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Looking for a fresh start, Travis and his father moved to a tiny town in Newfoundland.  Travis’ father immediately settles into his role as the town doctor, but Travis, still grieving over the loss of his mother, struggles to find his place.  When a bully marks Travis as his target on Travis’ first day of school, Travis knows that his new town will never be home.  But then Travis discovers a group of wild cats, who will certainly freeze to death during the fierce Canadian winter…unless Travis can figure out a way to help them.

Travis’ battles–to make friends, save the cats, defeat the bully, conquer his grief and find a home–drew me in immediately.  Readers of all ages will relate to this book, but middle school boys in particular will devour MacLean’s first book.  AND, I just discovered that MacLean wrote a follow-up book about one of the female characters, Prinny Murphy.  How cool would it be for the girls in a 6th grade class to read Prinny’s story and the boys to read Travis’ story?  Or better yet, the girls can read from the boys point-of-view, and the boys can read from the girls’.

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