'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Wednesday 15 November 2017

Review: The Blue Cat

Ursula Dubosarsky has a knack for sending shivers up my spine. Although The Blue Cat is ostensibly  historical fiction, there's an element of mystery or magic or perhaps a bit of both simmering under the surface of this gentle narrative.

The Second World War has begun, but it seems far away from Sydney. Then a blue cat appears on the street near Columba's house. Where did it come from? Has it survived some torturous journey in one of the military ships docked in the harbour? Or does it have special powers? Perhaps it is a guardian angel in disguise.

And what about Ellery, who does not speak? He appeared at about the same time as the blue cat. Rumour has it Ellery is a war refuge. He lives with his father, but Columba wants to know where his mother is. Could she be a victim of Hitler's war?

Columba knows only her small suburban world overlooking Sydney Harbour but her active imagination fills in the gaps of unknowing. To interesting effect.

The Blue Cat is the story of a curious girl who is personally untouched by the war, yet always concerned about how close that war is about to come. Through her father's newspapers, we learn what constraints refuges faced on arrival in wartime Australia. Through Columba, we experience first hand the confusion that came with preparing for a distant war and wondering what would happen if it came too close.

With new friends, adventures close to home and unexpected discoveries, all founded upon rigorous historical research, The Blue Cat is a keeper for lovers of history, but also for anyone who loves a rattling good read.

Title: The Blue Cat
Author: Ursula Dubosarsky
Publisher: Allen & Unwin, $19.99
Publication Date: 20 March 2017
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781760292294
For ages: 10 – 14 years
Type: Middle Fiction