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The Great Cat Conspiracy
     

The Great Cat Conspiracy

4.5 10
by Katie Davies, Hannah Shaw (Illustrator)
 

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A cat goes conspicuously missing in this hilarious pet mystery from the team that brought you The Great Hamster Massacre and The Great Rabbit Rescue.

This is a story about Tom, and the Cat Lady, and all the things that happened after the New Cat got kidnapped....
The New Cat keeps bringing dead things into the house as gifts for Tom.

Overview

A cat goes conspicuously missing in this hilarious pet mystery from the team that brought you The Great Hamster Massacre and The Great Rabbit Rescue.

This is a story about Tom, and the Cat Lady, and all the things that happened after the New Cat got kidnapped....
The New Cat keeps bringing dead things into the house as gifts for Tom. When he brings in the head of the Vicar’s most expensive Koi carp and the Vicar asks Mum for a ton of money for a replacement, Anna’s Dad is so cross he locks the New Cat out of the house. Tom argues for the cat to be let back in, but by the time Dad finally concedes, the New Cat has disappeared altogether. Anna, Suzanne and Tom are convinced he’s been kidnapped—but can they find out who is behind the Great Cat Conspiracy?

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“In their latest adventure, enterprising 9-year-olds Anna and Suzanne tackle dictatorship (parental veto on removing the walls separating their homes), animal disappearances (cats and the vicar’s prized koi), clutter (Dad’s) and hoarding (the Cat Lady’s)…. As usual, the text is enhanced by dictionary definitions—AWOL, abduct, interrogate, stakeout—lists, diagrams and, especially, Shaw’s inspired, ironic illustrations. Davies is adept at portraying the gulf between adults’ stated beliefs and their behavior, and mixed motives guide everyone’s actions.... The subtle pathos that underlies the lighthearted humor throughout this series is prominent here; the astringent, sobering ending leaves readers with questions to ponder.”

Kirkus Reviews, April 1, 2012

Children's Literature - Phyllis Kennemer
Anna, her friend Suzanne, and her little brother Tom are determined to solve the mysterious disappearance of The New Cat, although why they want him back is uncertain. The New Cat is mean. He can only be handled wearing garden gloves and he attacks people's feet. He also brings various dead and almost dead animals into the house through the cat door. Nevertheless, he is missing and the kids believe he has been kidnapped. They find a suspect in the Cat Lady living in a rundown, exceedingly messy house in the neighborhood. They befriend the Cat Lady and, do indeed, find the New Cat living there. He refuses to leave. Anna lets Tom go "shopping" in trash bins with the Cat Lady while she and Suzanne attempt to tidy up the yard and the house. Written in first person with diary entries, reproductions of notes and letters, and illustrated with black and white drawings, the book has a conversational tone. Readers who enjoyed Anna's adventures in her first two books, The Great Rabbit Rescue and The Great Hamster Massacre will welcome this one as well. Reviewer: Phyllis Kennemer, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
Gr 4–6—Anna and Tom return to find out what has happened to their new cat, aptly named New Cat. Convinced that the neighborhood recluse, the Cat Lady, has taken their pet, the siblings, with the help of Anna's friend, launch an investigation. The text is accented with illustrations of animals, maps, and dictionary definitions and the inside spine is drawn to resemble a notebook. This story lags in the midst of the mystery, and the children's parents are either yelling or uninvolved. Trying to discover who has been taking the neighborhood cats, Anna, Tom, and Suzanne befriend the eccentric Cat Lady instead of going to Sunday School as they tell their parents. With discouraging behaviors, clueless adults, and conniving characters, this mystery falls flat.—Lia Carruthers, Roxbury Public Library, Succasunna, NJ
Kirkus Reviews
In their latest adventure, enterprising 9-year-olds Anna and Suzanne tackle dictatorship (parental veto on removing the walls separating their homes), animal disappearances (cats and the vicar's prized koi), clutter (Dad's) and hoarding (the Cat Lady's). Everyone's relieved when the fierce New Cat, known for hunting small animals and hiding their remains, goes missing. Everyone, that is, except Anna's little brother Tom; the New Cat rescued him from Miss Matheson's Chihuahua (its bite is worse than its bark). Abetted by elderly neighbors Mr. Tucker and former policewoman Mrs. Rotherham, the children investigate suspects: Anna's parents (compensating the vicar, whose prize koi eaten by the New Cat cost them 220 pounds), the vicar and Miss Matheson. Then there's the Cat Lady, whose cat-filled home is shrouded in mystery and piles of junk. As usual, the text is enhanced by dictionary definitions--AWOL, abduct, interrogate, stakeout--lists, diagrams and, especially, Shaw's inspired, ironic illustrations. Davies is adept at portraying the gulf between adults' stated beliefs and their behavior, and mixed motives guide everyone's actions. The subtle pathos that underlies the lighthearted humor throughout this series is prominent here; the astringent, sobering ending leaves readers with questions to ponder. (Fiction. 8-12)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781847385970
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster Children's
Publication date:
03/28/2011
Series:
Great Critter Capers Series
Sales rank:
1,239,331
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

The Great Cat Conspiracy

This is a story about Tom, and the Cat Lady, and everything that happened when the New Cat vanished. After it went missing, Mom said that me and Tom had to stop talking about the New Cat, and telling everyone how it had been kidnapped by the Cat Lady, and all that. She said, “Anna,” (that’s my name) “you can’t go around accusing old ladies, and bandying words like ‘conspiracy’ about, which you don’t even understand.” But, like I told Tom, I did understand what a conspiracy was. Because me and my friend Suzanne looked it up in my dictionary, when we first heard there was one from Graham Roberts at Sunday School. This is what it said:

conspiracy [kun-spir-uh-see] noun
an evil, unlawful, treacherous, or surreptitious plan formulated in secret; plot

And what the dictionary said was probably right. Because ours wasn’t the only cat that had vanished. Emma Hendry, in Mrs. Peters’s class, couldn’t find her cat either. And nor could Joe-down-the-street’s babysitter, Brian. And Graham Roberts said he had seen the Cat Lady kidnapping cats, and taking them into her house, himself. And he said, “With my very own eyes,” and swore it was true on Mrs. Constantine’s life. Mrs. Constantine is in charge at Sunday School. She is the Vicar’s wife.

Suzanne said that Graham swearing on Mrs. Constantine might not count, because Graham sometimes lies. And you’re only supposed to swear on the life of someone you like. And Graham didn’t even have Mrs. Constantine going to heaven when he did his big collage called “IT’S JUDGEMENT DAY!” Because he made her out of an egg carton and she was too big to fit on it.

Anyway, like I told Mom, me and Tom did know some things about the Cat Lady, and where the New Cat was, and what had happened to it, and so did Suzanne. Because we were the ones who had sent out the Search Party. And we were the ones who were actually in it. And the whole point of a Search Party is to find things out.

It was Tom who first noticed that the New Cat had vanished. Tom is my brother. He’s five. He’s four years younger than I am. I’m nine. I’ve got another brother and a sister too, called Andy and Joanne, but they’re not in this story because they’re older than me and Tom and they don’t really care about cats or conspiracies or anything like that.

If it wasn’t for Tom, no one might even have minded that the New Cat had gone anywhere. Because, before we couldn’t find it, Tom was the only one in our house who cared about the New Cat, and what it got up to.

Mom said that she cared about what the New Cat got up to as well because, she said, “I’m the one who has to clean up after it all the time.”

But that isn’t really the same kind of caring.

Most cats don’t need to be cleaned up after. That’s why Mom said we could get a new one, after our Old Cat died, and why we weren’t allowed a dog, like me and Tom wanted. The New Cat isn’t like most cats, though. The New Cat makes more mess than anyone’s dog does. It makes more mess even than Tom. And it’s not easy-to-clean-up mess, either. Not like jigsaws, and sticklebricks, and Spider-Man pants, and all that. The mess that the New Cat makes is normally dead. Because, whenever it leaves the house, the New Cat hunts. And, after it’s been hunting, it brings the things it has hunted inside, and puts them in places for people to find. Sometimes the things it brings in are still a bit alive. Like the hedgehog curled up in a ball, which it rolled in through the front door. And the greenfinch with one wing, which was flapping behind the fridge. And the frog in the log basket, which me and Suzanne were going to bury, until we got it in the garden and it hopped out of its box.

Most of the time, though, the things that the New Cat brings in are definitely dead. And sometimes they’re so dead it’s hard to tell what they would have been when they were alive. And that’s when you only find a few feathers, or a bunch of bones, or a pile of slimy insides.

Meet the Author

Katie Davies knows a thing or two about animal disasters. She is also the author of The Great Rabbit Rescue, and her first book, The Great Hamster Massacre, was inspired by true events—when she was twelve years old, after a relentless begging campaign, she was given two Russian Dwarf hamsters for Christmas. She has yet to recover from what happened to those hamsters. Katie lives with her family in North London. Visit her at KatieDaviesBooks.com.

Hannah Shaw was born into a large family of sprout-munching vegetarians. She lives in a little cottage in the Cotswolds with her husband, Ben the blacksmith, and her rescue dog, Ren. She finds that her overactive imagination fuels new ideas, but unfortunately it keeps her awake at night!

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The Great Cat Conspiracy 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wolfstar
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wait i was ur former apprentince dashibg? Xd)) thanks wolfstar :D)) she purrs and touches noses with her leader before turning to face her beloved clan.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dashingwind cheered for his former apprentice
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
DID YOU FORGET??? I VOTED FOR WOLFSTREAM!!! THAT'S 4
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amberheart
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amberleaf
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She smiled dipping her head to Whisperstar
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Its the best book series (this and dork diaries are my fav book series)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was a bit uncertain at first, but then came the suspicions-- great read, I had fun with it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Im so excited!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!