There is nothing lonelier than a cat who has been loved, at least for a while, and then abandoned on the side of the road.
An abandoned calico cat, about to have kittens, hears the achingly lonely howl of a chained up, abused hound dog deep in the bayou. She dares to find him in the forest and the hound dares to befriend this cat, this feline, this creature he is supposed to hate. They are an unlikely pair, about to become an unlikely family. Ranger urges the cat to hide underneath the porch, to raise Sabine and Puck there because Gar-Face, the man living inside the house, will surely use her or her kittens as alligator bait should he find them. But, they are safe in the underneath...as long as they stay in the underneath.
Kittens, however, are notoriously curious creatures. And one kitten's one moment of curiosity sets off a chain of events that is astonishing, remarkable, and enormous in its meaning. In the tradition of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, Flannery O'Connor, and Carson McCullers, Kathi Appelt spins a harrowing yet keenly sweet tale about the power of love (and its opposite, hate), the fragility of happiness -- and the importance of making good on your promises.
About the Author
Kathi Appelt is the author of the Newbery Honor-winning, National Book Award finalist, PEN USA Literary Award-winning, and bestselling The Underneath as well as the highly acclaimed novel Keeper, The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp, and many picture books. She is a member of the faculty at Vermont College’s Master of Fine Arts program and occasionally teaches creative writing at Texas A&M University. She has two grown children, lives in Texas with her husband, and once helped her grandma raise a baby raccoon.
Praise for The Underneath…
"A mysterious and magical story; poetic yet loaded with suspense." -- Louis Sachar, Newbery Medal-winning author of Holes
"The Underneath is as enchanting as a hummingbird, as magical as the clouds." -- Cynthia Kadohata, Newbery Medal-winning author of Kira-Kira
"Rarely do I come across a book that makes me catch my breath, that reminds me why I wanted to be a writer -- to make of life something beautiful, something enduring. The Underneath is a book of ancient themes -- love and loss and betrayal and redemption -- woven together in language both timeless and spellbinding. A classic." -- Alison McGhee, author of the New York Times bestselling Someday
"Kathi Appelt's novel, The Underneath, reads like a ballad sung." -- Ashley Bryan, Hans Christian Anderson Award Nominee and Three-Time Coretta Scott King Award Medalist