Varjak Paw

(10 reviews with an average rating of 4 out of 5)

Publisher: David Fickling Books

Varjak Paw is a Mesopotamian Blue cat from a large family that live comfortably inside the Contessa’s large, grand house. Yet, when the Gentleman arrives with his odd black cats, Varjak and his grandfather the Elder Paw believe that something strange is going on. Having escaped the house, Elder Paw tells Varjak to leave and bring back a dog that will frighten away the Gentleman and his black cats. Thing is, Varjak has no street smarts, having been a house cat all his life – and no idea what a dog is, either.

Finding his way in the city is tough for Varjak until he makes friends with Tam and Holly, two street cats who take pity on him and help him find food and shelter and avoid the cat gangs that roam the city and work for the mysterious Sally Bones. At the same time, Varjak dreams of his ancestor, Jalal, who teaches him a special cat martial art as he sleeps, making him a fearsome warrior. Will Varjak ever find a dog and bring it home? And what are the strange robotic cats he witnesses in the city?

A modern classic of an adventure story, Varjak Paw also considers what it is to be persecuted for coming from a different culture, and, at the same time, find strength in the wisdom passed down from our ancestors. The Mesopotamian Blues themselves are pedigree cats who look down on Varjak for having the wrong colour eyes, and Varjak is also singled out as different when he leaves his protected sphere and decides to adventure alone in the city. However, finding friendship with Tam and Holly means that Varjak also looks outside his restrictive existence and starts to understand others – and himself – more deeply.

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