4.5 105
by Beverly Cleary, Neil Patrick Harris

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A purr-fectly hilarious portrait of life with a baby from a cat's point of view

Socks is one happy cat. He lives with a nice young couple called the Brickers who play with him, pet him, feed him treats, and always have a warm lap for him to sit in. Then a new baby joins the family. Suddenly, the Brickers are sharing their laps and love with Charles William, and

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A purr-fectly hilarious portrait of life with a baby from a cat's point of view

Socks is one happy cat. He lives with a nice young couple called the Brickers who play with him, pet him, feed him treats, and always have a warm lap for him to sit in. Then a new baby joins the family. Suddenly, the Brickers are sharing their laps and love with Charles William, and Socks is getting into all sorts of trouble. He runs from a phantom dog, wrestles with Nana's best wig, and fights Old Taylor the tomcat for territory. But as Charles William grows, Socks discovers that he has a new best friend and a new way to be part of the family.

Unabridged on audio, performed by Neil Patrick Harris

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 1-4-After a rough start, and a brief internment in a mail box, Socks the cat has landed on his feet. He belongs to the Brickers-a young couple who dote on him. Then a baby arrives in the household and Socks discovers that the people he'd trained so well no longer consider him the center of their universe. This is devastating, but eventually he finds a new place that everyone can be happy with. This is an hilarious book by Beverly Cleary (Morrow, 1973), told from the cat's point of view, and Neil Patrick Harris does a slam-bang job of presenting it. He provides voices for each character but, more importantly, he reads the story with humor and expression, bringing it to life. Listeners feel a kinship with Socks and root for his success, even while acknowledging his foibles. Both children and adults with roar with laughter at Sock's antics and cringe at his misdeeds. This is a great production that deserves to be enjoyed by a wide audience.-Teresa Bateman, Brigadoon Elementary School, Federal Way, WA Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
4.62(w) x 6.82(h) x 0.77(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

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Chapter One

The Kitten Sale

The tabby kitten hooked his white paws over the edge of the box marked, Kittens 25¢ or Best Offer. The girl with the stringy hair and sunburnedarms picked him up and set him down in the midst of his wiggling, crawling, mewing brothers and sisters. He wanted to get out; she wanted him to stay in. The puzzling struggle had gone on all morning in the space between the mailbox and the newspaper rack near the door of the supermarket.

"Nice fresh kittens for sale," called out the girl, whose name was Debbie. She usually held the kitten in her arms, and he expected her to hold him now.

"Stupid," said her brother George, embarrassed to be selling kittens with his younger sister on a summer morning. "Whoever heard of fresh kittens?"

"Me," said Debbie, as she pushed the kitten down once more. Then she repeated at the top of her voice, "Nice fresh kittens for sale." She knew she was not stupid, and she enjoyed annoying her brother. The two had quarreled at breakfast. George said Debbie should sell the kittens, because she played with them and that made them hers. Debbie said George should sell the kittens, because she didn't know how to make change. Besides, he was the one who had brought the mother home when she was a kitten, so that made her kittens his. Their father said, "Stop bickering, you two. You can both sell them," and that was that.

The white-pawed kitten, unaware of the hard feelings between brother and sister, tried again. He stepped on another kitten and this time managed to lift his chin over the rim of the carton. His surprised blue eyes took in a pakinglot full of shoppers pushing grocery carts among cars glittering in the summer heat. He was fascinated and frightened.

"Now Socks," said Debbie, as she unhooked his claws from the cardboard, "be a good kitten."

Socks's orange-and-white sister caught his tail and bit it. Socks rolled over on his back and swiped at her with one white paw. He no longer felt playful toward a littermate who bit his tail. Now that be was seven weeks old, he wanted to escape from all the rolling, pouncing, and nipping that went on inside the box.

Unfortunately, no shopper was willing to buy Socks his freedom. Several paused to smile at the sign, and then Socks found himself shoved to the bottom of the heap by Debbie.

"What are you going to do with all the money when you sell the kittens?" asked an elderly woman who was lonely for her grandchildren.

"Daddy says we should save up to have the mother cat shoveled, so she won't have kittens all the time," answered Debbie.

"Spayed," corrected George. "She means he said we should have the mother spayed."

"Oh, my," said the woman and hurried into the market.

"Stupid," said George. "Anyway, Dad was joking, I think."

This time Debbie looked as if she agreed with her brother that she might be stupid. "What are we going to do?" she asked, as she plucked Socks from the edge of the carton once more. "Nobody wants them."

"Mark them down, I guess. Dad said to give them away if we had to. The boy borrowed a felt-tipped pen from a checker in the market and, while Socks peered over the edge of the carton, crossed out the 25¢ on his sign and wrote 20¢ above it.

"Kittens for sale." Debbie's voice sounded encouraging as she hid Socks under two of his littermates. He promptly wiggled out. On a day like this his own fur was warm enough.

"Why do you keep hiding Socks?" George tried to look as if he just happened to be standing there by the mailbox and had nothing to do with the kittens.

"Because he's the best kitten, and I want to keep him," said Debbie.

"Dad won't let you," her brother reminded her. "He says the house is getting to smell like cats."

Socks found himself plucked from the litter and cradled in the girl's arms. "Well, at least we can find a good home for him." Debbie was admitting the truth of her brother's statement. I don't want just anybody to take Socks."

"You don't see a line of people forming to buy kittens, do you?" asked George. To pass the time he had read the headlines of the newspapers in the rack and the label on the mailbox and was starting in on the signs posted in the windows of the market.

Socks tried to climb Debbie's T-shirt, but she held him back while she watched the faces of shoppers for signs of interest. Once a man approached, but he only wanted to drop a letter in the mailbox. A woman paused long enough to look at each kitten and then say, "No, I can't bear to think of anything as warm and furry as a kitten on such a hot day."

Children entering the market with their parents begged to be allowed to buy a kitten, just one, please, please, with their very own money, but no one actually bought a kitten. I guess it just isn't kitten weather," said Debbie.

Socks struggled to free himself from the heat of the girl's sweaty arms. "Be good, Socks," said Debbie. "We're trying to find you a nice home."

"Fat chance." George had finished reading the signs in the window and was even more bored. Special prices on ground beef and soap and announcements of cake sales did not interest him.

A woman with her hair on rollers, wearing a muumuu and rubber-thong sandals, herded three children and a tired-looking mongrel across the parking lot. The tallest, a girl barely old enough to read, shriekedMommy, look! A kitten sale!"


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Meet the Author

Beverly Cleary is one of America's most popular authors. Born in McMinnville, Oregon, she lived on a farm in Yamhill until she was six and then moved to Portland. After college, as the children's librarian in Yakima, Washington, she was challenged to find stories for non-readers. She wrote her first book, Henry Huggins, inresponse to a boy's question, "Where are the books about kids like us?"

Mrs. Cleary's books have earned her many prestigious awards, including the Amercan Library Association's Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, presented in recognition of her lasting contribution to children's literature.

Her Dear Mr. Henshaw was awarded the 1984 John Newbery Medal, and both Ramona Quimby, Age 8 and Ramona and Her Father have been named Newbery Honor Books. In addition, her books have won more than thirty-five statewide awards based on the votes of her young readers. Her characters, including Henry Huggins, Ellen Tebbits, Otis Spofford, and Beezus and Ramona Quimby, as well as Ribsy, Socks, and Ralph S. Mouse, have delighted children for generations. Mrs. Cleary lives in coastal California.

Neil Patrick Harris's stage credits include productions of Sweeney Todd, Romeo and Juliet, and Rent. On TV, he starred in Doogie Howser, M.D. and currently appears in How I Met Your Mother. His film work includes Clara's Heart, The Next Best Thing, and Starship Troopers.

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Brief Biography

Carmel, California
Date of Birth:
April 12, 1916
Place of Birth:
McMinnville, Oregon
B.A., University of California-Berkeley, 1938; B.A. in librarianship, University of Washington (Seattle), 1939

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Socks 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 104 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Makes u think it will end sad but it doesnt i love this book. I dont want to reaD my next book....i want more Socks!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think this book is very cute, and is great for kids. I read it when I was about 10 years old, and my 10-year-old daughter, Kelsey, is reading it now and loves it!!
Carson Weaver More than 1 year ago
One of the best Beverly Cleary books ! Its a really good book . Has a happy ending just like every book. Awsome story. Definately five stars !!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think Socks is a great book. The story is funny. The author makes you believe the cat is talking. The book teaches you how to be nice to people because the cat learns his manners. Mrs. Cleary makes you feel like you know the cat. You like Socks because he is a nice and gentle cat. I think any kid would like this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! It was adventerous and very funny. I liked it because it was told from the cat's point of view.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is an awsome book.It is about a cat named Socks that is bought from a girl who was selling them at a local supermarket.The new owners spoil the cat,until one day when Mrs.Briker has to go to the hospital,because she is going to have a baby.When the new baby comes into Socks life things change,he is no longer spoiled,and his owners love the baby more then they love Socks.Pretty soon the baby and Socks get along.VERY GOOD BOOK MUST READ!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love his book so much. It made me laugh and gasp! This book broght me joy i tell you! It reminds me of my cat a lot should so tead this book . I promise you will love it so much! Look at all the great reviews it got. Wow! I hope you make the great choicr of buying and reading this book. Its my favorite book ever! :) (:
vharris More than 1 year ago
I would recommend any of Beverly Clearly books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love Socks. This book is about a kitten named Socks. He lived in a box in the middle of a street, but one day Mr. and Mrs. Bricker adopted him. Mrs. Bricker was pregnant and nine moths, later had Baby William. The family was very scared about letting Socks go near the newborn baby. Mrs. Bricker thought Socks was going to hurt or scratch the baby. Next, Baby William tried to say kitten, but ended up saying mitten. Mr. Bricker was laughing so, so, so hard.
This book reminds me of my aunt¿s cat Rusty. Rusty is just like Socks, because Socks is has orange just like Rusty. Also both are curious, smart, and have white feet.
Beverly Cleary was born in McMinville, Oregon in 1916. Beverly Cleary¿s name was Beverly Bunn before she got married. Beverly Cleary became interested in books because books meant so much to her when she was a little girl. Beverly Cleary has written over 30 books, so far. I hope you like this book as much as I did. I recommend this book to every person in the world who loves cats or who loves funny books.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I recommend Socks by Beverly Clearly because it is funny and you just might find yourself reading 20 pages without even knowing it. There aren¿t many hard words and there aren¿t many chapters. The main character is young cat named Socks. They call him Socks because of his feet. Socks is in a kitten sale and a family comes and wants to adopt him but their mother decides not to get one. Then two people come and adopt Socks. Mr. and Mrs. Bricker are his new owners and Socks enjoys being with them. The Brickers play with him and care for him. But soon Socks is left alone for a long time and that makes him confused and when the Brickers get back they also have a baby with them. The baby¿s name Charles Williams .When the Nana comes, she already hates Socks. Socks then has a wrestling match with Nana¿s wig. Soon afterwards she has him kick out of the house for biting Mrs. Bricker¿s knee. Socks gets jealous of Charles Williams and so Socks gets the feeling he is not getting enough attention. Will Socks get his spot as the baby again or will Charles Williams stay as the baby? Find out what happens in this funny and exciting book. My favorite part is when Socks and old Taylor the cat get into a fight for Sock¿s territory and when Socks loses he goes to the front door and tries to get help and when the Brickers saw they decided that Socks could stay in the house again. This is why I recommend the book called Socks.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Socks is a cute book. It was the 1ST book I read by Beverly Cleary. My favorite part was when the Brickers came home with the baby and Socks didn't know what it was. I would recommend this book for 4th grade students. I would like to read more books by Beverly Cleary.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book Socks Is a four star book about a cat named socks. His name is socks because he has white paws that makes his feet look like he has socks on. The cats owner Debbie gets sad becayse they have to sell all of the cats they own, Including Socks. When they finally sell him toMr. and Mrs. Bricker Socks loves all the new room he gets and is happy that he does not have to share his bed with nine others. About a month later socks feels that he is not getting the care he deserves so he does not listen to Mr Bricker. If you want to know why he did not get the care he needs then bye the book or borrow it from a friend and you will be in for a big surprise.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love Socks! He makes me laugh.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was so cool I kept reading it over and over even though I hate cats!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best childrens book i ever read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I relly love this book
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read Socks to my Kindergarten class as their first chapter book. The concept of making pictures in their head from what I read was new, but they quickly were engaged. Socks'antics won their hearts! They loved the wig encounter and laughed until their tummys hurt.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It's great because Socks had a lot of adventures. First, Socks got stuffed in a mailbox. Also he fights with another cat named Old Tyler and gets hurt. He's a cat that gets in trouble a lot!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is like the best book ever i highly reccomend it SO COOL IT IS AMAZING and i hav only read the first chapter TOTTS COOL
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a good book.I feel like reading it 5000 times.It's a story that won't be forgoten.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wow i dont have any words it just inspires me it kind of makes me cry i mean you might think this is like bowwow AWESOME I MEAN LIKE WOW READ IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago