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Whittington

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3.59  ·  Rating details ·  2,197 ratings  ·  302 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 ...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published December 26th 2006 by Yearling (first published July 26th 2005)
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Average rating 3.59  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,197 ratings  ·  302 reviews


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Miranda Reads
Sep 24, 2019 rated it liked it
description

There was a cold wind. It smelled like snow.
Bernie and his wife Marion have a tendency to take in anything that needs a home.

Whether it be a duck, goose, goat or horse...if some poor soul needs a place to be, they will be that place.

Enter Whittington, a cat with a chip on his shoulder and a history that could knock anyone socks off.
His left ear hung down like a loose flap. He wasn't old, but he looked beaten up.
Abby and Ben live with Bernie and Marion and are having a hard time
...more
Jessica
Mar 28, 2016 rated it liked it
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 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 ...more
Dawn (& Ron)
Dec 23, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ron rates it 4 stars and I rated it 4-1/2 stars. Review forthcoming.

SHHH, DONT TELL MOM AND DAD BUT HEY THEY STEPPED OUT OF THE ROOM LEAVING THIS THING ON SO HERE I SIT TYPING. THEY BOTH READ THIS AND TALKED SO MUCH ABOUT THIS BLASTED CAT WHITTINGTON LIKE HE WAS SOOOO SPECIAL. DOES HE HAVE ONE EXTRA LONG FANG TOOTH LIKE ME, DOES HE LIKE BUGLES AND DORITOS - I SNEAK THEM WHEN THEY AREN'T LOOKING. SERIOUSLY IM RIGHT HERE TO PET AND BOY DO IIIIIIIIIIIIIII OOPS SAT TO LONG ON THAT KEY. I LOVE TO
...more
Dominic
Sep 29, 2011 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
...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
...more
Razan
Feb 19, 2017 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 boring..it 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
Bette
Feb 16, 2011 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 ...more
Kris
Sep 19, 2019 rated it liked it
It's a wannabe-Charlotte's Web.

Okay, that's harsh. It does have some merit in its own right.

It's the story of an English boy and his cat in nineteenth-century London, told by a cat, while amidst the setting of animals in a barn in twentieth-century America. Takes place over the course of a year, as barn animals come and go; there's details of human characters too, grandparents and children who live on the farm. A few side characters and one-time events circle around the main story, and add some
...more
Vivian
Dec 02, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: tween
Perhaps this is a "Charlotte's Web wanna-be". Bernie's barn is full of anthropomorphic animals which speak with his two grand children, Abby, age ten and Ben, age eight. All of whom have one kind of difficulty or another. In this world within a world, the narrator cat retells the tale of one of his gggggg...ancestor's owner, the fabled Dick Whittington.

Because the book is comprised of stories within stories it's a little difficult keeping the characters and narrative straight, and (sigh) it
...more
Ann
Nov 04, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: newbery, audio, childrens
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 ...more
Jen
Apr 04, 2013 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
...more
Michael Fitzgerald
I was expecting a detailed retelling of the tale of Dick Whittington and his cat. That's included in the book, and it's not bad, but I was puzzled by the rest of the book. There are basically two other stories recounted simultaneously. One is a talking animal barnyard story, pretty standard kind of Rabbit Hill fare, except the animals and their humans talk to each other. It could have been used as just a frame for the cat tale, but it isn't, it's much more involved. It has all kinds of lovey ...more
Pengaween
This book has some good messages (it encourages kids to read, to not give up, and to be kind to animals). But it also had some bad ones (a main character smokes and another runs away from home when he's about 10). Other than that it's just ok. There are a few different stories going on, Dick's story, the kids' story, and the animals' story. I thought the kids' story and the animals' story blended together fine. But Dick's story seemed very awkwardly stuck in there. I felt like this book should ...more
Linda Lipko
Thwack...(The sound of this book as it hits the floor) after my brave, stubborn attempt to like it.

What in the world were the Newbery award panel of judges thinking in nominating this as one of the 2006 honor books? Ok, I concede that I'm not an expert, but geesh, this book is bad, bad, bad.

Unlike so many other Newbery winners, the plot (what plot?) is dull. The writing is trite. And, it is boring beyond belief.

A stray cat, some barnyard animals, including two horses, some rats, a bossy duck and
...more
Lief
Sep 22, 2014 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 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.
Crystal
Apr 29, 2010 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 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.
Addie P
Feb 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: newberry
I imagined the silly cat as a dog.
Dane Schneyer
Aug 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Love this Book! It is great! I Don't know when I stared or ended
Jill
Oct 30, 2012 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 -
...more
Maribeth Tomas
Oct 09, 2013 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
...more
Astrid Lim
Cute story about a cat who is a descendant of Dick Whittington's cat. Dick was a historical figure who helped the poor and became a mayor of London- and he owed his cat for his fortunes and successes.

This is a combination of historical fiction, animal story and lessons about growing up and being different. Sometimes it's a bit confusing especially in the beginning, because you don't know where the story would take you. But along the way, you enjoyed the many voices in this book, from Whittington
...more
Deb
Nov 24, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is a unique little book that combines the story of a historical figure with modern life and talking animals. The animals also talk with the children and have distinct personalities and issues. It's interesting how it addresses the problem of dyslexia and fears associated with learning to read. I don't love this book, but it's okay. Mildly entertaining and relatively readable.
Josiah
Jul 13, 2011 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 ...more
Annie
Nov 02, 2015 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 ...more
Drew Martin
Mar 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Amazing book. Good story line. Nice ending. It shows team work and how even people you don't think will be useful can come in handy. Good morals. Great story over all.
Steve
Mar 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a great book, with multiple stories and good character arcs. It belongs on a shelf with "Charlotte's Web" and "The Trumpeter Swan". Appropriate for children and nuanced enough for adults. It would be a great read-aloud.
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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 ...more
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