‘The Cat That Changed America’ by Tony Lee Moral

Reviewed by Flavia Potenza
Flavia PotenzaBy Flavia Potenza

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‘The Cat That Changed America’ by Tony Lee Moral
Documentary filmmaker and author Tony Lee Moral and P22.
The young mountain lion, P22, became a media sensation when he showed up in Griffith Park, an oasis in the middle of urban Los Angeles. As if that weren’t enough, he survived crossing two freeways, the 405 and 101, to get there. “The Cat That Changed America” a Young Adult (YA) book by Tony Lee Moral, is based on his 2017 documentary of the same name and published in December 2020 (Sabana Publishing). P22 was born in the Santa Monica Mountains outside Los Angeles. After his brother is killed, he is now a juvenile and no longer protected by his mother. The place where he was born is no longer safe because it is the territory of an older male who will kill him given the chance. P22 is forced out of the mountains to head east to find a territory of his own. Along the way, he makes friends as well as enemies, and must cross the 405 and 101 freeways. After more adventures, he reaches Griffith Park observatory and finally makes a new home. Young readers, as young as three years old and up, will enjoy this journey of a brave lion, who not only survives natural predators but Los Angeles Freeways that have taken the lives of many mountain lions and other wildlife. In his journey, P22 meets other wildlife some who befriend and help him, a few others who are not so friendly. Finally, he meets a friendly raccoon who leads him through the City of Stars at night, and together they stroll down the Hollywood Walk of Fame, all the while raid trash cans for dinner and trying to avoid bothersome humans. As an entertaining story, it relates an underlying conservation message for young readers, introducing them to a variety of animals, as well as a few local human heroes fighting to protect wildlife and their habitat. Poison Free Malibu has campaigned for decades to ban rodenticides, which kill not only rodents but the predators, including mountain lions, bobcats, and owls who eat them. The Liberty Canyon wildlife crossing in Agoura, due to begin early stages of construction in summer 2021, is also mentioned. P22 has a huge fan club, not only in the U.S., but internationally, as conservationists throughout the world have already built successful wildlife crossings. Tony Lee Moral is an author specializing in mystery and suspense, as well as natural history, children’s and Young Adult (YA) fiction. He has written three books on the Master of Suspense, “Alfred Hitchcock: Alfred Hitchcock’s Movie Making Masterclass” (2013), published by MWP books; “The Making of Hitchcock’s The Birds” (2013), published by Kamera Books and “Hitchcock and the Making of Marnie” (2005), published by Scarecrow Press. Moral was born in Hastings, England in 1971, before moving to California. He lived in Monterey and Big Sur for two years that forms the inspiration for his latest thriller “Ghost Maven: The Haunting of Alice May,” which was published in a new edition in October 2020 for Halloween. His latest book for young readers, “The Cat That Changed America,” is based on his 2017 documentary about mountain lion P-22, who made an incredible journey from the Santa Monica Mountains to Griffith Park, crossing two major freeways in search of a new home. For information: tonyleemoralbooks.com; thecatthatchangedamerica.com; amazon.com/ Tony-Lee-Moral/e/B001KHPYCQ; abanafilms. com; goodreads.com/author/show/213794.Tony_ Lee_Moral; facebook.com/tonyleemoralfans/; Instagram & Twitter: tonyleemoral.
Flavia Potenza

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February 5, 2021

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