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The Curious Cat Spy Club Review by Leah Courtney

Linda Joy Singleton
Albert Whitman & Company
250 South Northwest Highway, Suite 320
Park Ridge, Illinois 60068

The Curious Cat Spy Club is a middle grade fiction book written by Linda Joy Singleton. It is a print, hardback book with twenty-seven chapters. The story is narrated by the book’s main character, Kelsey Case. Kelsey is a middle-school student. When she comes across a runaway zorse (half zebra, half horse) owned by Becca Morales, a popular girl from her school, the two girls end up discovering a sack of abandoned kittens in a dumpster. The girls are joined by geeky and intelligent Leo Polanski and form a club to help solve the mystery of missing animals reported throughout their town.

The Curious Cat Spy Club is the name of the club that the three form. Kelsey has always wanted to be a spy, and now she has a real mystery to solve. But as the three new friends work to solve the mystery of the disappearing animals, they also have to work on trusting each other. As they look for the culprit guilty of stealing all of the animals, Kelsey stumbles into danger. In the end, she helps the club to solve the mystery and the three friends remain together- The Curious Cat Spy Club.

My 5th and 6th grade girls were excited to read this book when it arrived at our house. The book is written about middle school girls and will appeal to middle grade readers. My girls were also drawn to it because they are animal lovers. The very name drew them in, and when they read the book’s description and knew the story had to do with missing animals, they were definitely hooked. Because the book is written in first person narration, it draws in readers with its conversational tone.

There were several things I thought were great about The Curious Cat Spy Club. The theme and characters will interest the middle grade readers it’s geared toward. The subject matter- a suspenseful mystery to solve- is one that seems particularly interesting for that age group. The book was well-written. The story seemed to flow well and hold the reader’s interest.

Although I really enjoyed the book overall, and my girls definitely enjoyed it, there were a few concerns that I had as I read through it. The main character- Kelsey- does quite a bit of sneaking around and lying to her parents. Her actions are always made out to be okay because she’s doing it for the sake of the secret club with the noble goal of recovering lost animals. I don’t like the message that sends. My other problem with it was that, although the kids in the story are middle school-aged, there is a good bit of talk of dating and who likes who. I know that this can be the norm for that age group, but encouraging dating at that young age isn’t something we do in our family.

All in all, I liked The Curious Cat Spy Club. My girls are old enough to be a little discerning with what they’re reading, and I’m okay with letting them read things we don’t agree with totally because it gives good opportunity for some discussion. The book was very interesting and appealing to them, and I think they would enjoy others in the series.

—Product Review by Leah Courtney, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, February, 2016