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The Abandoned (New York Review Children's Collection)by Paul Gallico
Synopses & Reviews
Peter is a lonely boy living in London, left by his party-hopping parents to the brusque attentions of an untender nanny. He’s a lonely, bored, unhappy boy, though one thing, Peter is sure, would make up for everything: how he would love to have a cat! Impossible, the grown-ups all agree, but Peter goes on yearning until one day, on his way out the door, he sees a stray tabby in the street, right in the path of a speeding car. He dashes out to save the cat, is hit by the car himself, and when he comes to, finds himself transformed into a cat and under the care of Jennie, the tabby whose life he saved.
Life isn’t easy for cats in London, and Peter has a lot to learn. Luckily Jennie knows how to get by and is happy to teach Peter the tricks of feline survival. Peter and Jenny have all sorts of perilous adventures together, in the course of which Jennie slowly reveals the past experiences that have left her with a hardened distrust of and ingrained contempt for human beings. But Peter still believes that cats and people belong together. He still dreams of a home where he and Jennie will at last be able to settle down.
Paul Gallico’s The Abandoned is a book that will delight and move lovers of cats and adventure alike.
London hasn’t been kind to Peter, a lonely boy whose parents are always out at parties, and though Peter would love to have a cat for company, his nanny won’t hear of it. One day, as Peter is walking out the door, he sees a truck bearing down on a tabby. Dashing out to save the cat, he is struck by the oncoming truck himself.
Everything is different when Peter comes to: He has fur, whiskers, and claws; he has become a cat himself! But London isn’t any kinder to cats than it is to children. Jennie, a savvy stray who takes charge of Peter, knows that all too well. Jennie schools young Peter in the ways of cats, including how to sniff out a nice napping spot, the proper way to dine on mouse, and the single most important tactic a cat can learn: “When in doubt, wash.” Jennie and Peter will face many challenges—and not all of them are from the dangerous outside world—in their struggle to find a place that is truly home.
About the Author
Paul Gallico (1897–1976) was a popular and prolific sportswriter, columnist, short-story writer, children’s author, and screenwriter. Born in New York City, he graduated from Columbia University and began his career at the New York Daily News, where he soon became nationally famous for his madcap adventures with sports stars. In the late 1930s he published the essay “Farewell to Sport” and turned to fiction, publishing stories in Cosmopolitan, The Saturday Evening Post, The New Yorker, and many other magazines. Among his forty-one books are the novella The Snow Goose (1941), Mrs. ‘Arris Goes to Paris (1958) and its four sequels, several books about cats, and the novel The Poseidon Adventure (1969), the basis for the hugely successful 1972 film. From 1950 until his death he lived abroad in England, Liechtenstein, and Monaco.
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