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Download The Five Lives of Our Cat Zook Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Five Lives of Our Cat Zook Audiobook, by Joanne Rocklin Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (193 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Joanne Rocklin Narrator: Georgette Perna Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2012 ISBN: 9780307968685
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In this warmhearted middle-grade novel, Oona and her brother, Fred, love their cat Zook (short for Zucchini), but Zook is sick. As they conspire to break him out of the vet’s office, convinced he can only get better at home with them, Oona tells Fred the story of Zook’s previous lives, ranging in style from fairy tale to grand epic to slice of life. Each of Zook’s lives has echoes in Oona’s own family life, which is going through a transition she’s not yet ready to face. Her father died two years ago, and her mother has started a relationship with a man named Dylan—whom Oona secretly calls “the villain.” The truth about Dylan, and about Zook’s medical condition, drives the drama in this loving family story. Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • “This heartwarming family tale is filled with resilient and thoughtful characters who are willing to learn from their mistakes. Readers who enjoy the novels of Jeanne Birdsall and Leslie Crunch will appreciate this charming story.”

    School Library Journal

  • “Oona’s character is a combination of Harriet the Spy in curiosity and Anastasia in spunk. Another emotionally satisfying outing from Rocklin; hanky recommended.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Rocklin’s characters are fully developed: readers will be invested. Set in Oakland, readers are also treated to a refreshingly authentic child's view of a diverse city. The only imperfection in this novel is that it ends.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • Winner of a Parents' Choice Gold Award

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Michelle (FabbityFabBookReviews) | 2/16/2014

    " Beautifully written, heartwarming story! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Marnie | 2/14/2014

    " my 11 yr old son thought this was a decent read, even got a few good laughs from it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Karen Arendt | 2/10/2014

    " This is a beautiful story lover's story. Oona and her brother younger brother, Fred, have a cat named Zook who has been sick. Oona tells Fred how cats have nine lives and Zook is only on his fifth life. Their father died several years ago from a long illness, and now it is just them, Mom and the cat. What Oona has never told anyone is how she found Zook- through less than totally honest means. Oona needs to come to terms with Zook's health, while taking care of Fred (which she claims is one of her 5 jobs). This is a great example of how to tell a story. Includes at the back of the book rules for telling a story. Pair this with Word after Word after Word. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Allison | 1/30/2014

    " Passing to the next group for RICBA. A great book for 5th and 6th graders! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Janice Durante | 1/18/2014

    " Joanne Rocklin's latest is a tender story for all animal lovers! See my review at Books of Wonder & Wisdom "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kate | 1/15/2014

    " Heartwarming is the best word to describe this novel. Wonderful characters particularly the narrator, 10-year-old Oona, who is big sister to 5-year-old Fred. Oona's theories about types of whoppers and how to tell a story propel much of the book as she relates her life with her mother, her father who passed away, her brother, her mother's new boyfriend, and of course Zook. Oona tells Fred stories about their cat Zook's previous four lives and eventually Fred tells how Zook came to them. Oona knows the real truth, however, and in the end has to come clean. In addition to the characters, I like the urban setting with the "multi-culti" friends of Oona's and which is the type of life many children live (apartment, no yard, working parent, help from friends/neighbors). Some sadness at the end, but also happy. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 LisaKaren | 1/13/2014

    " This is a fantastic family story that manages to reach different levels of humor,love, sadness, angst and confusion without becoming too contrived. All of the characters feel genuine and the story line is hopeful but not sappy. There is a good deal of difficulty in the lives of the children, but it manages not to be a thoroughly depressing book. The foretelling title (5 lives,not 9) gives readers a chance to prepare for a not entirely happy ending. Some tears will fall. Started first two chapters aloud with 4th graders. Hooked 'em. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kristen | 1/10/2014

    " This is a good chapter book that deals with loss and healing in a sensitive, literary, yet age-appropriate way. Fans of Missing May by Cynthia Rylant or Touch Blue by Cynthia Lord will like this. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kim | 1/4/2014

    " Oona and Freddy love their old cat Zook, but he is pretty ill, so Oona uses stories to help herself come to grips with the that fact. Wonderful characters, a warm family and set of friends--this book would be a great read-aloud in the middle grades classroom. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sandy | 1/3/2014

    " Read this one for my Mock Newbery group. I don't think that this one will win any awards, but it's pretty darn charming. Rocklin fills Oona's narration with astute observations and plenty of feeling. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Nicole | 12/12/2013

    " 4th, 5th, 6th Didn't grab me. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Mckinley | 7/12/2013

    " For some reason this was slow going for me. Not sure why. Good storyline, interesting character development. Just didn't seem to ring true all the way through. More like how an adult would write a child's perspective. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sherri | 6/29/2013

    " I read this book to my children and they really liked it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gesse | 11/28/2012

    " Maybe suggest for book club? "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Wendy | 11/1/2012

    " Kind of a standard problem novel with a lot of familiar tropes in it. I did enjoy the Oakland setting, and the Jewish/Hindi grandmother/best-friends combo. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sherry | 7/21/2012

    " 3.5. Another audio book, interesting enough. It's a little all over the place but creative and fun for my kids to listen to. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sharon Lawler | 7/13/2012

    " The premise is excellent--two siblings face transitions in life, and the older of the two tells the younger stories based on the previous lives of the family cat in the hopes that the stories will help both of them adjust. "

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About the Author
Author Joanne Rocklin

Joanne Rocklin is the critically acclaimed author of several books, including Strudel Stories, which was a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year and an American Library Association Notable Book; and For YOUR Eyes Only!, which was a School Library Journal Best Book and a Bank Street Best Book. She lives in Oakland, California.

About the Narrator

Georgette Perna is a full-time voice-over professional in Los Angeles, California. She is currently the voice of Motilda the Mouse on the children’s DVD series Dottie’s Magic Pockets, the voice of Dagny on Magellan’s Magic Map, and the commercial voice for Jellybeanies toys, now airing on Discovery Kids, Toon Disney, Cartoon Network, Nicktoons, and PBS Kids.