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Groundwood Books

The Cat at the Wall

Written by Deborah Ellis

For students in grades 4 - 7 | Published August 25, 2014 | ISBN 9781554984923

Cover of The Cat at the Wall

Regular price $6.99 CAD

144 pages
Digital Format

Also Available in Print

About this book

The Cat at the Wall

Deborah Ellis

A remarkable and thought-provoking new novel set on Israel’s West Bank, by the author of The Breadwinner.

On Israel’s West Bank, a cat sneaks into a small Palestinian house that has just been commandeered by two Israeli soldiers. The house seems empty, until the cat realizes that a little boy is hiding beneath the floorboards.

Should she help him?

After all, she’s just a cat.

Or is she?

It turns out that this particular cat is not used to thinking about anyone but herself. She was once a regular North American girl who only had to deal with normal middle-school problems — staying under the teachers’ radar, bullying her sister and the uncool kids at school, outsmarting her clueless parents.

But that was before she died and came back to life as a cat, in a place with a whole different set of rules for survival.

When the little boy is discovered, the soldiers don’t know what to do with him. Where are the child’s parents? Why has he been left alone in the house? It is not long before his teacher and classmates come looking for him, and the house is suddenly surrounded by Palestinian villagers throwing rocks, and the sound of Israeli tanks approaching.

Not my business, thinks the cat. And then she sees a photograph, and suddenly she understands what happened to the boy’s parents, and why they have not returned. And as the soldiers begin to panic, and disaster seems certain, she knows that it is up to her to diffuse the situation.

But what can a cat do? What can any one creature do?

Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:

Compare and contrast two or more characters, settings, or events in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., how characters interact).

Awards and Praise
  • Commended OLA Best Bets (Junior Fiction, Honorable Mention), 2015
  • Short-listed Red Maple Award, 2016
  • Commended Cooperative Children's Book Center Choices, 2015
  • Commended Bank Street's Best Children's Books of the Year, 2015