Ava and Taco Cat by Carol Weston

Published by Sourcebook Jabberwocky

Summary:  When Ava’s mom tells the family about the beat-up cat being treated at the vet clinic where she works, Ava decides she must have this cat for her birthday.  She launches an ingenious, and ultimately successful, campaign, and the cat is theirs.  She and her family love all kinds of wordplay, and they give their cat a palindrome for a name, Taco Cat.  Written in diary form, Ava relates how she helps the timid new cat bond with her family, and how he influences aspects of her life like friendships and her writing.  A story she writes about Taco ends up in the newspaper, and disaster strikes when Taco’s original owner sees it.  Ava is forced to make a very difficult decision about what is best for her new pet.  Grades 4-6.

Pros:  Ava is an endearing, intelligent, and not overly sophisticated narrator.  The diary format keeps the story moving swiftly.  Fans of Judy Moody and Allie Finkle will enjoy this book and its predecessor, Ava and Pip.

Cons:  Ava occasionally seems a bit wise beyond her years.

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