This is a tale about love and hate, jealousy and loyalty, promises and betrayal. A pregnant cat is abandoned along the side of the road where she hears the sad songs of a lonely hound dog through the woods. Following the sound, she finds Ranger living in the underneath, a place under the tilting house of Gar Face, a mean and hateful man. She has two kittens in the underneath and the four become an unlikely family...the dog offering protection and the kittens providing companionship. But they must stay hidden in the underneath. Intertwined with this is a story from a thousand years ago that happened in this same place, when a man and woman fell in love and had a baby girl. The woman, a daughter of Grandmother Mocassin, shed her snake skin to be with the man. The man, shed his feathers to be with the woman. But they may never shed their human skins if they are to remain together. Don't let the cover fool you. This is not a story for young children. Filled with animal abuse and suspense, readers may find the book too disturbing to finish. Justice does prevail with a clever twist at the end. Beautifully written. Suitable for grades 5-8.
Miss Jennifer said, on Feb. 5 at 12:22PM
This book won a 2009 Newbery Honor Award.
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