It's Like This, Cat
Emily Cheney Neville, Emil Weiss, Hyperion Classics
(Hyperion, April 7, 2014)
It's Like This, Cat is a novel written by Emily Cheney Neville that won the Newbery Medal for excellence in American children's literature.Dave lives with his father and his asthmatic mother and her attacks worsen when Dave and his father have their frequent arguments. Dave's refuge after a clash with his father is with Kate, an elderly neighbor whose apartment is filled with the stray cats she loves. Dave adopts one of the cats, names it "Cat" and takes him home. "Cat" brings both joy and adventure into Dave's life.Cat's presence brings Dave into contact with several new people, including a troubled college-aged boy named Tom and his first girlfriend, Mary. While documenting Tom's growing maturity, the book also provides glimpses of a few of New York's neighborhoods and attractions, from the Fulton Fish Market to the Bronx Zoo and Coney Island."Neville uses detailed characterization to tie the story together brilliantly. Each character is convincing, behaving appropriately for his or her age. For example, Dave is unmistakably a city boy, having no problem reading maps of the city, taking the bus to restaurants and coke shops, walking down 42nd street to play ball with the boys, taking a ferry to the zoo in Brooklyn, and riding his bike to visit friends. Dave is also a typical fourteen-year-old boy, craving his independence from his parents, working for money to call his own, seeking daily adventures in the outdoors, and suddenly becoming interested in one of the opposite sex. It is through thoughtful plot and character development that Neville is able to end the story with the reader recognizing what impact that people, and even animals, can have on each other's lives."