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Reviewed by Kimberlee J Benart for Readers' Favorite
Paws in Paris: The Adventures of Tenny and Bella is a middle-grade novel by Elizabeth M. Grieco which is laced with adventure, suspense, mysticism, and a light introduction to Paris and the French language. Sarah, a famous American journalist who recently retired, is visiting Paris to see the exhibit of a deceased French artist. She is shocked to find that one of his early paintings includes a distinctively marked cat that must have been her beloved pet, Tenny. But how could that be? In subsequent chapters, the adventures of Tenny and her playmate Bella are revealed as a young Sarah brings them to Paris on her very first international assignment but must leave them alone in a strange city when she is suddenly called away.
In Paws in Paris, Elizabeth M. Grieco gives us a wonderful middle-grade novel that can appeal to older readers as well. The narrative is descriptive and moves smoothly from one twist in the plot to another with a few close calls along the way which inject drama and suspense. The distinctive personalities of Tenny and Bella as well as the cats they encounter in Paris, which vary from the heroic and helpful to the bullying and deadly, are wonderfully drawn. Cat culture, language, and mythology seem undivided by national borders but are divided between indoor and out-of-doors experiences. You don’t have to be a cat fan to find this story of deep friendship and courageous loyalty utterly engaging. It’s the sort of story that would make an excellent family-friendly film.