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One Eyed Cat
Paula Fox
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One Eyed Cat

3.36  ·  Rating Details ·  1,299 Ratings  ·  106 Reviews
Ned fired one shot from the forbidden gun. But someone -- a face, fleetingly seen staring at him from an attic window -- was watching. When a one-eyed cat turns up in an elderly neighbor's yard, Ned is caught in a web of guilt, fear, and shame that infects every aspect of his life. Paula Fox's haunting and thought-provoking Newbery Honor novel is an unforgettable classic.
Published (first published 1984)
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Richard Houchin
Apr 23, 2008 Richard Houchin rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
This is the first book I can remember reading that I absolutely hated. I hate this book. It is seared, seared into my memory. If I could give it negative stars, I would.
Jul 23, 2007 Jeremy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I currently temp at a hospital administrative building, so I don't know anyone and I'm not looking to forge any lasting relationships. This gives me plenty of reading time during lunches and breaks, and I limit my work reading choices to the paperbacks available in a plastic "take one/leave one" bin in my building's cafeteria, both because I know I'll forget or misplace any books I bring from home, and because I enjoy forcing myself to read material I might not normally gravitate toward in the f ...more
Mar 24, 2011 Bonnie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Bonnie by: Newbery
In my quest to read more Newbery Medal/Newbery Honor books I spied this book at the library and promptly devoured it. Just maybe the fact that it had "cat" in its title made me more apt to choose this one over another.

Neddy is the a son of a pastor and a homebound mother with rheumatoid arthritis before there were any medications for it.

The angelic father, the pious and unlikeable housekeeper/cook "He opened his mouth and she said at once, before he could speak, 'Calm down, calm down.' He hated
This is well-written, but has such a sad, quiet guilt infused into the story that I didn't find it pleasant to read. Although I did really like Ned's neighbor, old Mr. Scully, and Ned's friendship with him. The ending is very sweet which made me like the whole book a lot more.

I never realized people could be so debilitated from rheumatoid arthritis. I felt sorry for Ned's mom. She seemed like quite the character when she was having one of her better days. I'd also never heard of gold salts (chry
I started a reread of this in honor of Fox's recent passing; it remains one of the best books I've read as an adult that I wouldn't have touched with a 900 foot pole as a kid. This speaks more to my essential awfulness as a child than to Fox's writing, ftr. This short middle-school novel is thoughtful and compassionate -- heartfelt without ever, for any length of time, feeling cloyingly sentimental in the least. It is seems to me to capture, seemingly without effort, that essential feeling of be ...more
One-Eyed Cat is a fine humane education selection, particularly for public and school libraries in rural areas where a child's first BB gun is a rite of passage.

Despite being forbidden to do so by his father, young Ned sneaks out one night for some target practice with his new Daisy rifle. Without thinking, he fires at a creeping, shadowy figure. When he later spots a wounded cat who is missing one eye, the boy is haunted by guilt.

Fox explores big themes like taking responsibility for one's ac
Sandra Stiles
For his 11th birthday Ned's uncle gives him a Daisy air-rifle. Ned's father, a preacher, doesn't approve of the gun and puts it away in the attic until Ned turns 14. Ned has always been respectful to his preacher father and his arthritic mother. He has never really been disobedient, until now. He sneaks up into the attic and brings the rifle down. He just wants to fire it once and then he will gladly put it away. He sees a shadow near the barn and shoots. As he turns to go in the house he sees a ...more
Nathan Johnson
Feb 27, 2012 Nathan Johnson rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This was one of the books that made me wary of trusting anything with a Newberry award.
I hate this book, it is easily one of the 5 worst books I have ever read.
The main character spends the entire book feeling massive guilt for something he isn't even sure he did.
I felt little sympathy for his guilt in disobeying his father and taking the BB gun. I felt that his father was portrayed as rather overbearing and paranoid. Which prevented him from teaching Ned how to responsibly use his gift.

He was a
Feb 09, 2009 Tracie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle-school
I liked this book though the tone was melancholy throughout. I think it would be difficult to get kids to read this today; there isn't much action - except in the young boy's head. Essentially, a young boy whose mother is practically bedridden with rheumatoid arthritis is given a gun for his birthday. His father, a local minister, feels he is too young for the weapon and puts it in the attic until he is older. The boy cannot resist, sneaks the gun out late one night and probably shoots a cat in ...more
May 11, 2015 Mckinley rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: newbery, ya, grief, cat
I didn't believe this one. The characters aren't developed enough for the story to make sense. It's a book about too much without much being examined or resolved: remorse and grief, loneliness, chronic illness, bullying, etc. I don't feel it came together.
Jun 24, 2012 Kendall rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I thought if I kept reading it would get better... I wish I hadn't kept reading
Catherine  Mustread
Jul 15, 2009 Catherine Mustread rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Grades 4+
Great book about suffering the consequences of one's actions.
Dale Barlow
(JF-Newberry Honor Book); previously this year, I read this author’s dreadful Newberry Winner. This one is not nearly as dreadful but did not hold my interest and after 90 pgs. I was like “what is the point in finishing this book?”, so I didn’t; 1984 hardback via Madison County Public Library, Berea, attempted Mar. 12-13 , 2017
Mar 05, 2014 Jill rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: newbery-honor
This is the second book I’ve read by Paula Fox, the first was Slave Dancer. She is very good at writing characters. I swear I’ve met Mrs. Scallop before—she’s a close acquaintance!

“It was the time he’d been happy and hadn’t known it. When he was happy now, he would remind himself he was. He would say, At this moment I’m happy, and that was different from simply being a certain way and not having to give it a name.”

“Mrs. Scallop, thought Ned, would have been insulted by such a cake. She was insul
Oct 28, 2015 Tina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Ned's hands tightened on the gun.
'Something dead,' Papa said more quietly. 'That's what there is to imagine with a gun.'"

"Ned nodded, knowing that if he didn't, his father would keep him in the room until he did. His father insisted on agreement, whatever else had happened."
"The painful thing was that, though Ned didn't always trust his father, his father trusted him, and that seemed to him unfair, although he couldn't explain why it was so."

"'A person can imagine anything except weather,' she
Sarah Smith
Feb 25, 2017 Sarah Smith rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book as a child and recently found a review I'd written many moons ago. Thought I'd share:

"Dear Paula, I thought this book would be very interesting because I like cats but I don't like the one eyed cat I think it is really boring. I think it is so boring I couldn't concentrate very well on it. It was so boring I gave it a one star."


Ned, the eleven-year-old son of a minister, receives a rifle as a gift from a relative, but is forbidden to use it. Although the gun is stored away in the attic, Ned can not resist the lure for closer inspection. His curiosity and the attraction for the forbidden take control of his will--with disastrous results.

If ciyrse it is inevitable that he fires off the gun (from the attic window), but he never considers that he will actually hit anything--he wa
Oct 26, 2012 Nicholas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It has been awhile since I have read this book but I would like to try to recall what I remember and write this review as two different parts. I will re-read this, as I have picked this book up long ago when I was but a child. I am curious to compare both reviews--it is almost like introducing my child self to the adult that I have grown up to be.

Here it goes:

Review Part 1: A child's view

I was about 11 when I picked this book up. Honestly, I think I was attracted to the cover more than the title
Mar 16, 2014 Marina rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: college-reads
This book to me was beautifully written, but the religious agenda got tiresome. Ned's father is a reverend, first of all. Which, at first, seems merely like his occupation, not meant to consume the story. It doesn't, but the constant allusions to pain and suffering, whether the cat's, the mother's, or Mr. Scully's (which were consistently paralleled) became an obvious outlet for Fox to incorporate a healing process. Mr. Scully, the cat, and Mrs. Wallis all regress in their illness during the cha ...more
Perhaps Newberry worthy at the time, 1984, but disappointing relative to more recent picks. Higher standards now with many, many more authors of the 8-16 year old genre today??? Perhaps not a good year for literature??? (should look what else was published in 84)

boy learns how to lie, dad is a strict 'good' and he doesn't think he can live up to it, in the end his mother shares similar trouble. perhaps - Newberry because it portrays a child trying to be as good as perceived 'perfectly good' pare
Nov 25, 2013 C. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One-Eyed Cat is a quiet book with a strong silent roar. If Robert Frost and Andrew Wyeth got together to write a middle grade novel One-Eyed Cat would be it.
I chose One-Eyed Cat for the cover alone, that and it had a big silvery Newbery sticker slapped on the front. This book is slow as molasses on a winter day. (A good slow mind you.) It's moody and introspective world is filled with a whirlwind of characters who bump into and around guilt ridden Ned Wallis. The slow pacing gives the reader am
Set in rural New York, some time ago (the family car is a Packard), this is a story of a boy, 11 I think he is, facing a crisis. He receives an air gun as a BD present and his father thinks he is too young for it. The gun is stored in the attic but our boy, Ned, can't leave it alone. He sneaks it out one night and shoots at a shadow. Later, when a one-eyed cat shows up at his neighbor's house, he becomes sure that this is the shadow he shot at. He is filled with guilt and is sure that if anybody ...more
Amy Flink
Jan 20, 2014 Amy Flink rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a sweet, beautiful, wonderful book. I think it is a children's/ young adult type book, for advanced young readers. I think it is pretty deep. Seems like a lot of reading but very good. It takes place in the Depression era.

A boy disobeys his father by firing a gun which he wasn't supposed to use till he was over. He later sees a cat with one eye missing and is riddled with guilt for months. The cat is starving so he and this elderly man he takes care of feed it and attempt to nurse it b
1985 Newbery Honor Book

I really don't know what to make of this book. It wasn't horrible but it did not engage me and I felt it prodded along. The message at the end and the ending in general fit the story. The overall mood of the book is kind of depressing.

Ned is the only son of the local pastor. His mother is sick and mostly bedridden and their housekeeper is pretty mean. Ned gets a gun for his birthday from his uncle but it is taken away from him by his father. Ned steals the gun and fires at
The setting for this slim novel is a large, gray, falling down house overlooking the Hudson River, perhaps around Hudson or Poughkeepsie, though those cities are never mentioned. It's set in 1935 and the main character's father drives a Packard.

Ned’s Uncle Hilary gives him a Daisy rifle for his eleventh birthday. His father, a Congregational Church minister and his mother is an invalid who suffers greatly from rheumatoid arthritis. The rifle is put in the attic, but Ned gets it out and shoots at
May 22, 2013 Matt rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed The One-Eyed Cat by Paula Fox. I like how it shows how the rifle is tempting to Ned Wallis. He was told never to shoot it until he was older. One night, while his parents and maid were sleeping, Ned Wallis snuck up to the attic to retrieve the rifle. He shot blind outside in the dark not too sure what he hit. After he went in, he saw someone staring at him from the attic window. It was his mother. After seeing a strange cat with only one eye started to show up, his guilt stewed up insi ...more
Galen He
May 20, 2010 Galen He rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Story Revolution
Ned believes that, with a forbidden gun, he has shot out the eye of a wild cat, and his guilt poisons his life. An outstanding growing-up story for all ages about the painful secrets and the struggle to be good . . . This riveting story is spun with an eloquent simplicity that belies the skill of its telling . . . Adults and children alike will come effortlessly under the spell of this peerless storyteller . . .--Booklist, starred review. Newbery Honor book; ALA Notable Children's Book; ALA Best ...more
Ned gets a gun from his uncle for his birthday, but his father takes it away, stating that he doesn't want him to have it yet. That night, Ned sneaks the gun out of the attic and shoots it at a shadow. He is sure that the one-eyed cat that turns up soon afterward is the result of his handywork, and he feels horribly guilty about it.

I recognize that there was good writing here, and I thought it had flashes of insight about human nature, but the plot was just a little to internal for me. The entir
May 29, 2008 Jessica rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: award-winners
I was joking with another fantasy author the other day about how all books when we were growing up seemed to be about someone's dog or mom dying. This book has someone's mom very ill from cancer, and a horribly maimed cat.

But I do remember liking it, and I would recommend it to kids still, although I know that it seems a little dated now. The mom is getting a new miracle treatment for her cancer, which has since been proven to cause even more horrible problems. Kids, however, won't know that, an
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Paula Fox was an American author of novels for adults and children and two memoirs. Her novel The Slave Dancer (1973) received the Newbery Medal in 1974; and in 1978, she was awarded the Hans Christian Andersen Medal. More recently, A Portrait of Ivan won the Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis in 2008.

A teenage marriage produced a daughter, Linda, in 1944. However, given the tumultuous relationship wi
More about Paula Fox...

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“When he sat on the Makepeace veranda, it was as if he'd gone to another country” 0 likes
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