For fans of Katherine Applegate’s The One and Only Ivan comes the swashbuckling story of a little cat’s high seas adventures, now available as a Yearling paperback.
Captain Natick does not want to take a kitten on board his ship as it sets sail, but his daughter convinces him that the scrawny yellow cat will bring him good luck. Onto the ship the kitten goes, and so begins the adventurous, cliff-hanging, lucky life of Jacob Tibbs, who must learn how to hunt rats, brave a mutiny, survive on a desert island, and, most importantly, navigate the tricky waters of shipboard life, no matter where the waves may take him.
“Original, surprisingly intense. . . . A beautiful piece of writing.” —Holly Goldberg Sloan, New York Times bestselling author of Counting by 7s
“Rarely does a book come along that I finish and think, ‘This is going to be a classic.’” —Jo Knowles, author of See You at Harry’s
“Emotional resonance and chockablock seafaring adventures combined with coming-of-age themes take this over the top. . . . An outstanding choice.” —SLJ, starred review
“Busby has created a story that will enthrall fans of animal fantasy.” —Booklist, starred review
“In addition to giving Jacob an engaging narrative voice, Busby fills the novel with nautical lore and lingo, making Jacob’s journey one to savor.” —Publishers Weekly
“An absorbing historical coming-of-age adventure.” —Kirkus Reviews
About the Author
CYLIN BUSBY is the author of several fiction and nonfiction books for young readers. Her memoir, The Year We Disappeared—co-written with her father, John Busby—was a Wall Street Journal bestseller, a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year, and a Cybils Award winner. While living on a farm in Tennessee, Cylin’s family kept more than twenty cats in the barn, whose job it was to keep the livestock feed free of vermin. The cat in this book is based on one of those cats—Graybeard—who was born a feeble, sickly runt and went on to become a great mouser. Cylin lives in Los Angeles with her husband and their son. Learn more about Cylin at cylinbusby.com.
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Excerpted from "The Nine Lives of Jacob Tibbs"
Copyright © 2016 Cylin Busby.
Excerpted by permission of Random House Children's Books.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The Nine Lives of Jacob Tibbs is recommended for children/middle grades, but as an adult, I also enjoyed this book. It is an historical adventure about a packing ship and it's journey told from the perspective of a ship's cat in the mid 1800s. It is a very realistic story and the author does not mince words. He tells about life on a packing ship including the bad situations that occurred during this time. The story moved along very well with this reader wanting to read just one more chapter before putting the book down to do other things that had to be done. Jacob Tibbs was born to Mrs. Tibbs, the proud ship cat of the Melissa Rae. He was the runt of the litter and also had white paws, which superstition says is bad luck and that the cat would be a useless "ratter"The writing is smooth . Because of this, his brothers and sisters were snapped up by other ship captains, but Jacob was never selected. Melissa, the daughter of Captain Natick, convinced her father to keep Jacob so he became the second ship's cat aboard the Melissa Rae. He wanted to become a great ship's cat like his mother and would not give up trying to learn how to rat. It turns out that he also had the gift of warning the ship about coming storms. In the story, there are dangerous storms causing injury and death, harsh conditions, nasty sailors, talk of mutiny, being set adrift in a small boat and more. Jacob sticks with his captain through it all and saves his life more than once. He has a difficult time figuring out humans but he seems to come through with the proper decisions. The other characters, both main and supporting all add much to the story. From sailors who will pet Jacob one day and then threaten to throw him overboard the next, to a captain trying to do the right thing but also feeling the pressure of turning a profit with each voyage. The characters all show their own personalities; some are greedy and selfish, while others stand up for their beliefs and would rather save lives than make money. In the end, Jacob comes out ahead and with his Captain thrilled that he decided to keep "the runt". There are a few beautiful black and white illustrations scattered throughout the book to give just a little idea of what the action might look like. The theme of the story is Tibbs coming into his own from kitten to juvenile, while proving his worth and loyalty to the ship, crew and especially the captain. The idea of loyalty and doing what is right is also apparent. This book is right up there with children's classics such as Robinson Crusoe and Swiss Family Robinson in my mind. I absolutely loved Jacob Tibbs, Captain Natick, Moses and Chippy and thing they are worthy characters for any story. I would definitely recommend this book to public, school, class and family libraries. It is wonderful. I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.