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The Underneath    by Kathi Appelt & David Small order for
by Kathi Appelt
Order:  USA  Can
Atheneum, 2008 (2008)
* *   Reviewed by Lyn Seippel

A small calico cat is abandoned in the rain by her family along the roadside of the old piney forest outside of Houston. Left to provide for herself and her unborn kittens, the calico looks for shelter and someone who will love her. She finds Ranger.

Ranger, an old bloodhound, was once a good hunting dog whose master carelessly shot him. His wound healed without help from the man or a vet, but he is now left tied to the porch of an old rundown house in the bayou. He is only fed sporadically, but the calico is a good hunter and shares her meals with him.

The bayou is full of danger. There is Gar Face, the bloodhound's master, who will kill the new kittens living under his shack if he finds them. There is an ancient alligator, and a creature even more ancient that lives in a jar beneath a loblolly pine on a creek called the Little Sorrowful.

Poetic, sad, and suspenseful, The Underneath is a story about the importance of love and friendship, and the sorrow of hate and anger.

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