Reading/Interest Level: Primary
Author: Callie Barkley
Illustrator: Marsha Riti
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Division
Marion is one of four girls that make up The Critter Club. After school, the girls help run a small animal shelter in their friend Ms. Sullivan’s barn. When a litter of kittens finds its way to The Critter Club, the girls are excited to take care of them. Marion struggles to make time for it all because not only is she a diligent student, but she also is training for a horse competition that’s coming up. She was hoping to win a blue ribbon at the competition in two weeks, until she trips and sprains her ankle at the barn. She becomes jealous of her sister who still gets to compete. When Marion gets down, her friends are there to remind her of all the things she can still do really well. In the end, The Critter Club finds homes for all of the kittens, and the girls have a party for Marion and her sister.
This book is about the power and trials of friendship. A great read for animal lovers and perfect for girls who are new to chapter books. There is an illustration included on every page spread and limited text per page. Readers will be reminded that good friends are there for you through the think and thin. Sometimes it is easy to be jealous when our friends accomplish something we haven't, but we need to remember that we love them and are happy for their achievements. It can be easy to focus in hard times, but when you turn outward like Marion did, it can be easier to handle things and see the positive. After reading this book, girls will look forward to reading other books in The Critter Club series.