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The Good Luck Cat

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  188 Ratings  ·  56 Reviews
Some cats are good luck. You pet them and good things happen. Woogie is one of those cats. But as Woogie gets into one mishap after another, everyone starts to worry. Can a good luck cat's good luck run out?

The first children's book from an acclaimed poet whose honors include the American Book Award and the William Carlos Williams Award

Celebrates the special relationship b
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published April 1st 2000 by HMH Books for Young Readers
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Jun 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a modern Native American story from a member of the Muskogee-Creek tribe.

"Some cats are good luck. You pet them and good things happen. Woogie is one of those cats. But as Woogie gets into one mishap after another, everyone starts to worry. Can a good luck cat's good luck run out?"

This book doesn't teach a lot about a Native American community, but it is a great book to show students that people of different cultures of their own can be very similar.

David Schaafsma
Nov 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cats, picturebooks
"When I pet her she purrs as if she has a drum near her heart."

I know Joy Harjo, a member of the Muskogee-Creek tribe, as a poet. But she is also an award-winning musician, and the author of this modern Native American picture book story focused on a young girl's cat's nine lives.The art is good, but the various anecdotes are even better, of the cats surviving an encounter with a large dog, a tumble in the clothes dryer, a fall from a tree.

A book for lovers of cats. Cat lovers unite!
Jul 30, 2009 rated it liked it
Recommended to Kathryn by: Abigail
This was recommended to me by my friend Abigail, who really enjoyed the story but cautioned that she had also read absolutely scathing reviews of it. Being a cat-lover myself, and lured by the darling cover art, I was curious to form my own opinion. I must say that mine falls somewhere between the two opinions.

Woogie is absolutely the cat-tiest of cats, she is stripedy, spunky, and sweet. I wanted her to somehow leap off the page and settle, purring, in my lap. The young girl's concerns for her
Tracy E.
Jun 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
Bittersweet. Some of the dangers that can happen to cats, especially outdoor cats, but also the love for a kitty who's purr is like "a drum near her heart." Lee's illustrations are great, and capture the subtle expressions, movements, and body language of cats with just a slight touch of anthropomorphism. I wish the story finished on a different note, such as Woogie chasing a bird again or something like that after the Aunt Shelly last page. It felt a bit abrupt. Overall, I really liked it.
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
I could relate to this story told by a little Native American girl about her cat's near-misses with death. I've seen some of my cats have close calls myself. I don't know if cats are good luck, but I wouldn't live without them. Cute story!
Oct 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
A cute little book about a cats 9 lives. I was looking at books to teach to my ESL middle schoolers and I might try this one if I can find the right lesson.
Dec 08, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: cats, picture-books
I love reading cat picture books but this one just stressed me out! The book goes through how the cat used up its eight lives and almost the ninth. With all these close calls, I kept thinking "keep your damned cat inside!" Ha.
May 10, 2014 rated it liked it
In this sensitive story, there are some cats that are lucky, and some that are not. Woogie is one of the precious few that is very lucky. His owner is a young American Indian girl who recounts the scary and dangerous ways in which Woogie has used up eight of her nine lives. Then Woogie goes missing and the little girl and her family search everywhere for her fearing she has lost her ninth and final life. Throughout the story the author ever so delicately weaves in aspects of the American Indian ...more
Harjo tells a compelling story about a young Native American girl, Abigail, and her relationship with her cat Woogie. Abigail worries that Woogie has used up all of her nine lives so the focus of this story is a chronological description of Woogie's adventures. Young cat lovers may find Woogie's near-death experiences too distressing, but overall, well-told storytelling with an interesting premise and setting.
Cassandra Gelvin
Feb 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Kind of like a less cruel version of "The Cat Came Back."

A girl owns a cat and the cat is "good luck." Apparently the girl is nominally Native American, as she mentions a powwow. She also mentions her aunt going to play bingo, so we have two stereotypes running there. But it's not about that, it just mentions that.

Basically the the story is entirely the story of this cat and the eight times she almost dies. She gets attacked by a dog. She gets shot at by some kids with BB guns. The girl wants to
Esther Westfall
It's a good story, though I feel very badly for Woogie and all of the terrible experiences that she has. My only complaint is that the entire focus of the story is on all of the horrible ways that the cat loses its lives. I would have liked to learn more about the family. While you get the impression that they are very close to each other, it is easy to overlook the fact that they are actually Native Americans. I would have liked to learn a little more about some of their traditions. The belief ...more
Emily Krafcik
Apr 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a cute story! A lot of children may be able to relate to losing an animal or having something bad happen to their household pet, just like a lot of the crazy things that Woggie experienced. The description words in this text were amazing! Words like, "stripedy", "electric", and many others! Children like when there is great details included in the story! This is also a way to explain that the nine live saying that goes along with cats is not always true, and some students may understand ...more
Madison Crawford
The Good Luck Cat was written by Joy Harjo and illustrated by Paul Lee. I did not like this book as much as the other but it is still fairly good. It is good for children to learn about orders or sequencing. It is a good book for sequencing because it goes through each nine lives that cat has and how she used them. Children’s literature is the genre of this story. Overall it was a decent book.
Alex Furlong
I really liked this book because it weaves American-Indian culture in and out of it, all while keeping an unrelated plot evident. A young girl is afraid her cat has used up 8 of its '9' lives, and it goes missing one night. Throughout the story Harjo mentions clothes and other customs of American-Indian families. The book is very balanced and well-written.
Katie Bruff
In "The Good Luck Cat," there is a girl and a cat who have a wonderful relationship. This is a Modern Native-American story from a member of the Muskogee-Creek tribe. This is good for young readers to express ethnicity in the early years for children.
Mar 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: want
I cannot say enough good things about this book's illustrations.

I also cannot say enough bad things about the narrator's family. They really should not have a pet if that is how they take care of it.
Oct 29, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: kid-lit
A sweet book about a cat that seems to be using up its “nine lives” very quickly”. This wasn’t a particularly incredible read, or a must read for that matter, but it is easy to understand and I’m sure children can identify with the love for a pet.
Emily Bertholf
Sep 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children
A beautiful picture book about a girl who wonders if her cat's luck has run out when he doesn't come back in one night. Heart warming to all cat lovers and a gentle way to address the possibility of death and losing one's animal friend. Luckily, this one has a happy ending.
Feb 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: juvenile
Wonderful tale of a young Native American girl and her beloved "stripedy" cat and good luck pal. Great illustrations and love how the story integrates the young girl's entire world with family and community.
Apr 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book is a good diverse book for young students. Its a folktale of a "good luck cat". Its almost like a life lesson of whatever you go though you will survive. Instead of this book being a stereotypical Native American book that tells simply about their culture but an aspect of their culture.
Dec 07, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: cat-picturebooks
This is actually a terrifying story.
Dominique Johnson
The good luck cat is a very different book. It is a story of a cat who goes through all of this pain using up his 9 lives but somehow still survives. I enjoyed the book because the pictures and the colors were easy on the eyes and it displays the sadness of possibly losing a pet you love dearly. I think this is a good book to show children how to properly watch out for your pets because they may not be so lucky as this cat.
Apr 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everybody, especially cat caretakers
This is one of the best children's books I have ever read. It's for anyone who has ever had a pet, had close calls with their pet, who has lost and found a pet. It's about a little girl and her beloved cat. The girl, speaking in first person, tells about her cat's nine lives. The subtle, special details about and illustrations of contemporary Native family life -- the closeness of extended family and going to powwows -- coupled with the everyday scenes of a kid putting up hand-drawn "Lost Cat" p ...more
Gail LaVoie
Jun 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book was a wonderful picture book. The beautiful illustrations make you wish the cat could just leap off the page and into your lap so that you can enjoy her silky soft fur and rumbling purr. 'Woogie' as the cat is called, is a beautiful tabby cat that is known for being very lucky. The book is a tale of why Woogie is so lucky and how she has used up 8 of her 9 lives. Its a really cute story that gives a reasonable explanation as to why cats are considered to have 9 lives. It also describes ...more
Jan 31, 2010 rated it liked it
Woogie, a cat with nine lives, brings Aunt Shelly and the child-narrator of this tale good luck. However, he is not so lucky in her own life and uses his nine lives up quickly. Joy harjo, the author of this picture book, is a Native American poet (Muscogee-Creek) and a musician. This is her first book for children. It relates the story of a little girl's love for her cat. It hints at Harjo and the narrator's tribal heritage in the representation of the child, the comparison of a heartbeat to a d ...more
Britta Krueger
Woogie is a cat that supposedly is goo luck. Woogie (being like my own cat at home) starts to get into mischief and people start to wonder how lucky he is anymore. This book shows the relationship between a young girl and her cat. This is a modern Native American story from the Muskogee-Creek tribe. This book emotionally captures the fears of being a pet caretaker but the happy ending makes this book a happy cry. The only negative aspect to this book is the work choices. This book tends to focus ...more
Tayler K
The illustrations are wonderful, and I suppose this could be used to teach children about taking care of animals or the circle of life or something. The story starts with how petting the cat gives you good luck, but the majority of the book is telling you how the cat lost its first 8 lives and then is missing. I guess it technically has a happy ending because the cat ends up home okay, but I just thought the whole thing was rather sad and I didn't feel any better once I got to the end. Full disc ...more
Patti K
Jun 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
This was a book my daughter picked from the school library. I actually cried when I read it to her. There is a point in the story when you're not so sure the cat is lucky; it's luck seems to have run out. But, *spoiler* it's all OK in the end. We don't always read the school books twice - some are just ok, some are too long for that - but this one we read a second time. I liked that it was honest and genuine but still respected the feelings of a young child. And once again, I'm faced with anothe ...more
This story is about a girl's cat that is supposedly "good luck" because it has more than nine lives. It describes the cat's harmful experiences that cost the cat a life each time. Although the main character is Native American, this book does not provide much information about Native American culture. I do think that students would enjoy reading this book/having this book read to them because they would find the cat's adventures interesting and enticing. I would use this book for a read aloud th ...more
The Good Luck Cat seems to have more than just nine lives. When Woogie goes missing, his owner begins to retell stories from other incidents where Woogie has certainly used up some of his nine cat lives. If children in my class just love reading animal books, I would definitely recommend this book to them. However, I don't think I would use this book as any material for my lessons. The topics in this book may be sensitive to children who have lost their cats though.
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Bio Joy Harjo
Joy Harjo was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma and is a member of the Mvskoke Nation. She has released four award-winning CD's of original music and won a Native American Music Award (NAMMY) for Best Female Artist of the Year. She performs nationally and internationally solo and with her band, The Arrow Dynamics. She has appeared on HBO's Def Poetry Jam, in venues in every major U.S. city and
More about Joy Harjo

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