Ava and Taco Cat (Ava and Pip #2)by Carol Weston

Published April 7th 2015 by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

4.5 Stars

Synopsis: Ava desperately wants a pet for her eleventh birthday-but gets way more than she bargained for when she adopts T-A-C-O-C-A-T.

When Ava Wren hears about an injured yellow tabby with mismatched ears, she becomes obsessed and wants to rescue him. She even picks out a perfect palindromic name: T-A-C-O-C-A-T. But when Taco joins the family, he doesn’t snuggle or purr-all he does is hide. Worse, Ava’s best friend starts hanging out with Zara, a new girl in fifth grade. Ava feels alone and writes an acclaimed story, “The Cat Who Wouldn’t Purr.” What begins as exciting news turns into a disaster. How can Ava make things right? And what about sweet, scared little Taco?

The New York Times called AVA AND PIP “a love letter to language. ” With this second diary, Girls’ Life advice columnist Carol Weston hits another home run.

My Review: I did not read the first Ava and Pip book, but had no problem following this story. This is a cute series for girls (9 – 12) about siblings, writing, being creative, looking for your stengths, friendship and more. The family loves words and language. They especially love palindromes, words that spell the same forward and backward. Their father is a playwrite and he encourages his daughters to use their strengths.

Ava is turning 11 and wants a pet, not any pet, but the honey coloured cat that her mother told them about. The cat had been brought into the vet’s office where her mother works, possibly after being attacked by a coyote. It has been turned over to the Animal Rescue and Ava wants her family to adopt him. Her parents finally agree with her and Pip and they head to the Animal Rescue to adopt the cat. Ava names him Taco Cat, because of his colour and the fact that it is a palindrome. The problem is that when they get Taco Cat home, he is completely anti-social. He hides under the couch for days and Ava begins to think she has made the wrong decision about getting this cat. While this is going on, Ava is having a personal dilemma. Her BFF has befriended the new girl, Zara, and Ava feels that they are drifting apart. Not only that, but Zara has caused a rift between Ava and Chuck, another friend. With Ava not feeling great about everything, Pip tries to cheer her up and keep her occupied by creating a book called, Alphabet Fish. Ava writes the poems while Pip does the illustrations. As the story goes on, Ava has a lot of decisions to make, some of them tougher than others, but she learns about friendship and about doing the right thing. This is a great book for a school, classroom, or child’s library.