So last Thursday I finished reading It's like this, cat by Emily Neville and I've been putting off my post reviewing it because I really found it to be a boring book. Granted the target audience of this book is pre-teen to young teen boys, but that is also the target audience for The Outsiders and I loved that book. This book follows a 14 year old boy through his life for about a year. Like most books targeted at this age group, it is a coming of age story in which the boy realizes that his dad is not so bad after all. It is set in New York City in the early 1960's so this boy's life is different from most any boy today in that times have changed so much since then! The boy, Dave, inherits a stray cat from a neighbor lady that rescues them and this cat becomes his constant side-kick. The story shows him maturing beyond his boyhood friends to more mature friends and going from thinking girls are a simple annoyance to having a bit of a girlfriend. There is only one point of high adventure, and it is not even for him, the protagonist, but for his neighbor lady! It is still central to him since it is a time that he gets to see his dad in a new light, but still, I was disappointed by that.
Even with all my negativity, this book has some redeeming factors. First of all, I think kids would enjoy it much more than me. It is really neat to see first hand what city life was like for a kid in the 60's. I am amazed that his mom lets him ride the subway from Manhattan to Coney Island and his bike to the Bronx. He goes all over the city, and as long as he is home for supper it is okay! How wonderful! Most kids cannot even do that in the suburbs anymore! I did some of that, but not even to that extent, and I am not sure I would let my kids do it! Also, it is set in the city. A lot of books for boys are set in the country in an idyllic type setting, which is unrealistic for most children. I think that will help a child relate to the main character. It was also clean and wholesome. It was written in 1963, when most authors weren't trying to gain teen readership by writing shocking and edgy stuff!
Even though it wasn't my favorite, I would still recommend this to a youngster. I probably wouldn't recommend it to a peer though.