Serendipity and Me [NOOK Book]


Sara has always loved cats. She surrounds herself with pictures of cats, stuffed cats, even cat-headed slippers. But she’s never been allowed to have a real cat of her own. Her father has always told her no, for reasons he won’t explain.

So when a fluffy snowball of a kitten darts through their front door and into her life, Sara believes her dream might finally come true. ...
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Serendipity and Me

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Sara has always loved cats. She surrounds herself with pictures of cats, stuffed cats, even cat-headed slippers. But she’s never been allowed to have a real cat of her own. Her father has always told her no, for reasons he won’t explain.

So when a fluffy snowball of a kitten darts through their front door and into her life, Sara believes her dream might finally come true. But convincing her father to break his strict No Cats policy seems impossible. She has less than a week to persuade him that this kitten is exactly what their lonely, broken family of two needs to heal.

Told in lyrical, spare verse, Serendipity & Me is a sparkling novel that elegantly handles the topic of loss for a middle grade audience.
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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Keri Collins Lewis
Before a lost kitten runs into her house, Sara does not realize how lonely she has been since her mother died. She goes to school, her dad goes to work at the college across the street, and they both avoid talking about the car accident that changed their lives forever. Roth's novel written in poems opens with Sara's excitement about playing Wendy opposite the boy she secretly has a crush on in her class's production of Peter Pan. But coming down with the flu ruins her chance at stardom and romance. As she recovers, a kitten mysteriously appears on her doorstep. Sara manages to persuade her father to let her keep the kitten, Serendipity, temporarily, in hopes that she can wear him down and keep her furry companion forever. Sara questions why her father has forbidden cats, why he hid all of their family photos, and if he will ever be able to move past his deep sadness. Her search leads her to new insights, personal growth and restored relationships. This quiet but deeply moving story about sorrow and love that transcends death is carefully crafted and creatively written. Roth captures the reader through exquisite attention to sensory details and Sara's believable, aching voice. By distilling the characters' deep grief into short poems and balancing the novel's heavier themes with Serendipity's antics, Roth keeps the novel from being overly sentimental. While novels in poems are typically considered appealing to reluctant readers, this charming and innocent story is also well-suited to precocious younger readers who are mature enough to handle themes of loss. It will be a hit with the targeted upper elementary audience. Reviewer: Keri Collins Lewis
School Library Journal
Gr 5–8—A sensitively written verse novel about loss. Sara's mother was killed in an automobile accident and the girl's difficulty of coping with the catastrophic void echoes throughout. The 12-year-old longs for information about her mother, but her father can't talk about her. A kitten is an anonymous gift from one of her father's college students. Its warmth and gentleness fill Sara with comfort and love. Without explanation, her father adamantly insists that Serendipity must go. Sara contrives to keep it for a week, confident that this will lead to a permanent arrangement. At the story's start, she is rehearsing to play Wendy in a school production of Peter Pan. She is a well-drawn, multidimensional character with a crush on Garrett, who is cast as Peter, and a best friend. When she is felled by a virus, her understudy gets to play opposite Garrett. Mrs. Whittier, a nurturing neighbor who knows about Sara's parents, often cares for her and tries to ease her pain. Sara must look for information about her family for a school assignment, but her father has hidden many pictures, making her feel that her family is lost. In desperation, she sneaks around and eventually the story unfolds a bit at a time. Serendipity helps her father open up. The verse form makes every word important, and Roth skillfully uses figurative language, poetry, and familiar literary works. This is a compassionately told tale, reminiscent in tone of Katherine Paterson's Bridge to Terabithia (HarperCollins, 1977) and Cynthia Rylant's Missing May (Orchard, 1991).—Renee Steinberg, formerly at Fieldstone Middle School, Montvale, NJ
Kirkus Reviews
Overly deliberate plotting and uneven writing weigh down Roth's debut. Sixth-grader Sara has the potential to be a sympathetic heroine, and there's plenty going on in her life to engender interest. She's crushing on a cute boy in her class, disappointed to miss the school play because of illness (she had a starring role) and still sad about the death of her mother three years earlier. She's also hurt by her father's emotional withdrawal and yearning for a kitten. While this mix of serious and less-urgent issues is undeniably realistic, Sara's reactions don't vary enough to be believable, which gives the text an overall flat tone. Some of Roth's poems use effective imagery and intriguing vocabulary to bring scenes to life. Others sound trite or forced and serve mainly to provide information necessary to push the plot along. Sara's first-person narration captures the self-absorption typical of some middle school girls but unfortunately also prevents Roth from providing fully fleshed-out portraits of other characters or nuanced descriptions of their experiences. The brisk and happy resolution will likely please some readers, but it's possible that others won't have hung in long enough to reach it. Ultimately the predictable story arc and limited character development prevent this novel in verse from channeling the charm of the eponymous fluffy kitten that appears on the cover. (Verse/fiction. 9-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781101602805
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 2/7/2013
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 579,214
  • Age range: 10 years
  • File size: 903 KB

Meet the Author

Judith Roth
Judith L. Roth is the author of a number of picture books, including  Goodnight, Dragon. She lives in Elkhart, Indiana with her family and three cats.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2013


    Is it good for children 10 and up.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2014

    So sad!

    This book is so sad i finished it a week ago if you like sad but cute books this is the book for you!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2013


    Yep resd the sample first though

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