Published by G. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Summary: Mohammad Alaa Aljaleel, a.k.a. Alaa, lives in Aleppo, a Syrian city that has been devastated by war. He’s stayed in the city, driving an ambulance and helping people however he can. When he finds stray cats wandering around his neighborhood, he decides to buy them some food. Before long, he’s feeding dozens of cats, and needs help to support them all. Volunteers hear about “The Cat Man of Aleppo”, and so do donors from all over the world. Eventually, Alaa is able to buy a building with a shaded courtyard. As more money pours in, he starts rescuing other animals, builds a playground for the children still living in Aleppo, and helps dig a well to give people clean water. Although he still longs for the day his country is at peace and his city can be rebuilt, Alaa has found joy in helping the people and animals around him. Includes notes from the authors and illustrator. 40 pages; grades K-4.
Summary: A story about kitties, a lesson about kindness, and a window for readers into a different part of the world…a winner all around, and one with beautiful illustrations.
Cons: Some additional information about Aleppo and the Syrian civil war, photos, and resources for more information would have been useful.