The Abandoned

The Abandoned

by Paul Gallico


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London hasn’t been kind to Peter, a lonely boy whose parents are always out at parties, and though Peter would love to have a cat for company, his nanny won’t hear of it. One day, as Peter is walking out the door, he sees a truck bearing down on a tabby. Dashing out to save the cat, he is struck by the oncoming truck himself.
Everything is different when Peter comes to: He has fur, whiskers, and claws; he has become a cat himself! But London isn’t any kinder to cats than it is to children. Jennie, a savvy stray who takes charge of Peter, knows that all too well. Jennie schools young Peter in the ways of cats, including how to sniff out a nice napping spot, the proper way to dine on mouse, and the single most important tactic a cat can learn: “When in doubt, wash.” Jennie and Peter will face many challenges—and not all of them are from the dangerous outside world—in their struggle to find a place that is truly home.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781590176269
Publisher: New York Review Books
Publication date: 04/09/2013
Series: New York Review Children's Collection
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 358,279
Product dimensions: 5.68(w) x 8.36(h) x 0.91(d)
Age Range: 9 - 12 Years

About the Author

Paul Gallico (1897–1976) was a popular and prolific sports columnist, screenwriter, and author of books for adults and children. He was born in New York City to an Italian immigrant musician father and a mother who had studied to be a singer, and paid his way through Columbia University by tutoring children and working as a longshoreman. He began his career at the New York Daily News, where he soon became famous for his adventures with star athletes of the day. In 1937 he published the essay “Farewell to Sport” and turned to fiction, publishing stories in publications like Cosmopolitan, The Saturday Evening Post, and The New Yorker. Among his forty-one books are the novella The Snow Goose (1941); Manxmouse (1968, often cited by J.K. Rowling as one of her favorite books); Mrs. ’Arris Goes to Paris (1958) and its four sequels; and The Poseidon Adventure (1969), the basis for the hugely successful 1972 film. From 1950 until his death Gallico lived outside of the United States, mostly in England, Antibes, and Monaco.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“Unalloyed delight.... You should be warned that if you hate cats you’d better not read this story, for it will so entertain you and instruct you in the ways of cats that your interest and liking will be aroused in spite of you.” —Chicago Daily Tribune

“When I was 9 years old I plucked The Abandoned from my school library’s dusty shelves and fell in love with literature. The adventures that unfolded, reminiscent of The Wind in the Willows and Peter Pan, captured me so thoroughly I knew writing was part of my destiny.” —Naomi Serviss, Newsday

“This is one of Gallico's best works, making a perfect companion to his more famous 'Thomasina' and telling of a boy transposed into the body of a cat by accident. His life as a cat involves many hard lessons from companion Jennie in this excellent, sensitive story.”  —Midwest Book Review
“Unalloyed delight.  . . .You should be warned that if you hate cats you’d better not read this story, for it will entertain you and instruct you in the ways of cats, that your interest  and liking will be aroused in spite of you.”  —Chicago Sunday Tribune
“In portraying Jennie, a London tabby, Paul Gallico has given us not only a cat’s-eye-view of the cosmos, but also a cat immortal.” —Saturday Review of Literature
“Poetry and fantasy so skillfully impregnate the story that a parable of haunting wistfulness emerges.” —Christian Science Monitor

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Abandoned 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
PekoeTheCat on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I am speaking as a cat here, about this book, the Abandoned. It is a story that it at one and the same time a beautiful dream, and a horrible nightmare. A boy, one of the nicer sort, who loves cats but is not allowed to have one, runs across the street to pet a cat. He is so excited he has missed seeing the truck which runs him down. He is dreadfully hurt, but awakes in a bed, and then realizes he is all right, but has turned into a cat. Soon, his dear Nanny finds him, and not recognizing him, tosses him outside into the cruel city of London. Have you ever wished that someone could live a little of your life, so that they could understand your trials and point of view? I have to say that this is a feeling that we cats have regularly, especially in regard to those whom I will refer to, henceforth, as the Dominant Species. Because not only do they seem to have no idea of how hard it can be for a cat in this harsh world, but they seem to regard all acts of courage or nobility as belonging to their species alone. Peter, the boy, finds out all about what it is like to live as a cat without a family to take care of him. It is so frightening, all the noise, all the creatures and things running about above you - trying to stay out of the way of wheels and feet and other dangerous things. Almost at once, he is beaten by a hard hearted cat. But he makes his way to Jennie, the heroine of the book, who generously licks his wounds, shares her food and instructs him in the ways of cats. Sometime later, Peter, learns of Jennie¿s secret sorrow. And he learns so well from her that there comes a point where he is able to help her as she has helped him. He has always been a courageous little chap, but he also becomes more thoughtful and giving. I don¿t want to give away all of their adventures, but they have a lot of them. [SPOILER]All this is wonderful, but then comes the really scary part towards the end, when Peter becomes a boy again. I guess I knew it had to happen. It is the way these stories go. Someone kisses the frog and he turns back into a prince. The beast turns back into another prince. The 12 wild swans turn back into boys. You know the pattern. But this is different, you know, to turn that way, from cat to human, such a downfall. Oh, ok, perhaps it was okay for him. He started out that way. He missed his parents, and, maybe he would be able to remember something of how noble he had been and to keep a little of Jennie in his heart. But then, I just couldn¿t get it out of my head. What if it happened to me? I can feel you shudder. Think of it, school, and then the job. Years and years of the job. It scares me now every time I go to sleep. Nonetheless, it¿s a very good book. Humans especially should read it. Cats too, just not before bed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I live this book It is sad and sweet at the same time Simply touching :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have just reread it for the first time in 50 plus years. It's every bit as great as it was then. It's too bad that Jennie and Thomasina, among others, aren't still available. Paul Gallico's children's writing are still lovely.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is absolutly stunning. Gallico has brought the reader into the world of cats, how they feel and what they see. All of the theories on why cats do what. A true leson of being able to know two worlds and how to be truly content in your own. You can't help but cry in the end.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Paul Gallico's attention to the details of a cat's world is breathtaking. As Jennie Baldrin teaches Peter how to be a cat, we stand beside Peter, gathering insights into the minds of cats (to the extent that mere humans can do so). None of the characters, whether feline or human, is perfect--not even Jennie herself--but their imperfections make them more accessible to the reader, and their selfless gestures become more noble because of their foibles. This is, without question, one of the most wonderful books I've ever read--but be sure to have the tissues handy when you get to the end (if you haven't already needed them).
Guest More than 1 year ago
In the UK, where this was originally published, the title is simply 'Jennie.' 'The Abandoned' doesn't make much sense as a title, but this is a fabulous book which really deserves to be read more than it is. The detail of a cat's life in mid-20th century London is fascinating, and Peter's ordeal in learning to live there will be familiar to anyone who has ever felt awkward encountering a new set of social rules. A funny, intelligent, charming book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a great story of fantasy in a cats world. it will make you cry in the end.
Guest More than 1 year ago
An abandoned ,although noble by birth, cat befriends a young,and not so royal,kitty from the streets . She teaches him the arts of the Feline world. Grooming,eating and survival. She also divulges the rotten side of some people and what happens when you give your heart away to them. The young one teaches her that not everything is as it seems where the humans are concerned. He has a 'special' knowlede of them and their kind. Very insightful. This is a person who fully knows cats.