Reviews

Blitzcat, by Robert Westall

mimi503's review against another edition

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4.0

I read this book in the sixth grade and for some reason I always remembered it, so I was excited to read it again. Such a lovely little book, although heartwrenching at times. Such a different way to look at the Blitz, so it makes sense we read it in school- so much more interesting than a typical historical account!

psalmcat's review against another edition

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5.0

I started reading this with my son in May (I think), taking turns: he read a page, then I read a page. Now that I finished it--alone--I realize that in every way, it's way ahead of him. Westall is categorized as a YA author, but this book needs to be read by someone who knows an awful lot about the events around WWII in England. Probably not too many teens have that knowledge. I can see it being used as a literature component in a history class, though.

Anyway. The story follows Lord Gort, a cat whose owner has been sent over to the Continent in the early months of the war, before Dunkirk. The cat can sense her owner's location, and spends most of the book trying to find him. Along the way, she is cared for, and brings good fortune to, many people. "Good fortune" isn't really the right word, just that she's sort of a talisman for postivism instead of all the awfulness of war.

In spite of being a minor WWII buff, I don't know that much about the war years in England (beyond the Land Girls movement), so this was a surprisingly educational book. The cat spends some of her time in Coventry, and I won't spoil the effect she has on that city's tragedy, but it is moving.

I finished this just before going to England. At both York and Lincoln, chapels have been created to honor the veterans and servicemen killed in the RAF and USAAC bombing raids that began in that area. I was reminded over and over while in the U.K. of this book. And it was all just happy accident that I was reading it the day we left. I almost want to read it again now that we're home so that I can pay closer attention.

Good book.

arianhimself's review against another edition

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4.0

.و گربه‌ها می‌دانند و شما نمی‌دانید

fred454's review against another edition

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5.0

I always wanted to read this book growing up and never got a change just finished it and was not disappointed

lucythedancingdoula's review

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slow-paced

2.0

kerveros's review

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2.0

So, I actually read this book yesterday but have only just gotten around to writing a review, so my thoughts may not be as fresh as they were.

This is one of those books from my childhood that I swear I put in a pile to give to charity years ago, how it ended up in a bag of books from a friend of my Mum's that she thought my Mum (and I) would like I'm not sure (especially as a number of the books in that bag are historical romance, or period romance or some such!)

Now, re-reading this book I did remember that I wasn't overly impressed with it as a child. It was okay but not really stand out - I'd say the same now re-reading it as an adult. That said, the interactions with the people of war-torn Britain were interesting - especially as I have been reading a lot of memoirs of soldiers from WW2.

The story of the cat itself is sweet, and a nice idea but it is almost too unrealistic to be believable. There are some saccharine moments, some upsetting imagery but never anything really gut-wrenching - I suppose because it is a child's book. Possibly I read it too late in my childhood to appreciate it, I knew of the horrors of war and this was almost too sanitised? That said, there is a scene of soldiers returning traumatised from war which is somewhat harrowing but almost... dealt with far too quickly.

As such I'm not sure who this is recommended for really - certainly not adults or teenagers, and I think most pre-teens would find it dull. It's not a book I'd remember for any future children or recommend to friends with children already.

settare's review

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3.0

Because war is just as bitter, just as resentful, just as atrocious, from the point of view of a cat.

3/5 stars
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