Fourth Grade Journey

A Fourth Grade Teacher's Journey Through the World of Books

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Five Lives of Our Cat Zook by Joanne Rocklin...

How I Heard About It:  While attending a workshop by Donalyn Miller earlier in August, she pointed this book out to me.  Well, if she is going to recommend a book, then I'm going to buy it and read it!  

What It Is About:  Oona and her brother Fred are the best of friends and surviving life after the death of their father.  They rely on their cat Zook for support, love, and friendship.  They also have a secret on how they came to acquire the cat, which they don't want anyone to find out.  After Zook has to spend time at the Veterinarian because of an illness and Oona's mother brings a new friend into the family;  life begins to get complicated for these two young siblings.  

What I Thought Of It:  This book was an enjoyable read.  I liked how Oona would tell stories (whoppers as she calls them) to her little brother Fred.  She learned these stories from her father who has died.  I thought it was touching that she wanted to continue the art of story telling that she learned from her dad.  I'm not a cat-lover (more of a dog lover), but I found myself caring about Zook and his "many lives."  There was a lot brought into this story and was deeper than one might think based on the cover and/or the title of the book.  

Who Should Read It:  In my opinion this would make for an excellent read aloud.  I'm even thinking of sharing the book with my class this upcoming school year.  There is great suspense which I know would draw the listeners into the story.  The novel is long at about 220 pages.  In order to read this book on their own, I think the reader would need to be a strong fourth grade reader or above.  Happy Reading!  

Rating:  4 STARS out of 5 Stars 

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