|Cat I never named : a true story of love, war, and survival|
Author: Sabic-El-Rayess, Amra
In Bihac, Bosnia, in 1992, sixteen-year-old Amra and her family face starvation and the threat of brutal ethnic violence as Serbs and Bosnians clash, while a stray cat, Maci, provides solace.
|Added Entry - Personal Name:||Sullivan, Laura L|
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: UG
Reading Level: 5.50
Points: 17.0 Quiz: 511620
Kirkus Reviews (+) (07/15/20)
School Library Journal (+) (00/10/20)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/09/20)
The Hornbook (00/01/21)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 10/01/2020 Gr 8 Up—Sabic-El-Rayess, a Bosnian Muslim teenage girl, was in danger when the Bosnian War (1992–95) made its way to her home city of Biha . Her memoir begins in 1992; the first chapter details her homecoming from Belgrade, Serbia. Her parents, who fiercely believed in the power of education, had sent their daughter away for school. Upon returning to Biha , Sabic-El-Rayess found that things had quickly changed. School was suspended, her Serbian friends disowned her before moving away, and bombings became a regular occurrence. Food was in short supply, and family and friends died. Yet there was one small constant source of hope: an ever-present cat that saved her family's life several times over the six years chronicled in the text. Moving chronologically, the climactic events follow the time line of the war. Sabic-El-Rayess's experience spotlights a significant historical event that may be unfamiliar to the target audience. She comprehensively addresses politics, genocide, rape camps, self-preservation, and, through it all, still being a teenager. Her prose balances verve and gentleness as she discusses the horrors of war alongside moments of levity, be it the cat or a love interest. The narrative is an innately human experience set against a backdrop of destruction and hatred. Her family's survival will pull readers into an emotional tale. VERDICT A hopeful story of a girl's survival and ultimate success. A must-read nonfiction addition to all libraries.—Alicia Abdul, Albany H.S., NY - Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.