Cat Among the Pigeons

( 26 )

Overview

MYSTERY, DISGUISES, AND A FIGHT FOR FREEDOM.

Welcome back to the seedy underbelly of London, in 1790. Cat Royal and her friends at the Theater Royal are getting ready for their next performance. But the star of the show may not make it to opening night. Pedro has proved to all of London that he is a brilliant musician and a gifted actor, but, according to Mr. Kingston Hawkins, Pedro is nothing more than a slave. When Cat attempts to secure Pedro’s freedom, she ends up risking ...

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Cat Among the Pigeons

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Overview

MYSTERY, DISGUISES, AND A FIGHT FOR FREEDOM.

Welcome back to the seedy underbelly of London, in 1790. Cat Royal and her friends at the Theater Royal are getting ready for their next performance. But the star of the show may not make it to opening night. Pedro has proved to all of London that he is a brilliant musician and a gifted actor, but, according to Mr. Kingston Hawkins, Pedro is nothing more than a slave. When Cat attempts to secure Pedro’s freedom, she ends up risking her own and has to go into hiding. Go undercover with Cat as she infiltrates aristocratic society one moment and Billy Shepherd’s gang hideaway the next. The irrepressible Cat Royal never fails to stir up trouble—and save the day—wherever she goes.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Golding weaves a fine historic tale about the antislavery battle in England in the 1790s by way of an ensemble of colorful characters, death-defying adventures, witty dialogue and narration, and lively action.”—Booklist, Starred Review
 “The London streets come alive, as do the horrors of the transatlantic slave trade. Despite the youth of its narrator, this thriller will captivate teens as old as fifteen or sixteen. Cat has a zest for life, unadulterated by her encounters with the worst of the age. Every setting and character in this story is richly imagined, and readers will look forward to the next adventure.”—VOYA

“Golding spins a tale that starts with a bang. . . . An adventurous ride full of mystery, suspense, and history along the way.”—School Library Journal

“The pace is quick and engaging and the colorful evocation of 1790s London will keep readers plunging on and awaiting the next installment.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Golding succeeds in doing what is best about historical fiction: putting her readers into the past so they are able to imagine how life was then.”—KLIATT

VOYA - Angela Carstensen
In 1790 London, Catherine "Cat" Royal, ward of the Theater Royal, Drury Lane, and her friend Pedro Hawkins, a former slave from Africa, are rehearsing for his debut as Ariel in The Tempest. They are interrupted by Pedro's master, Kingston Hawkins, who has come to reclaim his property. Thus begins the second installment of Cat's story, which she tells as a Prologue and Five Acts after reassuring her readers that there is no need to have read the first, The Diamond of Drury Lane (Roaring Brook/Macmillan, 2008/VOYA October 2008) and offers a quick summary. Cat was left on the steps of the Theater in 1780 as an infant and has lived there ever since. She charms even the most hardened criminals with her candor, especially Billy "Boil" Shepherd, the leader of the worst Covent Garden gang. He has a twisted fascination with Cat, perhaps because she talks back. Fortunately Cat and Pedro have powerful allies, including abolitionists Olaudah Equiano and Granville Sharp. When Pedro disappears and Cat flees the law after tangling with Kingston, she spends weeks disguised as a boy attending the prestigious Westminster School while the search for Pedro takes her from the Rat's Castle, an abandoned leper hospital, to the Thames in the dead of night. The London streets come alive, as do the horrors of the transatlantic slave trade. Despite the youth of its narrator, this thriller will captivate teens as old as fifteen or sixteen. Cat has a zest for life, unadulterated by her encounters with the worst of the age. Every setting and character in this story is richly imagined, and readers will look forward to the next adventure. Reviewer: Angela Carstensen
KLIATT - Claire Rosser
We missed reviewing the first in this fine series, but it would be easy for younger YA readers who love historical fiction to pick up the action in this second installment. (More books in the series have been published in the UK and are due here in the US soon.) The setting is London, 1790, and Cat is an orphan child who resides as a kind of servant in the great theatre of Drury Lane, with the finest actors in the world as her "family." She has gotten a superb education just being around such talented people and world-class drama—she is able to "do" any number of accents and disguises, for example. In this thrilling, action-filled story, Cat's friend Pedro, a gifted young actor playing Ariel in The Tempest, is in danger of being taken to Barbados by a slaver who owns him. At this time, the Abolitionists are active in trying to have slavery banned throughout the Empire, and some Abolitionists are key characters in Cat's adventures. So are friends from the nobility, and friends and supporters from the theatre. The adventures and disguises (Cat pretends to be a young gentleman for a few weeks, in Westminster School, one of England's finest boarding schools) may remind some readers of the Bloody Jack Adventures by L.A. Meyer, set in roughly the same time period. Golding succeeds in doing what is best about historical fiction: putting her readers into the past so they are able to imagine how life was then; the adventures may be exaggerated for thrills, but the horror of slavery is portrayed in realistic detail. For American readers, the slavery policies of the UK contrast sharply in some ways and yet have similarities with the history of slavery in the US. Look for the nextbooks in this series as they become available. Reviewer: Claire Rosser
Children's Literature - Barbara L. Talcroft
Admirers of Golding's The Diamond of Drury Lane, winner of the 2006 Smarties prize, will welcome another adventure of Cat Royal, the smart, nimble, red-ringleted orphan who lives in London's Drury Lane Theatre. This tale is shorter and tighter, getting off to a rousing start with Cat and talented African musician Pedro staging an impromptu rehearsal of The Tempest, dramatically interrupted by the boy's old master, wicked Kingston Hawkins, who has come to reclaim Pedro as his slave. What!? In the enlightened London of 1790? As Cat and her friends scheme and struggle to save Pedro, readers meet real-life figures like playwright-politician Richard Brinsley Sheridan and abolitionists Olaudah Equiano and Granville Sharp, as well as fictional Quaker ladies, rowdy gang members, and young gentlemen at prestigious Westminster School. Cat's disguise as a schoolboy living in quarters there offers some choice bits of humor and some unexpected revelations as Cat discovers the comforts and privileges (not to mention perils) of being a boy, while also discovering the joys of learning Latin. The action bounds and rebounds through upper class mansions and lower depths, as Golding deftly defines her characters and paints a picture of late 18th century London in all its glory and horror (including a glossary of street slang). Quick-witted Cat is an engaging heroine, quite deserving of success in defeating the villains, though loathsome gang leader Billy Shepherd remains at large, challenging Cat to further encounters. These, no doubt, will be eagerly anticipated by her fans. Reviewer: Barbara L. Talcroft
School Library Journal

Gr 6-8

Readers once again find orphaned Cat backstage at Drury Lane, but she doesn't stay there for long. The slave master who owned her friend Pedro has returned to claim "his property," and Cat and her friends, who include a group of adult abolitionists, won't have it. While trying to protect him, however, Cat gets herself into trouble and must go into hiding disguised as a boy at the aristocratic Westminster School, described in the glossary as "supposedly a place of learning for young gentlemen; in truth, a den of floggers and bullies." As in The Diamond of Drury Lane (Roaring Brook, 2008), Golding spins a tale that starts with a bang. However, the quick start slows down after Cat enters the boy's school and the plot turns its focus there, and readers may be left wondering what happened to Pedro. Fortunately, our heroine finds her way back to her cause to save her friend, taking readers on an adventurous ride full of mystery, suspense, and history along the way.-Sarah O'Holla, Village Community School, New York City

Kirkus Reviews
Hang on for the wild ride of Cat Royal's second adventure, after The Diamond of Drury Lane (2008). The redheaded firebrand sees her friend Pedro scale the heights as Ariel in Mr. Sheridan's production of The Tempest, only to find that his evil former master insists Pedro is still his slave. In trying to protect Pedro, Cat finds she must leave Drury Lane and hide herself-at her friend Lord Francis's school. The somewhat-stale trope of a girl in boys' clothing gets a few charming grace notes as Cat survives a beating and finds out how much easier (and harder) boys have it. The eerily scary Billy Boil continues to slither in and out of Cat's life, and she makes him a promise she will no doubt regret keeping. As the story rockets along, Cat makes both new enemies and new and stalwart friends. Some historical figures drift through these pages, the pace is quick and engaging and the colorful evocation of 1790s London will keep readers plunging on and awaiting the next installment. (glossary) (Historical fiction. 10-14)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312602154
  • Publisher: Square Fish
  • Publication date: 3/30/2010
  • Series: A Cat Royal Adventure Series , #2
  • Edition description: STRIPPABLE
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 796,134
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Lexile: 740L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.60 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

JULIA GOLDING is the author of more than a dozen children’s books, and she’s married with three children and lives in Oxford, England. The adventures of Cat Royal continue in Fall 2009 with Cat O’ Nine Tales, available from Roaring Brook Press. Visit Julia and learn more about Cat and all of her friends at www.juliagolding.co.uk.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 26 )
Rating Distribution

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(23)

4 Star

(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 26 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2011

    My favorite

    One of the best book series i have ever read....better than twilight or some other similar book for teens....hints at romance keeps the reader guessing who could win cat over...there will be nine in the series and six are out now

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2010

    simply marvelous! MUST READ

    I absolutely adored this book! I loved the characters, however I would recommend reading the first book in this series in order to get the whole picture. Either way, you won't be disapointed, especially if you're like me and you find historical fiction captivating!It's a simply marvelous book that no one should pass up! The Cat Royal series has definately caught my eye.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2014

    A Must Read.

    Loved the books. The story grabs you and keeps you interested the whole time. I truly hope there are more to follow.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2013

    Annoyed

    I loved Cat Among the pigeons and all, but can you please have clan-versations elsewhere?!?!?!?!?

    SUFFICIENTLY ANNOYED CAT READER

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2012

    Nightfox

    Hi im nightfox! Could i please join greyclan? I am an all black she-cat with a ginger tail that has a white tip.
    •~nightfox~•
    (I cannot see headlines to please put your name on your post!!!!!)

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2012

    Band of kits

    *they leave*

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2012

    Specklepelt

    A calico tom cat with green eyes walked in. "Im Specklepelt. May i join?"

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2012

    Goldheart

    *she giggles at the little kit she walks to him* "hello there im goldheart" *she says softly*

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2012

    Stormroar and Emberkit

    Stormroar was asleep, stretched out in his nest while little Emberkit blinked open his eyes and hopped out of his father's nest. He started batting at the grass with tiny paws and chasing his own fuzzy tail.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2012

    Icetail

    "Hello stormroar." She pads over to him and sits down.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2012

    Doveclaw

    Everyone may join!!!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2012

    Chi Yamada

    Im just here to observe. I wanna see how this clan works for futuree refernce.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2012

    To Smokestar

    Please stop making WolfClan cats join this Clan. I hadn't even gotten to meet you yet, we are not packed full we are losing members because cats for some reason think we're all high and mighty. We aren't, we're kind and caring noble cats. If we haven't said hi to you it was because we have been busy in RL with the holidays and sometimes we forget to greet newcats or we say hi then have to reply to someone else. I'm sorry WolfClan wasn't the Clan for you. ~Jayleaf

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2012

    To Smokestar

    May I please be Medicine Cat? My name is Splashfeather and I am a tortoiseshell and white she cat with blue eyes.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2012

    Smokestar

    To nightfox:
    You may join!~ Smokestar

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2012

    Whiteiris

    She pulled her head back. "Not being able to see gave me a sense you seeing cats do not have. I can sense vibrations in the ground, or anything, as long as it is a solid object. Im just very easily annoyed."

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2012

    I wonder

    I wonder if they based cat from Victorious from this book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 24, 2011

    Love this series!!!!!!!!

    I have not read the first book (the librery didn't have it) and have not read the nook version but the books are good!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 4, 2011

    Cat Royal Has struck again!!

    This a such a good book, full of exietment humor, love and more. I truley enjoy this series very much. Hope all who buy this book enjoy it like i do.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 2, 2011

    Read it.

    Read it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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