Cover image for The four ugly cats in apartment 3D
The four ugly cats in apartment 3D
Sachs, Marilyn.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2002.
Physical Description:
67 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
After a neighbor in her apartment building dies, ten-year-old Lily tries to find homes for his four ugly, noisy cats.
General Note:
"A Richard Jackson book."
Reading Level:
460 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 3.2 1.0 58528.

Reading Counts RC 3-5 2.3 4 Quiz: 34326 Guided reading level: K.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Juvenile Fiction Childrens Area
X Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf
X Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf

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Lily, a ten-year-old latchkey kid, lives in apartment 3B. Two of the other neighbors on her floor are friendly. But Mr. Freeman in apartment 3D is mean and ugly. So are his four cats who continually yowl and irritate everybody in the building.When Mr. Freeman suddenly dies, all of the neighbors and the landlord want to ship the cats off to the S.P.C.A.But Lily remembers a single act of kindness shown her by Mr. Freeman. She remembers his love for the four ugly cats. They were his family; he gave them a home. Lily refuses to let the cats be destroyed."You have three days," the landlord tells her, "before the apartment will be rented."Like a true heroine in a fairy tale, Lily sets out to accomplish the impossible: to find new homes for the cats nobody wants.

Author Notes

Marilyn Sachs was born Marilyn Stickle in the Bronx, New York on December 18, 1927. She graduated from Hunter College in 1949 and became a children's librarian trainee at the Brooklyn Public Library. She worked there for a decade while earning her master's of library science degree at Columbia University. She later worked part-time at the San Francisco Public Library before becoming a full-time author for middle grade and young adult readers in 1968.

Her first novel, Amy Moves In, was published in 1964. Her other books included Veronica Ganz, The Bears' House, The Fat Girl, A Pocket Full of Seeds, and Lost in America. She was a co-editor with Ann Durell of the anthology The Big Book for Peace, which provided proceeds to peace organizations. She died on December 28, 2016 at the age of 89.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Like everyone else in her building, 10-year-old Lily loathes the man in apartment 3D: "Mr. Freeman was mean, unfriendly, and nasty," she reports as narrator. But when she is locked out of her apartment and none of the other neighbors are home, Mr. Freeman, annoyed by Lily's sobbing, reluctantly invites her in. She watches him feed his four ugly, yowling cats all of them onetime strays who appeared on his fire escape and he softens as he talks about them. Not long afterward, the man dies and Lily takes it upon herself to find homes for the cats before the landlord calls the S.P.C.A. Unlike the complex challenges navigated by heroines in Sachs's The Bears' House or A Pocketful of Seeds, this hurdle is surmounted rather too easily for credibility's sake. The only unexpected development involves a beady-eyed would-be renter who views Mr. Freeman's apartment and seems unduly interested in a pile of the deceased man's papers, convincing Lily (and, less probably, the landlord) that something valuable is hidden there; they are proven wrong. Fans may be disappointed to find the author working in such a minor mode, but, as in any of her books, the writing has its charms. Agreeable entertainment. Ages 8-10. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 3-4-When Lily's grouchy neighbor dies, the 11-year-old becomes responsible for finding homes for his four ugly, noisy cats. And she only has three days to do so before the landlord calls the S.P.C.A. Remembering the time Mr. Freeman was nice to her when she was locked out of her apartment and how much he loved his pets, Lily uses all her tenacity to find homes for three of the felines. One goes to a neighbor, one to the local grocer, and one to a potential renter of Mr. Freeman's apartment. The fourth-Lily's favorite-is a lifelong alley cat that didn't really live with Mr. Freeman, and she continues to feed it when it drops by. The protagonist is a determined little girl trying to do the right thing-she knows that the cats were Mr. Freeman's only family and she feels responsible for them. Children who enjoy Johanna Hurwitz's "Nora" books (Morrow) or Dick King-Smith's titles about Sophie (Candlewick) will like this easy-to-read story of a young girl accomplishing a task that doesn't seem easy in the beginning, but is one that she feels she must do. Small black-and-white drawings enliven many of the pages.-Terrie Dorio, Santa Monica Public Library, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.