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|Nine lives of Jacob Tibbs|
Author: Busby, Cylin
The story of cat Jacob Tibbs, runt of the litter, and his exploits on the high seas as a ship's mouser.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 6.10
Points: 11.0 Quiz: 179589
Kirkus Reviews (11/01/15)
School Library Journal (01/01/16)
Booklist (+) (12/15/15)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (04/16)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 12/15/2015 *Starred Review* From his cat’s-eye perspective, Jacob tells of treacherous sea voyages faced by sailing ships in the early 1800s. Jacob, the runt of Mrs. Tibbs’ litter, is lucky because his small size keeps Captain Natick from selling him, as he does the other five kittens. Alongside his mother, Captain Natick, and the crew of the Melissa Rae, Jacob sets out on his first high-seas adventure. Thrills give way to fear and sadness when a fierce storm strikes, killing Mrs. Tibbs and severely injuring the captain. As the captain’s health deteriorates, first-mate Archer instigates a mutiny and throws his detractors into a longboat along with the near-dead captain and Jacob. They drift for more than a week until Jacob spots an island, where the sailors gratefully recuperate for several days. But will they return safely to Liverpool? And, if so, what fate awaits them there? As the book progresses, Jacob grows from a small, frightened kitten to a strong, mighty hunter (and excellent weather predictor, like his mother). With engrossing action and great character development, Busby has created a story that will enthrall fans of animal fantasy. Kelley’s full-page drawings add to this well-crafted tale, which many readers may come to treasure. - Copyright 2015 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 01/01/2016 Gr 4–6—Though cat-o'-sea Master Jacob Tibbs's mother famously possesses a preternatural gift for predicting bad weather, Jacob is the runt of the litter, with four white paws to boot: a traditional sign of poor rat-catching abilities. When avaricious baddie and shipmate Archer decides to make sure Jacob and his mother are shut out of their voyage, he sets a chain of events in motion that shake the foundations of Jacob's world. Busby deftly blends nautical verisimilitude and 19th-century historical detail with an engaging young feline narrator, creating a coming-of-age adventure story with much to offer a range of readers. The relationship between Jacob and his mother packs genuine emotional punch, and the story brims with swashbuckling maritime adventures. The resolution might not bear close examination, but readers will be too invested in the characters to be too terribly concerned. A discussion of the profit-driven sailing industry even allows for a brief exploration of the English slave trade. Emotional resonance and chockablock seafaring adventures combined with coming-of-age themes takes this over the top. VERDICT An outstanding choice for fans of middle grade nautical adventure and animal narrator novels, especially cat fans, with appeal beyond genre readers. Highly recommended.—Ted McCoy, Springfield City Library, MA - Copyright 2016 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Bulletin for the Center... - 04/01/2016 Yellow tabby cat Jacob Tibbs is born aboard a packet ship in 1847, son of the ship’s fixture, Mrs. Tibbs, who is valued by Captain Natick not only for her mousing skill but also for her weather-forecasting abilities. When Natick ignores one of Mrs. Tibbs’ warnings, the results are dire—a young sailor and Mrs. Tibbs both die at sea, and Natick is seriously injured. Young Jacob must then rise to the role of ship’s cat amid increasing discord amongst the sailors, until an attempted mutiny results in Natick, his second and third mates, the cook, and Jacob being cast adrift. Eventually, they are rescued by a passing ship, but when that vessel’s duplicitous captain hands them over to British authorities as mutineers, Jacob is captured and caged by a man who wants to profit by selling him. Jacob’s narration effectively conveys the historical period, and realistic elements of life at sea lend credibility to a story about peril; the formal language and tone are streamlined and smooth, making this accessible to modern readers. Occasional monochromatic illustrations add texture and atmosphere to the story, and a brief author’s note explains a bit more about ships’ cats. Feline lovers will be drawn into this seaworthy escapade by Jacob, and avid adventure and historical fiction readers will also enjoy the voyage. JH - Copyright 2016 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.