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Tween Tuesday: The Five Lives of Our Cat Zook by Joanne Rocklin

Tween Tuesday is a meme hosted at GreenBeanTeenQueen to highlight great reads for tweens! Join the fun and add your link below! (And yes, Tween Tuesday posts have been scarce-I'm deep in YA reading now, but I promise I'll post more tween posts in the coming weeks!)

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Genre: Contemporary

Release Date: 4/1/2012

About the Book: Oona is worried about her cat Zook-he's not doing so well and Oona wants to figure out a way to break him out of the vet's office and bring him home. As Oona tries to take care of everything, she tells Fred that cats have nine lives, so they don't need to worry about Zook. Oona decides to make up the stories of Zook's previous lives. Oona always worries about her brother, Fred, who hasn't had the best appetite since their father died two years ago. And on top of that, Oona's mom has started to date The Villain...well, really Dylan-but Oona's sure he's a villain! Oona's determined to find out the truth about Zook's illness, and discover the truth about why her mom shouldn't be interested in The Villain and along the way she may just discover some truths about herself.

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: Alright fellow readers. Do you ever find yourself in the mood for a charming middle grade novel? One that hits all the right notes when it comes to family and growing up? And that maybe evens has the feel of some of the classics you read as a tween yourself? Add The Five Lives of our Cat Zook into your secret pile when you're looking for that special book.

Oona was a narrator that I liked and she made me laugh a lot. Her observations are smart and funny which made me like her. I also liked how much she took care of brother and taught him to read. She has many different theories about things-a name theory, a whopper theory-and each time Oona revealed a new theory, I liked her even more. She felt like a mix of Claudia (From the Mixed Up Files...) and Anne (Anne of Green Gables). She has some crazy ideas, but that's part of what I liked about her. She was loyal to her friends and family, even if meant coming up with a crazy idea of how to help them. Sure her plans didn't always work, but she had to try!

This is a very sweet book about a cat, siblings, and parents. Oona isn't quite ready for her mom to move on and Oona herself won't stop wearing her Dad's Raiders sweatshirt. While the book is about Zook and Oona's stories about Zook, it's also about grief and learning to live after a loss. Oona's story isn't obvious-we're not hit over the head with lessons that she's learned. Instead, she comes to an understanding slowly and we go through the process with her, which adds to the books charm.

I would recommend this one to readers who like family stories and animal stories and anyone looking for a good old fashioned book. You'll be glad you got to know Oona and Zook!

Book Pairings: Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo. The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsell


  1. This looks like the perfect book for me to read next! I love animal stories.

  2. Thanks for the review, I'll have to keep my eye out for the book.


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