Monday, March 7, 2011

Bibliophile's Corner

The Underneath
by Kathi Appelt

Flap copy description:
A calico cat, about to have kittens, hears the lonely howl of a chained-up hound deep in the backwaters of the bayou. She dares to find him in the forest, and the hound dares to befriend the cat, this feline, this creature he is supposed to hate. They are an unlikely pair, about to become an unlikely family. Ranger urges the cat to hide underneath the porch, to raise her kittens there because Gar-Face, the man living inside the house, will surely use them as alligator bait should he find them. But they are safe in the Underneath ... as long as they stay in the Underneath.

My thoughts:
Kathi Appelt's, The Underneath, left me with two conflicting opinions. The first being that this book was written with a rhythm like a song being sung, rather than a story being told - simply beautiful, poetic writing. The second opinion is that the "song" has a very discordant emotion to it. On one hand it is the age old good vs. evil story, but on the other hand (for most of the book) it felt like the evil was winning. Personally, the mixture of hatred and violence in the text bothered me and I have to wonder if it is appropriate for readers below twelve years of age. (The flap cover states: Ages 10 and up.) The author received a Newbery Honor Award for this book in 2008.

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