The Underneath by Kathi Appelt

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There is nothing lonelier than a cat who has been loved, at least for a while, and then abandoned on the side of the road.

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 this 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 long as they stay in the Underneath.

Kittens, however, are notoriously curious creatures. And one kitten’s one moment of curiosity sets off a chain of events that is astonishing, remarkable, and enormous in its meaning. For everyone who loves Sounder, Shiloh, and The Yearling, for everyone who loves the haunting beauty of writers such as Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, Flannery O’Connor, and Carson McCullers, Kathi Appelt spins a harrowing yet keenly sweet tale about the power of love—and its opposite, hate—the fragility of happiness and the importance of making good on your promises.

About Kathi Appelt

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Kathi Appelt is the author of the Newbery Honor-winning, National Book Award finalist, PEN USA Literary Award-winning, and bestselling The Underneath as well as the highly acclaimed novel Keeper, The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp, and many picture books. She is a member of the faculty at Vermont College’s Master of Fine Arts program. She has two grown children, lives in Texas with her husband, and once helped her grandma raise a baby raccoon.
Published July 24, 2012 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers. 308 pages
Genres: Nature & Wildlife, Action & Adventure, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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When fate separates them, an old hound dog and two foster kittens survive the dangers of the bayou to find one another.

Apr 01 2008 | Read Full Review of The Underneath

Christian Science Monitor

Puck and Sabine’s mother warns her kittens never to venture outside the dark space beneath the porch where they live, the Underneath.

Aug 18 2008 | Read Full Review of The Underneath

The Bookbag

Summary: An intriguing, moody story of evil in a very well characterised animal world, and not the cute and cuddlesome book it appears to be.

Nov 15 2012 | Read Full Review of The Underneath

Common Sense Media

Three different threads move back and forth between the reality of the swamp, the world of the “underneath,” and the mythical world of shape-shifters, and they intertwine in short chapters that follow no obvious pattern.

May 01 2008 | Read Full Review of The Underneath

Shelf Awareness

Starbucks's next book selection, which will be featured in all the company's stores in the U.S., is The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein (Harper, $23.95, 9780061537936/0061537934), USA Today reported.

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