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A Friend Like Ben: the Cat That Came Home for Christmas.

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  972 ratings  ·  193 reviews
This is the heart-warming true story of a little boy and the cat that changed his life. Ten year old George was severely autistic; quiet and withdrawn, he appeared lost in his own world most of the time. Then one day a small, black-and-white stray cat appeared at the bottom of her garden and George's face lit up. ...more
Hardcover, 274 pages
Published October 1st 2010 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published January 1st 2010)
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Kate Tried to email you but it said that the email address was invalid.

Couldn't find any address or email address for this lady but did find the email addr…more
Tried to email you but it said that the email address was invalid.

Couldn't find any address or email address for this lady but did find the email address for her publishers. If you contact them they can advise you how to contact her.

The address is: Sometimes if you send an email to the publisher and ask for it to be forwarded to the author they will do so for you.
I have done this in the past. Most authors nowadays have their own websites and that is how I usually contact the authors I really like. I have always got answers from them and very promptly too.
I hope this helps even though it very late in responding to your original email.

Good luck and all the best,
Kate Sarginson
Victoria BC Canada(less)

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Diane in Australia
I really loved this book. Julia, a single mum, has an autistic son, George. Life's a struggle, but she is doing her best, her very best. When a stray cat starts visiting their garden, George is captivated by him. But the cat is very sickly, and eventually Julia is able to catch him, and get him to a vet. And so the story unfolds ....

Julia isn't a professional writer, and those of you who are picky about such failings, may find small faults with her style. I didn't. Nothing could have dimmed the
Dec 12, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2012
George was a handful at first, crying for hours on end, never sleeping. Julia tried everything to please her son. He then grew to be withdrawn and quiet, in his own little world. George was finally diagnosed as autistic and even with a diagnosis things didn't get any easier. Until one day a small black and white stray cat appeared in their garden and George's face just lit up. He named the kitty Ben and George started to open up to his mother. He was like a different little boy. Until one day wh ...more
Nov 02, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not nearly as precious as the title and cover would make one think. This is a matter-of-fact and remarkable story about the struggles of a young, single mom who was both devoted to and exhausted by her autistic son. A stray cat and the boy fall in love with each other at first sight. The cat, known as Ben or Baboo, teaches the author's son to express love, helps him set his imagination free, and becomes the cornerstone of the family. ...more
Ok, sure, I noticed the adorable kitten on the cover first. The second thing to catch my eye, though, was an endorsement by Temple Grandin, who I very much admire. The Cat Who... is a wonderful, if poorly titled, read about a boy with autism who learns to open up because of adopting a cat. The title is a misfit because it makes it sound as if the book is focused on one particular event, which is not the case--the title is the book's climax. I thoroughly recommend this book for those who are inte ...more
I can't believe I finally finished this book. I started reading it during last year's Christmas season, but then I kind of forgot about it. I don't understand why, because I really liked this book. It's a great read to entertain yourself with on cold winter evenings. Ah yes: a blanket, a cup of tea, some snow falling outside, and this book on your lap. Perfect. Or should I say, 'purrrrfect?'
I can't say I always understood Julia's choices, but I must say I admire her courage and willpower. She di
Dec 13, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks-read
Julia Romp's nine year old son George is autistic, and despite all of her efforts, Julia found it impossible to get through to her son. One day a stray black and white kitten appeared in their garden, he was in bad shape. When George saw the small kitten his face lit up with excitement. Julia began to feed the kitten, setting up a carrier with blanket in the garden shed and checked on the cat daily, hoping to cage it and take it to the vet. Eventually, her plan worked and, "Ben" the kitten came ...more
Nov 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great story of how a small cat brought an autistic boy out of his shell and helped him to communicate with his family! Very touching!
Jun 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lovely, little, family story by Julia Romp, a single mom to her autistic son George and Ben "Baboo", a stray, tuxedo cat who completely changed and improved their lives. It is unbelievable how much George opened up and became happier and healthier fellow at home, at school and in the neighborhood after Ben's arrival.
Also liked Julia's family, father and mother and all the siblings who supported her always, in everything she tried to do. A beautiful family!
Really happy with the happy ending in th
Dec 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: auto-biography, cats
First off, ignore the cute kitten in the Santa hat.
Ben, the cat in the book, is a stray adult cat from the very first appearance.
It's sad that the publishers have to sell this book with a false cutesy kitten, but I suppose needs must.
Most of this book isn't even about Ben, it's about Julia Romp and her experience of raising her severely autistic son George. George wasn't like other babies and would scream, never sleep, never interact but Julia was constantly told "he'd grow out of it". It wasn't
Lily (Night Owl Book Cafe)
Courtesy of Penguin Group Plume through Netgalley in exchange of an honest review.

A heart-touching book that let's us take a peak in to Julia Romp's life as a single young mother and her son. Julia always knew that George was different, but no one would listen to her for years when she said that George had problems, in fact, most insisted that he would eventually grow out of it. That day never came and after ten years George was finally looked into seriously and was diagnosed with autism. Thoug
I studiously avoid books about animals that were written "In Loving Memory." So, I can highly recommend The Cat Who Came Back for Christmas- How a Cat Brought a Family the Gift of Love because Ben is still dancing with his human friends in London.

The story is a typical "The Animal Saved Me/My Friend/My Child/The Neighborhood But Got Lost and We All Panicked." In this story, the human saved is a little boy diagnosed with autism. I more than accept the ability animals have to heal and help those o
Dec 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I bought this book because I'm a sucker for animal stories, it was until I started reading it that I realised the author is from Hounslow and lives in Isleworth (which is my home town) - I think in a way that helped my enjoyment of the book more, because even though she doesn't mention specific locations by name I think I made some pretty accurate guesses about which council estates she was talking about! Not to mention the Hounslow animal welfare society she now helps out at is where my mum and ...more
Dec 17, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Julia Romp tells us of her life with her autistic son, George, before autism became the buzzword it is now. No one would listen when she told them that George had problems. They would just say "he will grow out of it". Fortunately she had all kinds of support from her 3 siblings and her parents. Life was very tough because Julia could go almost nowhere without George in tow and then there were a great many stares as George's behaviors grew more and more out of control. When, a stray kitten enter ...more
Aug 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I will say this book was not at all what I expected, but I am so glad I decided to buy it and give it a chance. The books about a lady and her son who has autism and when she's about to lose hope that her son will ever be able to show 'love', they find a cat named Ben- and a beautiful friendship between a boy and a cat grows. It shows that there are some very wonderful people in this world that accept people for who they are and will do anything to help, and some people that really need to take ...more
Dec 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Once you read the title you assume that the book is a Christmas book. Heck even the library stuck a sticker on it that said Christmas, but I'm here to tell you that is not the case. This book is not a Christmas feeling, hallmark loving, book. Now after saying that, this book was amazing.

It shows the struggles of the family of someone on the Spectrum. I liked the inside view that I was able to get by reading this book. The one thing that I another thing I loved about it was that you should never
Oct 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a wonderful book. Ben the cat is an amazing cat more like a dog I think. The bond between George who has severe autism and Ben is really amazing. It was painful to watch the mother and George when Ben was missing. I only hope George gets another kitten to ease the pain when Ben passes on. This book really makes you appreciate the magic of animals. And to open our eyes to what kind of person George is behind his autism.
Chelsea may Simpson xx
It was very hard to get into the book but as I started to get more Into the book I really enjoyed it and towards the end I couldn’t put the book down. It was nice to see how a cat can help a little boy out and how much love people have for cats xxx
George K. Ilsley
This book suffers from over-zealous (and misleading) marketing—first simply called A Friend Like Ben, then rebranded as The Cat Who Came Home for Xmas.

The problem, as other reviewers have noted, is that the majority of the book is a family story about the author and her son. We hear way too much about the author‘s work as a community organizer—which even in her own telling makes her seemed obsessed and over the top.

The book itself (on the back cover) tells us the son has autism. However it tak
Nov 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book it's definitely one of my new favourites!
The connection between George (autistic boy) and his new best friend (stray cat) Baboo is so adorable the words just jump out of the book at you and hit you straight in the heart.
I loved how true and real Julia kept the struggles of having an autistic son, she was brave in sharing her true thoughts and not sugar coating some of the hardest times in her life.


The e
Oct 14, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It’s a well-known fact that having a pet can be very healing, but author Julia Romp didn’t know just how true that was until a cat named Ben entered her life. Julia’s son, George, is autistic, although he wasn’t formally diagnosed until he was nearly ten-years-old. Julia just knew that George was different from other children, and although she yearned to be able to be closer to him, he was unable to make the emotional connection she craved. Then a stray cat came along who profoundly changed thei ...more
Dec 15, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: animals
I bought this book at Target of all places. A total impluse buy, just because the cat on the cover looked like mine. It turned out to be a good decision because this is the best cat book that I have ever read! I can hardly believe that it was the author's first book! Julia Romp was a single mom raising a son with ausbergers and having a hard time connecting with him, when a stray cat turned up in their shed. Her son, George, instantly connected with the cat who they named Ben, and little by litt ...more
Dec 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked up this book because of the cute kitten on the cover and I also wanted to read a Christmas book. This book was not what I expected at all. It's a memoir about a single mom and the struggles she goes through with her autistic son and how their lives changed for the better when Ben comes into their lives. I am so happy that they were reunited with Ben, even though it took 3 months. It was a Christmas miracle! ...more
Apr 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A highly emotional book! I've read quite a few books where animals help children to express themselves to their desperate parents, and Ben or Baboo as he's called, was no different. But it was when Ben went missing that the story really takes a turn for the worst, with all the progress George has made falling away. A really good book, and really well written too. Highly recommended! ...more
Nov 16, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2015
An entertaining book which could have done with a bit of editing, but the parts that could have been edited or deleted do not distract from the story and don´t really confuse, so the story keeps being enjoyable and interesting. A quick read.
Lisa James
A very neat, true story of a single mother raising an autistic child & his bond with a cat named Ben.
This is an incredibly heart warming true story. A young mother has been struggling to help her son George. He has autism. He struggles with school, socially, with his emotions and with speaking.

Then Ben comes along. Ben is a little stray black and white kitten. No one could have dreamed of the connection George and Ben would form.
Ben is able to help George grow in ways his teachers can’t.

Fellow pet lovers, I’m going to post a spoiler here because it’s something I needed to know myself before rea
Dec 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Julia's son is autistic and lost in his own world. One day a small black and white stray cat appears and changes everything. Nine year old George face lites up when he see the cat. George is unable to bond with anyone until the cat comes into his life. Now Ben, the cat has helped George open up to his mom and bonded with Ben. For three years all is well and George make remarkable progress until Julia and George go away on vacation and Ben disappears while they are gone. Julia does whatever she c ...more
Dec 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
Julia Romp's nine-year-old son George was autistic and severely withdrawn. He is still autistic but a loving experience with his cat Ben opened him up to love and care. Julia was living with her parents at the beginning of the story. but the small house was already overloaded with people. So, she moved out, first to an apartment near his father but the neighbor was drug infested and she wanted a healthier environment for George. She moved again and made friends with Michelle, a trained child car ...more
Nov 23, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.75/5 - More appropriately entitled "A Friend Like Ben" in the UK, this book is really about the author's experience raising an autistic child and how the arrival of a stray cat named Ben (whom her son calls "Baboo") helped him to learn to communicate and develop affection. The cat does go missing for a significant amount of time. I won't spoil it by telling how he returns but it was really quite moving.

The grammatical errors in dialogue are a little annoying so I had to remind myself it's ver
Dec 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was a real pleasure to read. It's not just a Christmas book. It's a book about love and a friendship that changes lives.

Julia, a single mother, tells of her daily struggles of raising an autistic son. There were many challenges as each day passes. The day a scraggly kitten enters her garden everything changes. The cat named Ben becomes her son George's best friend. The bond they have is inseparable. Julia never expected one cat could make such a change in her son. The day Ben turns up
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The Reading Cat: December 2019: Book 1 6 8 Dec 27, 2019 05:28AM  

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