As a fan of Animal Ark from a young age, I imagined this story to be written in a similar style, however I was pleasantly surprised by what I found instead. Don't be fooled by the cute cat on the cover, this story is more mature than what the picture suggests.
Billy lives in an area where stray cats are considered a problem and the community are too ignorant to deal with the problem kindly and resourcefully. Animal lovers are a minority and the general view of strays is that they should be shot. This meant that some of the scenes in the book were a little upsetting, even for me. Billy also has to deal with his arguing parents, a Mum who is trying to educate herself by going back to college and a Dad with traditional views of what a woman's job should be. Billy also finds himself struggling financially, having to take on jobs in his spare time in order to provide for Conga. These are all themes that I think could be translated into educational materials.
I enjoyed the narrative style of the book too. The story starts with an explanation of how so many strays came to live in Billy's area. The story of how Conga became a stray is also told from the point of view of Conga, which I found very interesting. A great start to the book, it sparked my interest and encouraged me to read on.
I would recommend this story for children between the ages of 8 and 12, although I think the story would be understood more by older readers in this age group. This story has the potential to be enjoyed both by girls and boys, though it might be a bit of a challenge to persuade a boy to pick it up initially.
Overall, I think this is a great book and I found it to be very readable despite not being the target audience. I finished it within two days!