The cat who saved books by Sosuke Natsukawa

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After losing his grandfather, teenager Rintaro Natsuki is left lost and alone - as well as Natsuki Books, a tiny second-hand bookshop his grandfather had loving cared for throughout his later years. As his own parents are gone, a distant family member (an aunty) is contacted to become his guardian. With her living far away, this means that Natsuki Books will close as Rintaro will need to relocate. This is difficult to face, as the shop holds precious copies of rare editons, literary masterpieces, well loved books, as well as memories of his life with his grandfather. As Rintaro prepares for the closure, a talking tabby cat appears and informs him that help is needed from the New Proprietor of Natsuki Books. Rintaro is confused, as he is not aware of a new proprietor, however the cat soon clears this up, stating that Rintaro is 'Mr Proprietor', and that he must help save books. The pair set off into labyrinth after labyrinth, on a mission to save books.

Translated from Japanese, The Cat Who Saved Books is such a delightful, heartwarming story that shows the value of books, friendships and courage in life. With numerous likeable characters, this book is written in third person and the cat's gender is never disclosed, leaving it up to readers to either assign or not assign a gender. A simple urban fantasy, the descriptive writing enables readers to picture the book store along with scenes created throughout the book. As it is set in Japan, the book contains aspects of Japan that all readers will take pleasure in reading. Ideal for those who have experienced loss and its aftermath, those who love books and reading, and those who enjoy a tale where the hero uses book knowledge to help save the day!

Themes: Books, Magic, Friendships, Japan, Power, Courage, Loss.

Melanie Phillips

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