Elizabeth and Sarah and their mother have a cat named Charlie, a stray they have taken in. At night, Charlie curls up on Elizabeth's bed to sleep. But every morning, after lapping up the milk in his bowl, he disappears into the woods. In the evening, he returns, in time to be brushed and fed. Each weekend, Elizabeth and Sarah visit their father and stepmother in the city. They want to take Charlie with them, but Charlie is a country cat, their mother points out. They city is no place for him. Charlie grows fatter and fatter, and then one stormy night, he doesn't come home. That's when the girls discover a secret about Charlie, something they have in common with him. Elizabeth and Sarah's story -- and Charlie's -- is a contemporary one that takes into account the changing character of the family unit. Simply told and with heartwarming illustrations, Charlie Anderson will have special meaning for children whose parents are separated or divorced.
Barbara Abercrombie, an author of books for both children and adults, teaches creative writing in the Writers' Program at UCLA Extension and conducts writing workshops for the Wellness Community. She lives with her husband in Santa Monica, California, and Twin Bridges, Montana.