by Colleen Af Venable (Author) Stephanie Yue (Illustrator)
Calling all Raina Telgemeier fans! Introducing an irresistible new middle-grade graphic novel series about growing up, friendship, heroes, and cats (lots of cats!)--perfect for fans of Guts, Awkward and Real Friends (not to mention anyone who loves cats!)
Katie is dreading the boring summer ahead while her best friends are all away at camp--something that's way out of Katie and her mom's budget, UNLESS Katie can figure out a way to earn the money for camp herself. But when Katie gets a job catsitting for her mysterious upstairs neighbor, life get interesting. First, Madeline has 217 cats (!) and they're not exactly . . . normal cats. Also, why is Madeline always out EXACTLY when the city's most notorious villain commits crimes?! Is it possible that Katie's upstairs neighbor is really a super villain? Can Katie wrangle a whole lot of wayward cats, save a best friendship (why is Beth barely writing back? And who's this boy she keeps talking about?!), AND crack the biggest story in the city's history? Some heroes have capes . . . Katie has cats!
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Gr 3-6--Katie Spera, 12, lives in an alternate New York City where Yelp-related superheroes abound, but all she cares about is attending summer camp with her best friend, Bethany. Her mother can't afford it, so Katie tries job after job, all ending in comedic disaster, until she finds work caring for her neighbor's 217 genius felines. Herding cats is tough, but Katie figures it out, leaving her time to take part in fun activities in the city with her mom, worry that she and Bethany are growing apart, and wonder if her friendly, glamorous new employer is secretly the supervillain Mousetress. This middle grade comic from the creator of "Guinea Pig, Pet Shop Private Eye" is light and fun. Reminiscent of Raina Telgemeier's work, the art features a warm palette and lively, graceful linework that matches the upbeat characters and plot. While the story never gets too serious, there's a lot going on--friendships form and fade, Katie turns her love of animals into a plan for action, and many of the adults around Katie are not who she expected them to be. The book's final pages reveal that there will be a sequel; readers will also find a hilarious secret dossier on the 217 cats and brief bios that show how Venable and Yue used their passions as inspiration for the plot and design. Katie and her mother are white, Bethany is brown-skinned, and Katie's neighbor is Black. VERDICT A winsome mix of adventure, humor, and realistic middle grade problems, ideal for readers seeking the whimsy of Dav Pilkey's "Dog Man" tempered with the reassuring tone of Raina Telgemeier's work.--Amanda Charles, Los Angeles P.L.Copyright 2021 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.