Author: Hahn, Mary Downing
Zoey loves spending the summer with her Aunt Alice at her aunt's new house. But she's unnerved by the overgrown forest and run-down house next door. There are rumors in town of a dark force in those woods. And Zoey can't deny that the wild black cats who live there seem to be watching her. When she encounters a mean old woman who claims to be their owner, Zoey sees there's more to the cats than meets the eye. And more danger hidden within their secrets.
|Accelerated Reader Information:
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.00
Points: 8.0 Quiz: 514266
Kirkus Reviews (07/15/21)
School Library Journal (10/01/21)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 08/01/2021 Zoey is excited to spend her summer with her Aunt Alice in the quaint town of Bexhill, but her aunt’s neighbor Miss Dupree is far from charming. Zoey is warned by her aunt to stay away from Miss Dupree and her house, which is surrounded by feral cats and “No Trespassing” signs. However, one of the cats—a weak, small one named Thirteen—comes to Zoey, and the girl keeps it, incurring Miss Dupree’s wrath. Another neighbor, Lila, becomes Zoey’s comrade in paranormal sleuthing, and once they share their spooky interactions with Miss Dupree, they conclude that she must be a witch! Then Miss Dupree’s niece comes to visit, but it becomes apparent that there is also something strange about her. Mysteries and eerie happenings abound, and they seem to be wrapped up with Thirteen. It’s up to the girls to discover the truth even if it means putting themselves in danger. Horror maven Hahn conjures up another heart-pumping read for the younger set that strikes the right balance between thrills and chills. - Copyright 2021 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 10/01/2021 Gr 3–7—Twelve-year-old Brooklyn, NY, native Zoey is spending her summer in Bexhill with her Aunt Alice when strange events start to occur. Zoey notices a pack of black cats, led by a long-haired white cat. They are all owned by the cruel yet fashionable Miss Dupree who is not pretty, but not ugly; not old, but not young. After a run-in with Miss Dupree, Zoey and her friend Lila are turned into cats. Lila and Zoey team up with Nia, another girl-turned-cat, to break the evil spell Miss Dupree has cast on them. This tale is creepy and reminiscent of Roald Dahl's The Witches. Readers will feel a sense of dread as the story comes together and they realize why the girls have been turned into cats. There is little character description, so it's up to the reader to imagine what Zoey and Lila look like. The ending is happy, but also sad; not everyone is saved, which makes the horror all the more effective. VERDICT This twisted tale would be good for older elementary students who love stories with magic, witches, and impending doom.—Maeve Dodds, Charlotte Mecklenburg Lib., NC - Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.