Book Review, Middle Grade Fiction

The Adventures of Ellie and Boo by Millie Kerr

Boo, the tabby cat, is an incredibly determined kitten! Living with a University of Cambridge masters student who has a passion for wildlife conservation, this instinctive and creative cat learns that there are animals in trouble and, more importantly, she can help.  The Adventures of Ellie and Boo is a book about making a difference and standing up for what you believe in. Little Boo and her owner, Ellie, are an inspiration to all those who spot an injustice in the world and want to make it right. When Boo discovers she can communicate with Ellie through more than just “meows”, the whole world opens up to her. What follows is an extraordinary adventure in which Boo and her friends learn that together, they can do anything.

Set in the time of Brexit, Instagram and instant communication, this book is very relevant. Readers are faced with a number of wildlife issues including migration, loss of habitat, pesticides, land use and badger culls. Some of these concepts might need further exploration with an adult in order for children to get the most out of the story. It may inspire young readers to dive into further research and explore an issue they feel passionate about.

This book is a fantastic introduction to environmental action for children and the different strategies people use to gather support and gain the attention of those in power.  Children will be able to think about the impact of blog posts, emails, petitions, using social media and protesting. This should be paired with a discussion about age-appropriate social media, on-line safety and modelling of positive, polite interactions. 

The Adventures of Ellie and Boo is a unique story with a lot to say. The impact of human behaviour on wildlife and the environment is undeniable. Millie Kerr uses her strong-willed kitten to show that anyone can make a difference, no matter how small, and that time is running out for some animals. We need to act now – it’s a matter of life or death.

Thank you to Millie Kerr and Rachel’s Random Resources for this engaging book!

Click on the cover below to find out more or purchase on-line from Amazon.

About the Author:

Millie Kerr is an author, journalist and photographer focused on wildlife conservation. A former lawyer, Millie uses storytelling to help people see splendour and fragility of the natural world. Her creative essays and reported articles—which predominantly involve travel and wildlife—have appeared in dozens of top-tier American and British publications, among them The Economist, National Geographic Traveller, Popular Science, and The Wall Street Journal. Millie has also worked for numerous global conservation NGOs, both as an in-house writer and an external consultant; and her legal career saw her working in private practice and government. She graduated from the University of Cambridge with a Masters of Philosophy in Conservation Leadership and has lived between the UK and USA for fifteen years. Her adopted cat, Baboon, has been her constant companion, although unlike their fictitious counterparts, they only enjoy indoor adventures.

Blurb: The Adventures of Ellie & Boo

A nature-loving cat and her conservationist mum team up to save endangered species!

Boo the tabby cat is born on a Lincolnshire farm and seems destined for a simple life. Everything changes when she’s put up for adoption and is taken in by Ellie Caldwell, an adventurous Cambridge graduate student who loves animals and is studying to become a wildlife conservationist.

Between lectures, Ellie heads to the countryside for camping trips, her Instagram-anointed ‘adventure cat’ in tow. On rocky trails, Boo discovers that, like Ellie, she has a passion for the natural world, and because she’s able to communicate with all animals, she can relate their challenges back to Ellie. But there’s a serious problem: whenever Boo tries to tell Ellie something, all Ellie hears is “Meow.”

Can they work out a communication system, and in doing so, save endangered animals from harm while encouraging public support of nature and wildlife?

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