray cat she knows that her mean stepmother will not let her keep it. She names it Callie, and for awhile she feeds it by the fence. But when the weather turns cold, Zora smuggles Callie into her dreary basement room. Her stepmother, of course, finds out, and the cat, sent to live with a stranger across town, runs away. Zora catches pneumonia trying to find it, but they are reunited on Christmas Eve. With clich�s, overwritten passages, and amateurish illustrations, Burris saws away at the heartstrings by including some fairly obvious elements: nasty stepmother, selfless waif wasting away in damp basement, adorable cat, and a Christmas Eve ending. Zora gets well, gets her cat back, and is moved to a beautiful new bedroom by her father and stepmother, who has seen the error of her ways. The result, however, of such obvious emotional machinations is curiously unaffecting. (Fiction. 8-10)

Product Details

PennyRoyal Books
Publication date:
Edition description:
1 ED
Product dimensions:
7.22(w) x 10.32(h) x 0.56(d)
Age Range:
9 - 10 Years

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