Reviews for Spy Cat


Booklist Monthly Selections - #1 January 2003
Gr. 4-6. Pete the cat, who understands, reads, and thinks in English, but can communicate only in "meows," solves another crime for the Kendrill family. In his debut, The Stranger Next Door [BKL Fe 1 02], the crime was arson; this time, Valley View Estates is the site of a rash of burglaries. Seven-year-old Benjie Kendrill wanders into the burglary of his own home. Thinking Pete is being stolen, Benjie pursues the culprits; his life is in danger unless Pete can lead people to the clue left behind by the little boy. Benjie's foolhardiness comes across as questionable in an age of mistrust of strangers, and everyone but Pete behaves a bit too rationally, given the desperate circumstance. Still, kids who liked the first book and are ready for a step up from James Howe's stories can look forward to a fun, suspenseful read. ((Reviewed January 1 & 15, 2003)) Copyright 2003 Booklist Reviews

----------------------
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2003 Fall
Alex and his family get some new neighbors--a girl and her grandmother who tend injured animals--at the same time their housing development is hit by a series of burglaries. Alex's cat, Pete, plays a role in the investigation and contributes his own sardonic comments (in italics) throughout the text. This device adds a welcome touch of humor to the suspenseful story. Copyright 2003 Horn Book Guide Reviews

----------------------
Kirkus Reviews 2003 February #1
As in a previous outing (The Stranger Next Door, 2001), "co-written" with this collaborator--her own pet--Kehret delivers an exciting, suspenseful thriller that satisfies on several levels, thanks in no small part to the inherent literary talent of said feline and the juicy role in which he cast himself in the drama. Pete's not only a distinguished author, but as a key player he's a spy of rare talent whose actions and "words" are rendered in italics throughout the narrative to distinguish his activities from those of his human coauthor and fictional foils. A rash of robberies has been perpetrated in a small town in which Pete the Character lives with his family. Benjie Kendrill, younger brother of Pete's owner, Alex, imagines himself a master spy and sets out to hunt down clues to the crimes. Exciting events ensue, including the inevitable robbery of the Kendrills' own home and the kidnapping of Benjie after he unwittingly gives himself and his store of knowledge away to the thieves. He's one smart, brave, and resourceful kid, though; along the way he picks up enough clues to nail these burglars to the wall. Pete is the cat's meow as he goes above and beyond to save Benjie and to lead the less-clever humans (who don't understand his "English") to the solution of the crimes and Benjie's successful rescue. Readers will keep turning the pages, though Benjie's harrowing experiences as a captive might frighten very sensitive youngsters. Kehret manages to include in her satisfying story humor, commentary about kindness to animals, and the importance of family and friends. (Fiction. 10-12) Copyright Kirkus 2003 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved

----------------------
School Library Journal Reviews 2003 January
Gr 4-7-In this second adventure starring the feline, the Kendrill family is alarmed when they hear that a neighbor's house has been burglarized. Sixth-grader Alex and his six-year-old brother, Benjie, worry and wonder what they would do if their house were robbed. Everyone is understandably nervous, except Pete, who is sure he can protect his family; after all, he is a perfect watchcat. He does see the next robbery in progress and tries to warn Alex and his friend Rocky. However, while Pete can understand human speech, people can't understand Cat, much to his disappointment and frustration. Then all of his abilities are needed when the Kendrills' house becomes the next target. He tries to stop the burglars, only to have his plan backfire and turn serious when Benjie is missing. It takes the child's bravery and observational powers and the feline's wild antics and loud meowing to capture the crooks. This is a fast-moving mystery adventure that readers of James Howe's "Sebastian Barth" series (S & S) or Betsy Byars's "Herculeah Jones" books (Viking) will enjoy. Pete's observations are printed in italics so readers always know exactly what he thinks.-Terrie Dorio, Santa Monica Public Library, CA

----------------------