Cages by Peg Kehret is an inspiring book about overcoming struggles and never giving up.
I would recommend this book with two thumbs up. I think this would be a great read aloud book for upper elementary grades.
If you are a teacher and find yourself looking for a good book to read to your class, this would be the perfect book.
Cages is laced with struggles and circumstances, some beyond beyond human control and others based on the character's own decisions. Kit, the main character, lives with her alcoholic step-father and a mother who seems to ignore his behavior in order keep " the peace" in the family.
Kit has dreams of starring in the upcoming school play, when those dreams are crushed and the role is given to a spoiled rich girl, Kit wallows in her self-misery and makes a decision that was clouded by her emotional state. Hiding her crime from her best friend and drunk step-father, she nearly costs them their friendship and safety. As a result, Kit finds herself working community service at the Humane Society and soon falls in love with a four-legged friend and finds advice and wisdom from an unlikely source.
Life turns upside down once again after an emergency room visit for Kit's mother, and forces Kit and her step-father to evaluate their relationship after a drunk driving accident.
When reading this book you can't help but imagine yourself in her place and wondering what you would do. You begin to realize that there are those around you in similar circumstances. There are so many kids who will relate with the themes presented in this book: peer pressure, keeping secrets, family hurts, best friends, loss of a pet.....the list goes on. This book deals with heavy topics; topics that are sadly the reality for many young children. I think this book will give perspective, and more importantly, a sense of perseverance, and a chance to learn from our mistakes. It's about the power to make the right choice, even when it's seems it's been made for you.
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