Varjak Paw is a Mesopotamian Blue kitten. He lives high up in an old house on a hill. He’s never left home, but then his grandfather tells him about the Way – a secret martial art for cats. Now Varjak must use the Way to survive in a city full of dangerous dogs, cat gangs and, strangest of all the mysterious Vanishings.
Reading level: Oxford Levels: 16–17 | Book Band: Dark Blue
Nikki Gamble, Lecturer – ‘This is a thrilling adventure with brooding menace and real jeopardy for Varjak. Dave McKean’s illustrations are suitably dark. The story is action–packed and pacy; it will have children on the edge of their seats.’
Discuss the reasons that Varjak wants to leave home. What does he learn from his adventure? How has Varjak changed by the end of the story? Use hot seating to explore thoughts and feelings at various points in the story.
NOTE: Presents stark social realities, e.g. the street cats are regarded as expendable.