Megan, like most thirteen-year-old kids, loves kittens. In fact, her burning ambition is quite simple – she wants a pet of her own. The problem lies in the shape of her parents; they suffer from pet hair allergies and don’t think that Megan will look after the pet herself. Quite sensible you might think if you’re one of millions of adults who have spent large chunks of their weekends clearing your beloved’s hamster/ rabbit/ guinea pig/ chinchilla (please delete / add to as appropriate), despite heartfelt assurances, only a few weeks previously, that they will do all the caring!
From the poor state of Megan’s room we can infer that she is most likely to fall into the ‘bored after a week or two’ category leaving mum or dad to pick up the poo as well as the vet’s bills. However, Megan’s luck is in when she traces the sound of faint mewing to a cardboard box hidden in a hedge containing four new-born kittens. Unsurprisingly, she wants to save them and decides she can do it alone – probably correctly guessing that her parents wouldn’t allow her to keep them. The following chapters detail the lengths Megan has to go to raise healthy kittens in her room whilst ensuring mom and dad are none the wiser. Moreover, she decides her only chance of being allowed to keep the kittens will be to prove she is responsible enough to care for her own pet by being far more helpful to her parents and more conscientious with her studies.
The story is told in a straightforward manner and would be suitable for the 8-9 year-old reading age range. As a central character Megan is fine and experiences the kind of agonising you might expect from a child deceiving her parents for a cause she is passionate about. The theme is a very familiar one and the author doesn’t stray far from the well-worn path and I think readers would appreciate a little more drama. Although Megan has problems to solve, such as feeding and vaccination issues, there isn’t really enough to keep the audience gripped and ultimately this does affect engagement. Megan obviously goes on a momentous journey to become a responsible pet owner but the reader feels too much like an observer and not a fellow ticket holder.