The Five Lives of Our Cat Zook by Joanne Rocklin
Ten-year-old Oona and her five-year old brother Freddy are worried about their cat Zook, who is in the hospital being treated for kidney failure. Oona is a born storyteller – a gift she inherited from her late father, who passed away two years ago. To soothe Freddy’s fears about Zook, Oona tells him that cats have nine lives and Zook is only on life five. She then makes up tales about Zook’s first four lives, incorporating elements of their real lives into the tales. While Zook’s illness progresses, Oona’s mom meets a new man, Dylan, but Oona has a secret she hasn’t shared with anyone that makes her distrust Dylan. How will it all work out? The story is narrated by Oona and she is a wonderful character, full of spunk, for whom the reader feels compassion for her struggles. A tender family story about healing after loss and finding happiness in our everyday lives.