The Underneath by Kathi Appelt. Illustrated by David Small. 320 p. Atheneum Books for Young Readers, May, 2008. 9781416950585. (Own)
#tbt features The Underneath by Kathi Appelt. Happy tenth anniversary to Kathi Appelt and her impressive debut! She adeptly weaves three narrative strands together in this atmospheric, suspenseful story that takes place in a bayou in east Texas. A pregnant stray cat follows the sound of a baying hound to the place underneath the porch of a rickety shack. The hound is concerned for the cat's well-being since his owner is abusive. His attempts to warn her away fail and the two and her eventual kittens bond. It is a story of loyalty and love. It is also the story of a mythical beast and a human one. Have tissues at hand. The language is lovely and lyrical. The illustrations add interest. The Underneath is a memorable and satisfying read.
Press release: Kathi Appelt is the New York Times best-selling author of more than forty books for children and young adults. Her first novel, The Underneath, was a National Book Award Finalist and a Newbery Honor Book. It also received the PEN USA Award. Her other novels include The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp, a National Book Award finalist, and Maybe a Fox, one of the Bank Street Books Best Children’s Books of the Year. In addition to writing, Ms. Appelt is on the faculty in the Masters of Creative Writing for Children and Young Adults at Vermont College of Fine Arts. She lives in College Station, Texas. To learn more, and to find curriculum materials and activity pages, visit her website at kathiappelt.com.
Check out the trailer for The Underneath!