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What People Say About
Fran and Her Cats…

Finally!....a resource that can used to educate children and adults to the plight of feral and community cats! Whether taken into the classroom or read to children as a bedtime story, the philosophy of TNR and the process of critical thinking comes through in a clear, precise and fun way! We plan to put together educational “story times” at our area public libraries. Thank you for filling a void in the “community” of feral cat lovers!
Kathy Humann, President and Executive Director
Western Iowa’s Feral and Homeless Cat Program

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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.
Alice Berger
Bergers Book Reviews
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“Fairminded Fran and the three small black Community Cats” is a great
read for anyone who values compassion. Delving into the complexities of how we, as a society, have historically dealt with cat overpopulation the book highlights effective and ethical solutions currently being applied by young enthusiastic problem solvers like Fran. The book wonderfully illustrates how people can gather together to make their neighborhood a kinder place.
Holly Sizemore, Director, Community Programs and Services,
National Programs, Best Friends Animal Society

It’s never too early to teach children that animals matter...that everyone, human and non-human is important and deserves respect. For many children it’s their family’s own dog, cat, bunny or bird who starts helping them see our fellow creatures as individuals. But how do you explain the value of a feral’s life to a child when they can’t touch or hug the cat and when kitty doesn’t live in a snug house the way they do?
“Fairminded Fran and the three small black Community Cats” is a new book that speaks directly to children about feral cats, why they matter and how to help. Written by Dr. Linda Elder, a noted educational psychologist, the book is a valuable tool to introduce empathy for community cats to young minds.

Susan Richmond
Neighborhood Cats
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The first thing one notices when picking the book Fairminded Fran and the Three Small Black Community Cats, is Kathy Abney’s illustration of three little cats. These little cats, however, have a very distinctive feature: their left ear is tipped. To people involved in trap-neuter-return (TNR), this might be a common sight, but not so for the general public. This small detail is in fact reflective of the accuracy of this children book.
The book takes us into the journey that is TNR and teaches to respect the nature of the cat, in this case feral cats.  Fairminded Fran could be any of you, who one day discover a few feral kittens in your garden.  As many members of the public, Fairminded Fran wants to help them, but does not know how. With her teacher, she finally finds support from the local TNR group and the kittens are neutered and returned to their environment where they are cared for by Dan, the maintenance man.
Although this little book is aimed at children, it is as much educative for adults as it is for kids. A lot of people are not aware that something can be done for feral cats and, thus, do nothing. Fairminded Fran shows that there are groups out there who can help and highlights how much a community can do for the cats by getting together. 
From an animal welfare perspective, the book explains accurately what is TNR and how to care for feral cats. Fairminded Fran does not succumb to her initial emotions and understands well that taking the kittens out of their environment is not the solution. Instead of falling into drama, Linda Elder is rational and her story educates about the nature of feral cats and the care they should receive.
Fairminded Fran and the Three Small Black Community Cats should be owned by every library as a way to highlight the plight of feral cats to the general public and educate about what can be done. It is equally instructive for people involved in animal welfare, who often forget to take into consideration the nature of a feral cat.
Emilie Péneau
Community Cats Network

Bravo! “Fairminded Fran and the three small black Community Cats” is an informative story that will teach children how to think critically about a very important and real-world topic that surrounds us all – feral cats. As a teacher of over 20 years, I know that critical thinking must be taught in order to move students into deeper levels of reading and comprehension. Fairminded Fran does this. Children will engage in meaningful discussions, make personal and world connections, ask questions, make inferences, evaluate characters, problem solve, and apply what they have learned to help their own communities – “powerful” thinking tool! I especially like how each character is identified as having a distinctly different personality and thought pattern. It makes readers reflect on their values and ethics as well as recognize their own metacognitive abilities, and this will promote change for the better in so many ways. Finally, as a supporter of animal rescue, I give Fairminded Fran two paws up! There can never be enough stories about rescuing animals. We are their voice – well done!
Brenda Fiorini
Teacher, Illinois public schools
Author of “Rescue Pup”

“Fairminded Fran and the three small black Community Cats” is one of the only books that I have come across to directly address the issues surrounding and needs of feral cats. Fairminded Fran learns the importance of empathy when trying to help these cats that she discovers behind her school. This book will be a great resource for young people to learn about the needs of feral cats, why many cannot be re-homed and how we can help them. The information at the end of the book regarding feral cats and ways of thinking is a good additional resource.
Dezarae Jones-Hartwig, Education Manager 
Wisconsin Humane Society

… I enjoy the sense that ‘Fairminded Fran’ is not only concerned with the well-being of others less fortunate, but also that she has the determination to rally behind those who may need it most, as well as recruiting help. ... This is an excellent book to spread the word on the issues community cats face as well as what to do if crossed with a similar situation. I highly enjoyed this book and plan on using it to discuss such topics with my students.
Nicole Latosky
Humane Education Coordinator
Geauga Humane Society’s Rescue Village

“Fairminded Fran and the three small black Community Cats” is a wonderful book that brings light to the hidden life of feral cats. These cats need our help and with this book we can empower children to be more aware, educated and compassionate about this serious issue. Children will learn how they can help feral cats and make better choices in the future to reduce their number. What a wonderful resource!
Chris Durrant
Animal Matters

One of the best things to happen to Marin Friends of Ferals was meeting Linda Elder. She’s made a valuable impact within her rural farming community by introducing the importance of TNR to humanely manage feral community cats. With this method, Linda has improved the quality of life for over 130 cats (and counting). This educational story about her first encounter with ferals has taken our cause to the next level – teaching our children that these victims of human neglect deserve not only our empathy, but our help, to reduce their suffering and help give them a decent quality of life.
Janet Williams, President
Marin Friends of Ferals


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