Review: Six Kids and a Stuffed Cat

Six Kids and a Stuffed Cat
Six Kids and a Stuffed Cat by Gary Paulsen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This review is also available on my blog, Read Till Dawn.

Okay, this was not exactly what I was expecting.

It’s a really short book – really more of a novella than a novel, really. The story was over just as I thought it was getting really interesting, and I suppose I’m so used to meaningful stories taking place over time that I have trouble taking the entire episode in the bathroom as nothing more than exactly that: just a short episode.

It’s actually even shorter than the 144 pages the volume as a whole is, because the entire story is re-written in play form. And no, I don’t mean that the book is continued in play form or that new meaning is given to the tale as the play casts different light on characters or inflection. I mean that it is literally transcribed into the format of a play, so that people can perform it if the urge strikes. That means the prose story itself is just 76 pages.

I feel like this was supposed to be meaningful, but it really just came across as bizarre more than anything else. It would have made a really interesting middle grade novel, with more fleshed-out characters and room for them to really grow, but in the short format of a novella everything felt really random and kind of rushed.

I don’t know, though, maybe I’m just too thick and am missing the point. If you’ve read Six Kids and a Stuffed Cat and you got more out of it than I did, please enlighten me in the comments section.

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