Home > Intermediate Fiction > When the Cat’s Away by Jackie Rutherford

When the Cat’s Away by Jackie Rutherford

When the Cat’s Away by Jackie Rutherford. Pub. Scholastic, 2011.

Jodi, Nathan and Bianca are siblings who are mean to each other and generally don’t get along. Things change when their parents go on an overseas holiday and 18 year old Jodi is left in charge. An aunty is supposed to drop in to take charge and a neighbour is supposed to look in, but both are called away and the teenagers are left to run wild.

On the first night Jodi’s boyfriend stays over, Nathan plays loud rock music all night and the neighbours are annoyed.

Second night Bianca invites friends around and everybody texts their mates and a full blown party starts. The house is trashed and the siblings realise things have got to be sorted and paid for. This leads to some remarkable changes including a “Fear factor” eating competition.

Great to read such a positive story. Teenagers have got to let off steam but when the chips are down they can show great resilience.

Intermediate and junior secondary in appeal. A good first novel, narrated in the first person by Bianca a good teenage voice. Dialogue is particularly good.

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