Tuesday, February 2, 2016

‘How to Capture an Invisible Cat’ by Paul Tobin

Book cover, 'How to Capture an Invisible Cat' by Paul Tobin. Image depicts a boy and girl on either side of an enormous cat. A leash is wrapped around all three figures and a small dog is tugging at one end of the leash. The cat is drawn and colored to be translucent, suggesting that it is invisible. A sidewalk and row of houses are depicted in the background, including within the vaporous lower body of the rearing cat.
Every Friday the 13th, sixth-grader and genius Nate Bannister keeps his life interesting by doing three not-so-smart things.

This is why a super-sized, invisible cat is tearing at the Bannister home’s roof as our story opens in Paul Tobin’s How to Capture an Invisible Cat (Bloomsbury USA Children’s Books, March 2016). It’s the first volume in The Genius Factor, a children’s adventure series.

The key to reducing the cat is scrambled in numerical codes that Nate placed on school classmates. He and his new (and only) friend Delphine scramble to recover the codes from their unwitting carriers.

Time is running out until Nate’s dog (whom Nate made capable of producing human speech) will no longer be able to keep the giant cat confined in the Bannisters’ yard.

Compounding Nate’s problems, a secret society is amassing for its latest onslaught. Its members are doing whatever they can to prevent Nate recovering the codes.

I found a lot to enjoy during my reading of How to Capture an Invisible Cat. The presence of a cat put it on my to-read list and the fast-paced story kept me engaged.

I really enjoyed Nate’s preoccupations and his tendency to become sidetracked even during moments of peril. A giant cat is tearing at the roof (as noted in the opening scene) but it coincides with Nate’s first-ever opportunity to have a guest in his home and he’s concerned about being a good host.

And the evil society is bent on world domination but is entirely serious about tea. In fact, this evil society’s name is the “Red Death Tea Society.”

Delphine, who also narrates the story, has social intelligence and practicality to balance Nate’s fantastic inventiveness. Between them, they make a good team and I think that children will enjoy their Friday the 13th exploits.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a review copy of this book from the publisher. The opinion expressed is my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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