I read the first book in the Ava and Pip trilogy many years ago, when my kids were very young. Now that My daughter is 10 years old, I felt like it was time I revisit it, especially since there are two other books in the series that were not around when I reviewed the first book!
Ava and Taco Cat by Carol Weston (Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, 2015 ) is written in journal form and picks up right when the previous diary end. Ava turns eleven right at the beginning of the book, and she begs for a cat as a birthday present. Ava and Taco Cat focuses on Ava’s experiences with her new cat, but even more, it is a story about Ava coming to terms with what friendship really means to her.
It is so hard being eleven years old. I remember being confused with friends who wanted to come over but didn’t want to talk to me in school. It was so confusing! Ava also feels confused when her long-time best friend begins spending time with another friend.
Even the Taco Cat theme echoes these thoughts. Ava is so excited to be there for her rescued cat, but his shyness and inability to warm up to Ava’s family become Ava’s biggest concern. Why won’t he like her? Especially when she’s being so nice and loving! Ava struggles to understand why Taco Cat can’t seem to warm up to her. But in a like manner, she feels awkward and annoyed around her own new environment — the new girl, Zara. It seems like a nice paradox.
I’m glad that Ava’s world seems to make more sense by the end of this six-week journal. In addition to her discoveries about friendship and her time becoming “friends” with Taco Cat, Ava also continued writing about her love of words and writing, and she wrote a short story, just as she had in the first book. What a likable girl she is!
I listened to the audio of Ava and Taco Cat along with my 10-year-old daughter as we drove to and from swim meets. She also enjoyed it. I’ll admit, I did worry that she would once again begin her own begging for a cat, but apparently, she already knows I won’t budge on that, because when I mentioned that begging for a cat wouldn’t work, she said, “I know! You are no fun.” Well at least she knows me!