(Survey of Young Adult Fiction)

This book has a wholesome theme and characters and is great fun. Cleary is known for a lively writing style that includes much dialogue and action-packed plots, and Socks is no exception. While Socks can be categorized as an animal story, much of the emphasis is on the interactions between the cat and humans. Socks remains true to the characteristics of his species, except for his ability to think and reason as a human.

In this fast-paced, entertaining, and easy-to-read story, young readers will be able to relate to the antics of Socks and his jealousy toward Charles William. Most children have experienced the emotion of jealousy, if not in family situations then in the classroom. Socks learns to deal with his feelings of neglect and dislike of the new “furless” rival through one mishap after another. In a humorous manner, Cleary allows Socks to move from the comfort of pampering and having the total attention of his owners, to the discomfort of being thrown out of the house, and to shared attention with Charles William. Thus is found a positive resolution to Socks’s problem.

While Socks is the central character, the story also reveals much about human nature. It points out how people often move on to new experiences without thinking of how they may be neglecting what was once important to them and in so doing bring harm into their own and others’ lives. Mr. and Mrs. Bricker become consumed with their new baby and...

(The entire section is 501 words.)