Nobody knows what makes Chicken happy like Cat does. Chicken (real name Henry) is Cat’s little brother. He has problems. Gently and thoughtfully, Cat manoeuvres Chicken’s day to make sure he is safe, happy and calm. She’s relieved at the thought of a summer in Atlanta with her best friend Rishi. Rishi’s family understand Chicken. Mum will take a break and it will mean some respite for Cat too.
However everything is turned upside-down when Rishi’s family have to abandon these plans because of an emergency. Suddenly Mum confesses she needs to work over the summer and the only option is for Cat and Chicken to stay with her parents in North Carolina. Mum is estranged from her parents. Something happened before the children were born, when their Dad first met Mum. Cat is determined to discover this. She’s also resolute in her need to keep Chicken safe. How can her grandparents know anything about Chicken like Cat does?
What happens when the walls start crumbling? When a fishing contest brokers a truce? Is there only one side to a story? Can new friends and family help Cat unburden herself, find some inner peace, share the responsibility and enjoy a ‘Caterpillar Summer’?
Bookwagon is delighted to discover this ‘real life’, empathetic, family story. Cat is an endearing character. I love the way she builds relationships and routines on Gingerbread Island and the slow, turtle-like emergence of her grandfather. This is a favourite title especially recommended to readers who love true-to-life tales.