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The Five Lives of Our Cat Zook
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Published:
ABRAMS 2012
Accelerated Reader:
IL: MG - BL: 4.5 - AR Pts: 6
Lexile measure:
760L
Status:
Available from OverDrive

Description

In this warmhearted middle-grade novel, Oona and her brother, Fred, love their cat Zook (short for Zucchini), but Zook is sick. As they conspire to break him out of the vet's office, convinced he can only get better at home with them, Oona tells Fred the story of Zook's previous lives, ranging in style from fairy tale to grand epic to slice of life. Each of Zook's lives has echoes in Oona's own family life, which is going through a transition she's not yet ready to face. Her father died two years ago, and her mother has started a relationship with a man named Dylan—whom Oona secretly calls "the villain.†? The truth about Dylan, and about Zook's medical condition, drives the drama in this loving family story.

Praise for The Five Lives of Our Cat Zook
STARRED REVIEW
"Rocklin's characters are fully developed: readers will be invested. Set in Oakland, readers are also treated to a refreshingly authentic child's view of a diverse city. The only imperfection in this novel is that it ends."
Booklist, starred review

"Oona's character is a combination of Harriet the Spy in curiosity and Anastasia in spunk. Another emotionally satisfying outing from Rocklin; hanky recommended.†?
Kirkus Reviews

"Just as she did in One Day and One Amazing Morning on Orange Street, Rocklin intertwines her characters so smartly that the many coincidences and serendipitous events feel organic to the story. The story's ending—bittersweet, inevitable, and true—offers much-needed catharsis for the family and for anyone who has ever loved a pet."
The Horn Book

"This heartwarming family tale is filled with resilient and thoughtful characters who are willing to learn from their mistakes. Readers who enjoy the novels of Jeanne Birdsall and Leslie Crunch will appreciate this charming story."
School Library Journal

"There is a strong sense of place in this loving story with the ending sure to generate some tears. This would make a strong library lesson extension activity."
Library Media Connection

Awards
SCBWI's Golden Kite Award for Fiction - 2012
Dorothy Canfield Fisher Book Award
Rebecca Caudill Young Readers' Book Award

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More Details

Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
04/01/2012
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781613123164
ASIN:
B007IV89MU
Accelerated Reader:
MG
Level 4.5, 6 Points
Lexile measure:
760

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Citations

APA Citation (style guide)

Joanne Rocklin. (2012). The Five Lives of Our Cat Zook. ABRAMS.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Joanne Rocklin. 2012. The Five Lives of Our Cat Zook. ABRAMS.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Joanne Rocklin, The Five Lives of Our Cat Zook. ABRAMS, 2012.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Joanne Rocklin. The Five Lives of Our Cat Zook. ABRAMS, 2012.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.

Copy Details

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Shared Digital Collection22

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Grouped Work ID:
6689d981-7739-094f-af41-5315bd2e46d0
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Needs Update?:
No
Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 19:29:57
Date Updated:
Jun 12, 2018 19:29:57
Last Metadata Check:
Jun 16, 2024 11:28:33
Last Metadata Change:
Jun 16, 2024 11:28:33
Last Availability Check:
Jun 16, 2024 11:28:37
Last Availability Change:
Feb 12, 2021 07:02:49
Last Grouped Work Modification Time:
Jun 20, 2024 03:13:49

OverDrive Product Record

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        Joanne Rocklin is the author of many books for children, including The Five Lives of Our Cat Zook, which won the Golden Kite Award, and Love, Penelope, which was an NCIBA Golden Poppy Book Award winner. Nancy Carpenter is the illustrator of more than 40 children's books and has received numerous honors for her work, including two Christopher Awards and the Jane Addams Children's Book Award. She lives in Brooklyn with her family.

      • name: Joanne Rocklin
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title
The Five Lives of Our Cat Zook
fullDescription

In this warmhearted middle-grade novel, Oona and her brother, Fred, love their cat Zook (short for Zucchini), but Zook is sick. As they conspire to break him out of the vet's office, convinced he can only get better at home with them, Oona tells Fred the story of Zook's previous lives, ranging in style from fairy tale to grand epic to slice of life. Each of Zook's lives has echoes in Oona's own family life, which is going through a transition she's not yet ready to face. Her father died two years ago, and her mother has started a relationship with a man named Dylan—whom Oona secretly calls "the villain.†? The truth about Dylan, and about Zook's medical condition, drives the drama in this loving family story.

Praise for The Five Lives of Our Cat Zook
STARRED REVIEW
"Rocklin's characters are fully developed: readers will be invested. Set in Oakland, readers are also treated to a refreshingly authentic child's view of a diverse city. The only imperfection in this novel is that it ends."
Booklist, starred review

"Oona's character is a combination of Harriet the Spy in curiosity and Anastasia in spunk. Another emotionally satisfying outing from Rocklin; hanky recommended.†?
Kirkus Reviews

"Just as she did in One Day and One Amazing Morning on Orange Street, Rocklin intertwines her characters so smartly that the many coincidences and serendipitous events feel organic to the story. The story's ending—bittersweet, inevitable, and true—offers much-needed catharsis for the family and for anyone who has ever loved a pet."
The Horn Book

"This heartwarming family tale is filled with resilient and thoughtful characters who are willing to learn from their mistakes. Readers who enjoy the novels of Jeanne Birdsall and Leslie Crunch will appreciate this charming story."
School Library Journal

"There is a strong sense of place in this loving story with the ending sure to generate some tears. This would make a strong library lesson extension activity."
Library Media Connection

Awards
SCBWI's Golden Kite Award for Fiction - 2012
Dorothy Canfield Fisher Book Award
Rebecca Caudill Young Readers' Book Award

gradeLevels
      • value: Grade 3
      • value: Grade 4
reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        March 15, 2012
        All cats have nine lives, especially those with 26 toes, right? That's what 10-year-old Oona tells her 5-year-old brother about their rescued cat. They found Zook, named for fried zucchini, in the alley behind their apartment. Zook becomes the pivot for the plot when his kidneys fail and he needs daily infusions. Enter Dylan, a guitar-playing nurse, charms Oona's single mother and brother Fred, but Oona is convinced he's the VILLAIN who shot Zook with BBs several years ago. Oona has a penchant for telling whoppers, like her dead father, but hers are colored-coded (blue, black, red, white and yellow) depending on need and purpose. In her engaging narration, she capitalizes important words, teaches Fred to read with rebuses and tells him stories (again, like her father) about Zook's previous lives. With THEORIES to fit all circumstances, Oona's character is a combination of Harriet the Spy in curiosity and Anastasia in spunk. As in Rocklin's previous One Day and One Amazing Morning on Orange Street (2011), the spirit of a diverse and multicultural community plays a key role. In an achingly honest resolution, Oona recognizes that, unlike stories, real life has both unhappy and happy endings. Another emotionally satisfying outing from Rocklin; hanky recommended. (Fiction. 8-12)

        COPYRIGHT(2012) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: School Library Journal
      • content:

        April 1, 2012

        Gr 3-6-Oona is a 10-year-old who has big responsibilities and, according to her grandmother, chutzpah. When her cat, Zook (short for Zucchini), becomes ill, she must find a way to stay positive for her younger brother, Freddy. Since everyone knows that cats have nine lives, she creates several tall tales and "whoppers" about the feline's past five lives to entertain him and keep his worries at bay. Her love of storytelling was inspired by her father, who died two years earlier. Her mother begins to fall in love with a neighbor named Dylan; Oona has secretly nicknamed him "the Villain" because she's convinced that he was Zook's previous owner and that he abused the animal. How long can she avoid the truth about Zook's fate and about Dylan? This heartwarming family tale is filled with resilient and thoughtful characters who are willing to learn from their mistakes. Readers who enjoy the novels of Jeanne Birdsall and Leslie Crunch will appreciate this charming story.-Stephanie M. Rivera, Washington DC Public Library

        Copyright 2012 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        Starred review from March 15, 2012
        Grades 3-6 *Starred Review* At 10 years old, Oona Armstrong has, and clearly enjoys, many responsibilities: she cares for Fred, her five-year-old brother, when their mom is at work; she helps the local pizza place advertise to passersby; she preserves memories for both herself and Fred, including those of their dead father and also of the day they found their cat, Zook. In Oona's strong and realistic presentation of current events, we learn details of the past that bring Oona's present concerns into compelling focus. Just as important, we learn about her idiosyncratic, but satisfying, theories on fibbing, story construction, and even child rearing. When Zook becomes critically ill, Oona keeps Fred from worrying by telling him he's only used five of his nine lives, and then invents stories about Zook's previous lives. Rocklin's characters are fully developed: readers will be invested in the interactions between Oona and her mother; Fred and their mother's new boyfriend; and even the veterinarian intern and Zook. Readers are also treated to a refreshingly authentic child's view of the diverse city of Oakland. The only imperfection in this novel is that it ends. Fortunately, an appendix provides us with Oona's eight-step theory for storymaking, including, A story doesn't have to be true, but it does have to be real. (Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2012, American Library Association.)

      • premium: True
      • source: The Horn Book
      • content:

        May 1, 2012
        Oona did not acquire the family cat Zook (short for Zucchini) in the most respectable of ways. By hiding his collar, she liberated the animal, skinny and with a BB pellet in his side, from an owner she suspected of neglect. Since that time two-and-a-half years ago, Oona's father has died, and now Zook is sick. To comfort her little brother, Oona, channeling their dad, "the Great Rebus-Maker and Whopper-Teller," comes up with stories about Zook's previous lives. The siblings' own lives are also changing, as their mother has started dating Dylan, a.k.a. The Villain, original owner (Oona thinks) of Zook. Just as she did in One Day and One Amazing Morning on Orange Street (rev. 7/11), Rocklin intertwines her characters so smartly that the many coincidences and serendipitous events feel organic to the story. This time the setting is Oakland, California, where, in Oona's close-knit, "multi-culti" neighborhood, the local pizza joint acts as the kids' afterschool hangout and block parties double as family reunions. It's not all urban gardens and sunshine, though; Oona's friend starts acting distant; her mother is underemployed; and her father's absence weighs heavily on everyone's hearts. Plus, Zook's failing health leaves Oona, her mother, and brother to make painful decisions about his care. The story's ending -- bittersweet, inevitable, and true -- offers much-needed catharsis for the family and for anyone who has ever loved a pet. elissa gershowitz

        (Copyright 2012 by The Horn Book, Incorporated, Boston. All rights reserved.)

      • premium: True
      • source: The Horn Book
      • content:

        July 1, 2012
        Oona's father has died, and now her cat Zook is sick. To comfort her little brother, Oona comes up with stories about Zook's previous lives. Rocklin intertwines her characters so smartly that the book's many coincidences and serendipitous events feel organic to the story. The ending--bittersweet, inevitable, and true--offers much-needed catharsis for the family and for anyone who has ever loved a pet.

        (Copyright 2012 by The Horn Book, Incorporated, Boston. All rights reserved.)

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shortDescription

In this warmhearted middle-grade novel, Oona and her brother, Fred, love their cat Zook (short for Zucchini), but Zook is sick. As they conspire to break him out of the vet's office, convinced he can only get better at home with them, Oona tells Fred the story of Zook's previous lives, ranging in style from fairy tale to grand epic to slice of life. Each of Zook's lives has echoes in Oona's own family life, which is going through a transition she's not yet ready to face. Her father died two years ago, and her mother has started a relationship with a man named Dylan—whom Oona secretly calls “the villain." The truth about Dylan, and about Zook's medical condition, drives the drama in this loving family story.

Praise for The Five Lives of Our Cat Zook

STARRED REVIEW

"Rocklin's characters are fully developed: readers will be invested. Set in Oakland, readers are also treated to a refreshingly authentic child's view of a diverse city. The only...

sortTitle
Five Lives of Our Cat Zook
lexileScore
760
crossRefId
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publisher
ABRAMS
atos
4.5
bisacCodes
      • code: JUV002050
      • description: Juvenile Fiction / Animals / Cats
      • code: JUV013070
      • description: Juvenile Fiction / Family / Siblings
      • code: JUV039030
      • description: JUVENILE FICTION / Social Themes / Death, Grief, Bereavement