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Comet’s Nine Lives

Laura Gifford
Laura Gifford

Author, illustrator: Jan Brett
Publisher: Puffin Books, 2001 (originally published in 1996)

coverComet is an orange-and-white cat living on the island of Nantucket. He would really like to find a good home. But whenever he thinks he has found his place, catastrophe strikes! Will he find a true home before his ninth life is spent?

Brett's work has become legendary for the beauty and intricacy of her illustrations, which often tell stories within stories to complement and further explore her text. Comet's Nine Lives is no exception. The book is typically gentle — Comet's catastrophes are silly, not scary — but also slyly clever. Comet's world is largely benevolent, but it's populated entirely by dogs! This juxtaposition of feline and canine subtly illuminates Comet's outsider status.

By the end of the book, Comet has found a home. The details of his journey we will leave for the reader's enjoyment.

On some level we all are wanderers in this world. Many a child traveling the complex path of identity will wonder where his or her "home" might be. While not an overtly religious text, Comet's Nine Lives offers a wonderful opening for adults to talk with young children about our lives, our callings and our truest, deepest "home." 

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