3 out of 4 stars
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When Inca’s mom went to South Korea to participate in a competition for chefs, Inca met a dog named Baram. Baram belonged to Ye-Jun, who was the tour guide for Inca’s mom during her stay in South Korea. Inca learned that Baram grew up with a cat named Bo-Min, but they were separated ever since Bo-Min went to live in North Korea with her human master Ji. Inca planned to sneak across the border dividing North and South Korea so she could bring Bo-Min back to her dog companion, Baram. Yet this came with risks, as the border between North and South Korea was filled with armed guards stationed there at all times of the day and night.
Since I have not read any other books in the series, I found it hard to keep up with all the names of the characters in this story. I had to keep going back to the introduction at the beginning of the story to keep track of all the animals Inca interacted with. Inca belonged to a group of seven animals, who were all lived with the same human owner. Two animals were dogs, one was a hamster, and the rest were cats. I imagine that if I had read the series from the first book the names would be more familiar but since this was the first series I read, it was hard to keep up with all the names.
Despite the difficulty I had in keeping up with the names, I greatly enjoyed reading about the political context surrounding North and South Korea in this story. There were many details describing the demilitarization zone between North and South Korea and the strict rules prohibiting people in North Korea from moving to South Korea. This story was also sprinkled with some history behind the relationship between North and South Korea so this book could spark interest in learning more about world history for young readers.
I found the plot to be fast-paced and engaging. The adventure of going to a different country and taking risks to retrieve old friends kept me flying through the book. The only thing I did not like about this story was the way the human owners were portrayed. There were scenes where the cats described the human owners as being completely oblivious to their surroundings, and in need of animals to rescue them. Although I understand the animals are the main characters, I wish the humans were portrayed in a manner that captured their complex thoughts and ideas.
I think this book would appeal to young readers between the ages of seven and nine years old. This is a chapter book, but it still contains illustrations every ten to twenty pages that can keep young readers engaged. At the same time, I would not recommend this book unless one has read the previous seven books in the series. The names of the characters and their unique identities could be understood and appreciated more if one was already familiar with them from reading previous books in this series.
I am giving “Cat Detective s in the Korean Peninsula: Diary of a Snoopy Cat (The Inca Cat Detective Series Book ” by R. F. Kristi a rating of 3 out of 4 stars. While there were no grammatical errors, I felt the story was good but not great. This story would be fun and engaging for young readers, but the arrogant tone the cats had towards their human owners kept me from giving this book a perfect rating. I would suggest reading the previous seven books in the series before reading this book to get a full understanding of the characters and their motives.
Cat Detectives in the Korean Peninsula
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