Alice the Cat is a book about Tessa and her cat Alice that has been with her since babyhood. Alice was a kitten when Tessa was an infant. So a life together through thick and thin is the backdrop of Tessa’s journey over a few days to save her cat, her father, a ghost and herself.   While Tessa learns more about herself, life, and grief over the death of her mother; she has several hard choices to make that many teens make in their lives today. 

Tessa is almost thirteen, her mother has been gone for a couple months and one day when arriving home from school she finds that her cat had run out into the street as a car was passing.  Alice, her cat, survived although the driver did crash their car.  Tessa went looking for Alice and found her under a house the town said was haunted.  There were many feelings that Tessa went through as she looked for Alice but the strongest was Anger.  Anger is a strong, hard feeling for teens to understand, control, work with and Tim Cummings has done a great job of showing the Anger, explaining how it can manifest, what may lead to understanding it and then how to cope with it.

Tessa receives assistance from several different people in trying to save Alice. Although the house where Alice runs to is haunted by a ghost for 150 years that also wants her.  Tessa wants to only save Alice but finds out why the ghost wants Alice also.  During all this Alice has been at the Vet and when Tessa goes back to get Alice from the Vet, she finds that Alice is not there. Just as Tessa’s mom had to leave so did Alice.  Tessa is still working through her grief over her mom and now she must deal with Alice being gone too.  While Tessa was not able to physically save Alice, she does learn more about herself and her rage. 

Again, she has assistance with dealing with her emotions, her loss, and who is still part of her life.  New friends, old friends, family, and professionals all help Tessa through her grief, her anger and more emotions that many teens live with on a regular basis.

Tim Cummings is good at describing how a teen moves through all the emotions and choices thrown at them in normal and not so normal situations.  While some may have a problem reading through this story, it is well written, very descriptive and moves through life in many of real life situations.  A very good story to open conversations for teens living through grief and teen drama.

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