Last year, I started a new review feature at The Book Connection titled First Chapter Review. I read the first chapter of a novel, write a synopsis, comment on the cover art, and then let readers know if I would continue reading the book. I wrote one up for this blog in November, and hope to continue offering them from time to time.
Today’s First Chapter Review is of A Cat Named Mouse – The Miracle of Answered Prayer by Anna Alden-Tirrill. This is a Christian middle grade book. For this book, I broke my rules a bit. The author said that the first chapter of this book was more of an introduction to Annie and her family, so she asked me to read Chapters 1 and 4.
BLURB: First in the Annie’s Adventures Series. Annie, a twelve-year-old seventh grader, learns a lot about prayer and faith while searching for her missing cat named Mouse.
COVER: How can you go wrong with a cute cat adorned with a sparkly crown? Needless to say, I love it! It’s simple and fun.
FIRST CHAPTER: In the first chapter, we meet Annie. Her adoptive parents have always made her feel special. Her father teaches astronomy and her mother works from home. Faith in God has always played a big role in Annie’s life. The family attends church on Sunday, where Annie gets to attend Sunday school and participate in the children’s choir. Annie likes soccer and hats, and her family has taken some great vacations together.
FOURTH CHAPTER: By this time, Mouse is missing. Each morning, the family prays for God’s guidance on how they should approach their search. They ask for God to protect Mouse because it is storm season and they want her to stay safe until she is returned to them. But even if Mouse doesn’t come home, Annie prays God will help someone find Mouse and take her to live with them.
KEEP READING: I have to admit, it was a challenge to try and determine if I would keep reading based upon two separate chapters. I can honestly say, however, if I had only read the first chapter, I wouldn’t have continued. The introductory chapter is long and lacks focus. It attempts to give readers every little tid-bit about Annie’s life. Backstory needs to be woven in as a story progresses. I’m a reader who likes to be dropped into the action, so wading through a chapter where nothing is happening didn’t hold my interest.
That said, I found the fourth chapter engaging. It shows Annie and her parents putting their plan into action, depending upon God to answer their prayers and to guide them as they search for Mouse.
Alden-Tirrill has chosen a great voice for Annie . The book also has a superb message, so I would probably read it in its entirety to get a good feel for the author’s writing style, and to see if the book as a whole captured my interest. The illustrations are wonderful.
Paperback: 190 pages
Publisher: White Cottage Publishing Co. (November 19, 2012)
Also available for Kindle.
I received two chapters of this book from the author. This review contains my honest opinions, for which I have not been compensated in any way.