Fran discovers three small black cats outside her school, foraging at the dumpster. She tries to befriend them, but they’re too scared and run away. Concerned for their well-being, she brings this matter to her teacher. He advises her that they are feral cats, and will never be able to be pets. But with the help of the principal, she and others arrange for their care and neutering.
In this unique book, children are alerted to the plight of homeless feral cats in their neighborhood. They learn about the concept of trap-neuter-return, so the cats won’t continue to reproduce. (See Alley Cat Allies website for more information on this program.) Compassion and caring are encouraged to be sure these small strays will live healthy lives, while their population diminishes.
Along with Fairminded Fran, kids meet Selfish Sam, and Naive Nancy, who have differing opinions on these cats. Critical thinking is used to determine the right way to handle this situation. Fairminded Fran and the Three Small Black Community Cats would be a great classroom resource, not only to let kids know about feral cats, but also to encourage the process of critical thinking. I highly recommend it.
Reviewer: Alice Berger