Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Whittington” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.55  ·  Rating Details ·  1,786 Ratings  ·  244 Reviews
This Newbery-Honor winning tale introduces Whittington, a roughneck Tom who arrives one day at a barn full of rescued animals and asks for a place there. He spins for the animals—as well as for Ben and Abby, the kids whose grandfather does the rescuing—a yarn about his ancestor, the nameless cat who brought Dick Whittington to the heights of wealth and power in 16th-centur ...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published December 26th 2006 by Yearling (first published July 26th 2005)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Whittington, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Sep 29, 2011 Dominic rated it liked it
Shelves: children
At times charming and lovely, Whittington is a strangely ambitious tale that tries to weave three--possibly even four--narratives together, and only sometimes hits the mark. The characters are endearing (especially for a cat lover), and most of the storylines are enjoyable. Yet many of the chapters, even some of the best, ended abruptly and transitioned awkwardly. In the end, I'm not sure how powerfully they hold together as a finished work.

All the same, this is a fine book for children, and I w
Mar 28, 2016 Jessica rated it liked it
Shelves: kidlit, award-winners
I vaguely remember reading this book when it won the Newbery Honor, and being confused by it. The cat could talk? Or . . . the kids were imagining it? It also plays off the fact that you already know Dick Whittington and his cat, which I had heard of, as in, I knew the name but not why. Kids who love animal stories, though, will like this. And frankly, there are worse Newbery Honor books.
wild pear
Nov 13, 2009 wild pear rated it really liked it
With remarkably efficient but evocotive writing, Armstrong uses a clever artifice to tell the stories of two boys who each overcome a difficult challenge with the aid of a rather unusual cat. The first escapes a certain life of servitude in the Middle Ages to find greater fortune. The second, in the present, overcomes his dyslexia to learn to read. In both, personal perseverence, the nobelness of aiding strangers, the importance of family, and joy of storytelling come across easily without feeli ...more
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
What could be better than the traditional tale of Dick Whittington told from the point of view of his cat? Well deserving of the Newbery honor book award.
Dawn (& Ron)
Anna's ABC&D book club read

Whittington is a dual storyline, a modern story of a homeless, tattered around the edges, smart cat named Whittington, in search of a place to live and the 14th century historical adventure of his name sake, Dick Whittington and his famous cat, whose name has been lost to history.

"Whittington is a person in history. He's in books"

Ron's point of view Telling of Dick Whittington's adventures with his cat is great for children who think history is boring and dusty
Feb 19, 2017 Razan rated it it was ok
I feel so sorry for the 7&8 students who have to read this book for their English class in the school I work at. An unbelievably boring, uneventful, poorly written novel that has zero suspense. There's no character development, the plot was so barely had a punch line and the grammar, oh Lord, the grammar...IT DIDN'T EVEN HAVE ANY! The descriptions of stupid things dragged on and on and things that needed more of a description got half a sentence. The history of the book was poorly ...more
Feb 16, 2011 Bette rated it it was ok
Shelves: children-s
This book is in the tradition of EB White's classic "Charlotte's Web." However, it is not in the same league, despite its Newbery honor award. There are too many stories going on at once. There's the story of the animals in the barn, which isn't much of a story. There's the story of "Dick Whittington & His Cat," told by his descendant, Whittington. And then there's Ben's battle with dyslexia, which seems put in the book to give hope to kids with reading difficulties. I see how Dick Whittingt ...more
Dawn (& Ron)
Dec 23, 2011 Dawn (& Ron) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ron rates it 4 stars and I rated it 4-1/2 stars. Review forthcoming.

Nov 04, 2012 Ann rated it liked it
Shelves: newbery, audio
A Newbery Honor book, this title was enjoyable, but not without its flaws. The structure overall was very well done, moving from one time period to another with easy transitions and keeping the pace with both stories. But at the same time, I was not terribly interested in Ben's work with his reading, so those parts of the book always seemed to drag for me, less because the pacing was bad than because of my boredom with the subject matter. A child who's struggling to read? I can't imagine how tha ...more
Apr 04, 2013 Jen rated it liked it
Whittington is a 2006 Newbery Honor book, and reading it gave me an insight into the award: it's for books that adults want children to like, not books that children might actually like (ex/Diary of a Wimpy Kid). This does not read like a contemporary book.

Our protagonist Whittington is a tom cat who goes to live in a barn and talks with the other animals. Then the orphaned grandchildren of the farmer nestle in the hay and listen to the cat tell the story of his namesake, Dick Whittington (no h
Thomas Bell
Aug 13, 2011 Thomas Bell rated it liked it
Shelves: newbery-honors
Pretty good book. It's about a cat named Whittington who gets adopted into a family of barn animals. They have their barn animal adventures, they help teach a young boy how to read, and Whittington tells the story of his namesake - Dick Whittington, who in real life was Lord Mayor of London and helped bring better sanitation to England in the 1300's, as well as his cat who is also famous through folklore. Nearly half of the book was this folklore tale commonly called 'Dick Whittington and his ca ...more
Sep 22, 2014 Lief rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Had fun listening to this audio book with the kids. :) The story is well-woven between the narrator telling a tale of barn yard animals and the two children who love them and the tale of a cat's ancestor in medieval England. I love how the author switches back and forth between the two stories because it adds a lot of depth for parents who wish to read to their kids or listen to the audiobook. **I HIGHTLY RECOMMEND LISTENING TO THE AUDIOBOOK** The voice-actor does a splendid job of acting out a ...more
Braden Bell
Jul 06, 2010 Braden Bell rated it it was amazing
This is a book I hope to be able to write some day. It is incredibly sweet--even uplifting--without being treacly or overwrought. It is also extremely well-written. Armstrong's prose is a model of economy and simplicity. It is the kind of writing that seems simple and easy until you try to do it. I really loved this book and am going to put it on my list of books I come back to occasionally for comfort. You really need to read this.
Amanda Lee
Sep 11, 2015 Amanda Lee rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book. It really has two stories in it. One story is a historical adventure about Dick Whittington and his cat. The second story is a modern story about a boy learning to read. I preferred the historical adventure because it was a richer story and was more interesting. I felt that the modern story was not as detailed and clear. It seemed almost forced. Despite that, I still recommend this book and think it was worth the read.
Apr 29, 2010 Crystal rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This was a Newberry Honor Winner??? What??? Couldn't make it past page 25 (And I forced myself to even read that far). There were many problems I had with the book, but the three main problems I had were it was 1. SOOOOOO boring 2. talking animals - I hate it when animals talk with each other like they are human 3. Did I mention the book was boring!!!!
Peggy Crawford
Aug 24, 2007 Peggy Crawford rated it really liked it
A top-notch children's book. It's a Newbery Honor book. There are several stories being told all at the same time. Whitington is the cat, named after the famous Dick Whitington and his cat. Would make a great gift for any child ages 8 to 12.
Teddy pulled this book off the shelf for me. It wasn't what I expected (about Dick Whittington), but used the traditional tale in an interesting way, with a descendant of Dick Whittington's cat telling the tale to help a young boy and his sister.
Dane Schneyer
Aug 29, 2016 Dane Schneyer rated it it was amazing
Love this Book! It is great! I Don't know when I stared or ended
Addie P
Feb 21, 2009 Addie P rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: newberry
I imagined the silly cat as a dog.
Oct 30, 2012 Jill rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: All - especially those who like animals, Charlotte's Web.
Recommended to Jill by: Julia
Whittington is a modern fable in disguise. A thoroughly enjoyable read.

Don't let the fact that the story takes place in a barn amongst talking animals disuade the more mature reader. Categorized for 9-12, older kids will be surprised to find it worthwhile as a captivating quick read. This is not the simple child fantasy of Charlotte's Web. The story within the story is adventureous enough to interest not just girls but also BOYS of all ages. (No disrespect intended. Charlottes web is a classic -
Maribeth Tomas
Oct 09, 2013 Maribeth Tomas rated it it was amazing
Shelves: libs-642
Junior Books Project

Category: Newberry

Source: Newberry Honor (2006)

This book will keep you entertained because of the excitement that goes on within the three stories in the book. The animals interact with humans and can speak to each other and the stories touch on love, adventure, family, trust, and hard work.

The front of the cover has a picture of Whittington, the cat. He's got gray fur with black stripes and his left ear is bent. His eyes are a glowing yellow that makes you believe he's real
Kellie Barlow
Jan 19, 2017 Kellie Barlow rated it really liked it
A book I read with my kids. I really enjoyed it, and so did they.
Jul 13, 2011 Josiah rated it liked it
I don't think the influence of S.D. Schindler's artwork on the overall quality of this book can be overemphasized. His spare pencil drawings of the quiet barn and its animal residents as they carry on their own dramatic existence apart from the world at large lends a sober credibility to those goings-on, and gives the importance of their lives together a deeper, more immediate sense of significance to us, the readers. The writing of author Alan Armstrong doesn't fail to enhance this sincere sen ...more
Betty Silvia
Jan 08, 2017 Betty Silvia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I always like a story from an animal's perspective and this had that in spades. The author is masterful in the way he blends two stories about a present-day barn community with the history and adventures of Dick Wittington and his cat.
The barn-community in itself has a collection of characters, both animals and humans. I was very sympathetic to Ben, the grandson, who was being raised by his grandparents and had to overcome his dyslexia in order not to be humilia
Nov 02, 2015 Annie rated it really liked it
'Whittington' by Alan Armstrong, tells multiple story lines in one describing the values of friendship and interdependence. Whittington, a lonely and ugly cat, meets The Lady, an important duck, who introduces him to the animal family that resides at farmer Bernie's farm. The animal family there reluctantly welcomes Whittington. Bernie's two grandchildren, Abby and Ben, visit the talking animals regularly and form a relationship with all of the needy, fragile animals of the farm that Bernie take ...more
Sep 08, 2012 Amber rated it liked it
1. Genre: Junior Book- Fantasy
2. Whittington the cat joins a barn full of misfit animals after being tossed out by his previous owners. The story alternates between the barn animal’s adventures, and Whittington’s story of his ancestor’s owner Dick Whittington. The outcast animals and children come together through Whittington’s story telling to overcome their obstacles and differences.
3. Critique
a. Personification
b. The personification Armstrong uses is very unique and worth discussion. It is r
Feb 28, 2017 Dawn rated it liked it
Shelves: tween
Well, I usually agree with the Newberry Award Winners, but I felt this one missed the mark by a mile.

The information inside the cover said that it was about a cat that is new to a barn. He is a descendant of Dick Whittington's cat, and as the long cold winter goes on, he tells all the animals in the barn the story of Whittington and his cat.

This sounded interesting, and at the core, was what the book was about, but this book suffered from too many cooks in the kitchen. That's not the right say
Feb 22, 2017 Matthew rated it liked it
This was a nice story set in a pastoral scene. My only struggle was that there seemed to be three distinct story lines that never crossed except through the storyteller.
Leigh Isley
Jun 12, 2014 Leigh Isley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Genre: Animal Fantasy
Ages: 5th to 7th grade readers

Whittington is about a ophaned tom cat that comes to live in Bernie's Barn. The barn is full of orphans that no else seems to have a use for anymore. Whittington being new asked the other animals could he stay in the barn also, everyone agrees except for Lady. Lady is in charge of the barn. She was a little hesitant at first, but then Whittington claim to be a master ratter and since this is something that is needed she says yes.
Abby and Ben, Be
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • Carver: A Life in Poems
  • The Voice That Challenged a Nation: Marian Anderson and the Struggle for Equal Rights
  • Belling The Tiger
  • Sugaring Time
  • The Old Tobacco Shop
  • Frontier Living: An Illustrated Guide to Pioneer Life in America
  • Journey Outside
  • What Hearts
  • Black Fox of Lorne
  • Show Way
  • Like Jake and Me
  • 26 Fairmount Avenue (26 Fairmount Avenue, #1)
  • Sweet Whispers, Brother Rush
  • The Dark-Thirty: Southern Tales of the Supernatural
  • Hurry Home, Candy
  • Graven Images
  • The Loner
  • Thistle and Thyme: Tales and Legends from Scotland
Alan Armstrong started volunteering in a friend's bookshop when he was eight. At 14, he was selling books at Brentano's. As an adult, every so often, he takes to the road in a VW bus named Zora to peddle used books. He is the editor of Forget Not Mee & My Garden, a collection of the letters of Peter Collinson, the 18th-century mercer and amateur botanist. He lives with his wife, Martha, a pain ...more
More about Alan Armstrong...

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »