Book - 2004
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When his parents are kidnapped, what's ten-year-old Charlie Ashanti to do? Rescue them, that's what! He doesn't know who has taken his parents, or why. But he does know that one special talent will aid him on his journey--his amazing ability to speak Cat. Charlie calls on his clever feline friends--from stray city cats to magnificent caged lions--for help. With them by his side, Charlie uses wit and courage to try to find his parents before it's too late.

With its whirlwind action and suspense, Lionboy is a nonstop page-turner. This mother-daughter writing team will fascinate readers of all ages with their Cat-speaking hero!

"A zinger of a story, told with a J.K. Rowling-like blend of humor, drama and headlong plotting." -- The Washington Post

Publisher: New York : Puffin, 2004, c2003
ISBN: 9780142402269
Branch Call Number: COR
Characteristics: 275 p
Alternative Title: Lion boy


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Aug 18, 2011

I'm going to start off with a Harry Potter comparison: remember that very first line of The Philosopher's Stone? The voice jumped out at you; it was the voice of a narrator who knew what an epic tale she was spinning. Same goes for Lion Boy. With the most perfect chapter on possible, the author has got our protag, his parents, his background and his problem established. The very last line is the jewel in the crown. No seriously.

We slip easily into Charlie's viewpoint. His delight over being treated as a grown-up make him real; his sense of justice and views on ethnicity (especially considering his "brown" skin colour) make him someone to cheer for. Though his multilingualism is a little difficult to believe (Charlie speaks English, French and Twi fluently, along with Latin and Italian), you can't help admiring the loyalty and stubborness he maintains even when fearing for his life.

Action is aplenty, which makes this perfect for reluctant readers. After all, who's never dreamed of joining the circus, or uncovering a company conspiracy? And don't forget the lions, who're exciting enough even if you didn't dream of joining the circus or uncovering a conspiracy. Their contrasting personalities -- at once cheery friends and powerful predators -- establish them as real characters, and the countless chases keeps the storyline on its toes.

An intriguing look at a futuristic world is presented: there are very few cars, and asthma seems to be the main sickness. There are hints of a Corporacy capitalizing on this, and a few science-y aspects are thrown in for good measure. The world development has definite potential, and hopefully future installments will provide a more in-depth look.

WIth unique characters, a speed-of-sound plot and cat-speaking, Lion Boy can be enjoyed by anyone. Oh! And it's middle-grade. Enjoy by anyone + middle-grade = a win combo. :D

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VeganGreen Sep 25, 2009

VeganGreen thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 9 and 12


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