Elvis and the World As It Stands is a poignant middle-grade story about loss and finding family from the point of view of a newly adopted kitten from Lisa Frenkel Riddiough with illustrations by Olivia Chin Mueller.
“An absolute delight, from beginning to end.” —Anne Ursu, author of National Book Award nominee The Real Boy
“Elvis’s journey is sweet and funny and profound.” —Eliot Schrefer, National Book Award finalist
Most shelter animals dream of going home with a forever family. But for Elvis, being chosen by Mrs. Pemberton is a nightmare. He’s been separated from his sister, Etta, and is determined to get back to the shelter to find her. In spite of himself, Elvis becomes curious about 10-year-old Georgina Pemberton, who builds LEGO skyscrapers in her bedroom while navigating her parents’ separation. The longer he’s in his new home, the more he starts recognizing new feelings: admiration for Georgina’s creations, affection for the other pets, and even empathy for the Pembertons—despite their inability to listen.
As Georgina sets out to build her most important skyscrapers yet—the Twin Towers—Elvis realizes that maybe both humans and animals can take a page from Georgina’s Big Book of American Architecture and “build a world of their own choosing,” even if the choices aren’t what they’d initially expected.
**STARRED REVIEW**Kirkus Reviews
"Riddiough has lovingly crafted a group of fully realized animal characters—even a fish—as well as three sometimes-mystifying humans, all of whom share their hopes and tribulations and demonstrate that not all happy families look alike. . .This gentle effort will leave engaged readers purring contentedly."
"Riddiough’s debut doesn’t shy away from sadness or struggle, including a thoughtful discussion of 9/11, with the animal antics providing a lighter framework for tough topics. A playful and poignant exploration of family, in all its forms."Booklist
"Readers will race to find out how everything ends, with character growth and plenty of failed escape attempts before the satisfying conclusion."School Library Journal