Highway Cats

Highway Cats

4.4 14
by Janet Taylor Lisle
     
 

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When three kittens are carelessly thrown off the back of a truck, none of the highway cats know what to make of them. They seem to have some sort of appeal?an energy, even?that Khalia Koo, Jolly Roger and the rest of the mangy, feral cats don't understand. But there are bigger issues to figure out when the bulldozers start coming, threatening to demolish the cats?

Overview

When three kittens are carelessly thrown off the back of a truck, none of the highway cats know what to make of them. They seem to have some sort of appeal?an energy, even?that Khalia Koo, Jolly Roger and the rest of the mangy, feral cats don't understand. But there are bigger issues to figure out when the bulldozers start coming, threatening to demolish the cats? homes as well as other historical landmarks. Can three little kittens be the answer to save the town?

Illustrated with striking silhouettes, here is a spirited and original environmental story from Newbery Honor winner Janet Taylor Lisle about finding help, and hope?in the smallest, most unlikely of places.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 3-6

When three tiny kittens are abandoned by the side of a busy highway, they miraculously make their way through the traffic and end up in a patch of scruffy woods abutting a mall, where a passel of feral cats eke out a rough existence. The kittens seem too innocent to survive, but somehow they have a redemptive effect on tough characters like cynical Shredder and the once-beautiful Siamese Khalia Koo. All of the cats notice that these strangers seem a bit "different," but when bulldozers come to turn the patch of land into a highway off-ramp, their magical qualities become apparent. Is it their mystical blue sparkle or their unworldly innocence that inspires the wild cats to work together to scare off the developers? It doesn't matter, because readers will focus on the fascinating, hard-bitten denizens of the dump. A mild, slightly wry sense of humor permeates this tale, from the descriptions of Khalia's business (she sells rat meat to a pet food company that makes a product called "Canned Rodent") to the inane conversations between the development-happy Mayor Blunt and his chief of staff. Illustrations in the form of dramatic silhouettes are sprinkled throughout the book. Recommend this novel to fans of Phyllis Reynolds Naylor's "Cat Pack" series (S & S) or other animal adventure books.-Eva Mitnick, Los Angeles Public Library

Kirkus Reviews
A poignant but dignified cat's-eye-view of a stretch of highway, a small, threatened forest and some quietly supernatural kittens. Interstate 95 "flow[s] down the center" of the lives of these feral cats, who perch on the shoulder awaiting the fast-food scraps tossed from car windows. Shopping-mall Dumpsters offer alternate foraging. Khalia Koo, a Siamese who hides her burned face behind yogurt containers and envelopes, runs a rat-meat business in the nearby woods. Shredder, a skinny old loner, sees a box of kittens dropped off on the center median. That they survive crossing the lanes seems miraculous, as does their power to open the scarred cats' hearts and make them band together. En masse, they defeat bulldozers trying to plow down their forest. The tiny, silent kittens are vaguely developmentally delayed and glow at night with a "faint silvery blue sparkle." Lisle frames and sprinkles the story with newspaper clippings and mayoral dialogue about destroying the woods; Frankland's graceful black silhouettes run across page bottoms. Understatedly sweet, faintly mystical and never twee. (Fantasy. 9-12)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781101200735
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
09/18/2008
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
128
Sales rank:
897,848
File size:
340 KB
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Janet Taylor Lisle was born in Englewood, New Jersey and grew up in Farmington, Connecticut, spending summers on the coast of Rhode Island. The eldest and only daughter in a family of five children, she was educated at local schools and at fifteen entered The Ethel Walker School, a girl's boarding school in Simsbury, Ct.



After graduation from Smith College in 1969 with a degree in English Literature, she enlisted and was trained for work in VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America). She lived and worked for the next two years in Atlanta, Georgia, organizing food-buying cooperatives in the city's public housing projects and teaching in an early-child care center. Catalyzed by this experience, she enrolled in journalism courses at Georgia State University with the idea of writing about the poverty she had seen. This was the beginning of a reporting career that extended over the next ten years.



With the birth of her daughter in 1977, Lisle turned to writing projects that could be accomplished at home. In 1984, The Dancing Cats of Applesap, her first novel for children, was published. Subsequently, she has published ten other novels.



Afternoon of the Elves, a 1990 Newbery Honor Book, has been translated into six languages. It was produced as a play by the Seattle Children's Theater in 1993, and continues to be performed in children's theaters throughout the U.S. In this book, as in others she has written, the author plumbs a borderland between reality and fantasy where imagination holds sway and the ordinary surfaces of life crack open to reveal hidden worlds.



Elves, fairies and exotic creatures make appearances in her novels but whether they are real within the story, or merely imaginative projections of her characters, is often left unresolved.



"I think of magic as that which is still waiting to be discovered," the author has said. "I put it in my books to remind readers (myself included) to keep a sharp eye out. The unknown is everywhere, all around us and lurking even in our own minds."



She lives on the Rhode Island coast with her husband, Richard Lisle, and their daughter Elizabeth, a college student.



copyright © 2000 by Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers. All rights reserved.

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Highway Cats 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Reminds me of The Power of Three by Erin Hunter. ;)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I LOVE IT !!! :) YOU NEED TO READ IT!!! BUY IT !!! IT'S EPIC!!!!!!! :D
crazy-cat-girl-1 More than 1 year ago
I liked it but i wish the story had more book. Ya know... and the bag cat and the main charecter had more of their love exposed.
webkinz More than 1 year ago
this book is my birthday book at my school i love it so much! it is about two cats that live on a highway find three kits on the road in a box they made it across the road without getting hit the two cats names are shredder and murray the claw murray thinks their is something funny about these kits if you are looking for a newberry book this one is by a newberry aouter! i really recommed this book i hope you enjoy it!
Rachael Moskowitz More than 1 year ago
This i a very good book, short but could be hard to read for 9- you should really read this book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best book ever
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awesome book!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Meowwwwwwwwwwww I likeeeeeee thissssss boooookkk. Rawrrr!;)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is ¿wesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!¿ read it
Diana Anglada More than 1 year ago
ya nvr relly had seen this but idk. it looks ok.........idont know.....