Review: Catalyst

Catalyst by Sarah Beth Durst
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Sarah Beth Durst's latest middle-grade fantasy centers on a giant kitten named Pipsqueak. Well, actually, Pipsqueak started out really tiny but overnight, after she is rescued by soon-to-be-twelve Zoe, starts growing. And growing. And... GROWING. In a little over a week, Pipsqueak is bigger than a mountain lion. And talking and reading books. Zoe doesn't know whether to be utterly delighted with her new companion (she's been quite down, anticipating her older brother's departure to college) or terrified that tabloids and scientists are going to find Pipsqueak and take her away, making Pip's life a misery. How can she keep her safe? Taking her friend Harrison and his older cousin Surita into her confidence, she hatches a plan to get Pipsqueak to her Aunt Alecia, who lives at a sanctuary in New Hampshire and knows all about unusual animals. It will take some serious sneaking around, like lying to Zoe and Harrison's parents that they're at Surita's summer camp, and riding Pipsqueak to New Hampshire. And some of that riding might involve hopping from roof to roof to avoid being seen down on the ground. It sounds like lots of fun except for the fact that Zoe is expecting Aunt Alecia to "fix" Pipsqueak, as in somehow make her a regular housecat again. Can she? And even if she could, should she?

This is a sweet fantasy about learning to accept change and situations that don't meet your expectations. Sometimes the best way to learn about and accept change is to be a catalyst for change. The novel is a good selection for summer reading for children between the ages of ten and thirteen years of age. 

I received a copy of this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.

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