The Queen of Cats
Oh, hi! I didn’t see you there *waves*. Today, we’re going talk about one of my favorite books when I started reading – Queenie, by Jacqueline Wilson. This post contains SPOILERS! So, if you haven’t read the book yet, I recommend that you don’t read this.
But, if you LOVE to know things ahead of time (just like me), you can!
“It's 1953, the year Elizabeth is to be crowned Queen of England. Elsie Kettle can't wait to go to London with her beloved nan to see the Coronation Day celebrations. Then tragedy strikes. Nan and Elsie both fall ill with tuberculosis and Elsie is whisked away to the children's ward of Miltree Hospital. Confined to bed for months, Elsie misses Nan desperately, and struggles to adapt to the hospital's strict rules. But every night after lights-out she tells magical tales of adventure to the other children on the ward. For the first time, Elsie finds herself surrounded by true friends – including Queenie, the hospital's majestic white cat.
Finally Elsie is well enough to leave the hospital. But before she does, she has one very special, very unexpected visitor ...” – Goodreads.
This book is amazing. Period. Yes, I just wrote the word “period”.
Queenie made me cry, smile, and laugh throughout the whole story – and as you might notice by the summary, this book is set in 1953, the year Queen Elizabeth II of England was crowned queen of said country.
Elsie Kettle lives with her grandma (or nan, that’s what she calls her), instead than with her mom, who works as a dancer in the city. Elsie’s nan was coughing and coughing since last Christmas but didn’t make a fuss over it.
Her nan was sick, tripped all over the apartment they lived, and usually was really tired after work.
The bad luck she had when she went to school, made matters at home even worse. She was bullied at school, her nan thought she had a friend (which wasn’t true), and on top of it all – her nan didn’t have much money.
One afternoon, Elsie wakes up in the morning to find her nan gone. No note, no nothing. She waits and waits – thinking her nan went to the grocery store to buy some milk or something – and then finds out her nan was coughing blood at work, and she had tuberculosis on the lungs, so she goes to a sanatory.
Later on, Elsie find out she has tuberculosis, too. But unlike her nan, she doesn’t have it on her lungs, but on her knee.
She then goes to Miltree Orthopaedical Hospital and stays there for a really long time. The children at first don’t like her, and she feels really sad and depressed. Her body usually itched, she cried herself to sleep, and was usually quiet.
But after she discovers that she is good at making stories, one by one, the kids start talking to her. Elsie feels really happy that the other children want to converse with her – instead of only the hospital cat, Queenie.
At the end of the story, Elsie gets better and leaves the orthopedic hospital, only to find a very special someone waiting for her…
So, I give this book a good 8/10. There were some things that I would’ve wanted to know, such as why Elsie’s dad wasn’t mentioned (only once) more? Why her mom didn’t care a lot about Elsie? Why was Elsie bullied so much?
But, this is a good book. Ms. Wilson is a truly gifted writer, and I’m happy to say that I enjoyed this book and that I love her writing style.
I hope that many kids feel identified with this book, because I sure did. This published paradise has made me realize that we’re lucky to have arms and legs – because some people don’t. People think, “Oh, everyone can walk”, but that is absolutely NOT true.
I couldn’t walk for almost 6 month and was 5 moths in a wheelchair, so I understood Elsie and all those children at the orthopedic hospital. They couldn’t even move or sit down properly like children do to eat and walk—and that made me really sad and felt the tears prickling and pouring down my eyes and covered my cheeks.
So, let me explain why Elsie got tuberculosis on the knee (the author explains it at the last page of the book, but nevermind)…
In the 1950s, milk didn’t get through a disinfection progress like it does now. Tuberculosis was caused by a disease in the cow’s milk, and that’s why so many kids had to spend their days at the hospitals – while some didn’t.
People don’t really appreciate the gifts that we already have. What are those?
Well, those gifts are the senses of hearing, touch, smell, and seeing. Unfortunately, some persons in the world don’t – and instead of wanting the “cool things” in life such as technological gadgets and stuff, we should appreciate what we already have.
If you see someone that can’t walk or hear, just remember, that we’re all equal and unique in many different ways.
Pink Smoothie is a young author with great imagination. Through her works, she'll entertain her readers like a refreshing drink. It is very gratifying and exciting for Pink Smoothie to be a MindPlay young author. She feels very honored for helping improve reading skills. Be part of an unusual and unexpected journey through her posts!