Palindrome loving Ava Wren desperately wants a cat for her 11th birthday, but gets way more than she bargained for when she adopts T-A-C-O-C-A-T
Ava's 11th birthday is coming up and she's determined to rescue the yellow tabby with the mismatched ears and distinctive white lightening rod on its snout from the vet clinic. When Ava's parents finally agree, she comes up with the perfect palindromic name for her new pet: T-A-C-O-C-A-T! Inspired by her new friend, Ava begins writing a story called Taco Cat:The Cat Who Wouldn't Purr. But after the article is published in the local paper, a woman phones to break the news that Taco Cat is her missing cat. Will this be the end of Ava and Taco Cat's story or will they find a way to stick together?
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I did not read the first Ava and Pip book, but had no problem following this story. This is a cute series for girls (9 - 12) about siblings, writing, being creative, looking for your stengths, friendship and more. The family loves words and language. They especially love palindromes, words that spell the same forward and backward. Their father is a playwrite and he encourages his daughters to use their strengths. Ava is turning 11 and wants a pet, not any pet, but the honey coloured cat that her mother told them about. The cat had been brought into the vet's office where her mother works, possibly after being attacked by a coyote. It has been turned over to the Animal Rescue and Ava wants her family to adopt him. Her parents finally agree with her and Pip and they head to the Animal Rescue to adopt the cat. Ava names him Taco Cat, because of his colour and the fact that it is a palindrome. The problem is that when they get Taco Cat home, he is completely anti-social. He hides under the couch for days and Ava begins to think she has made the wrong decision about getting this cat. While this is going on, Ava is having a personal dilemma. Her BFF has befriended the new girl, Zara, and Ava feels that they are drifting apart. Not only that, but Zara has caused a rift between Ava and Chuck, another friend. With Ava not feeling great about everything, Pip tries to cheer her up and keep her occupied by creating a book called, Alphabet Fish. Ava writes the poems while Pip does the illustrations. As the story goes on, Ava has a lot of decisions to make, some of them tougher than others, but she learns about friendship and about doing the right thing. This is a great book for a school, classroom, or child's library.
I'm a dog person but it was hard not to fall in love with T-A-C-O C-A-T. Very engaging story about fifth grade friendships, lots of clever wordplay, and I won't spoil the suspenseful ending -- but I did not see it coming! Ava is a great character and with a good heart. I liked Ava and Pip too!