Wednesday, January 6

The Cat That Changed America by Tony Lee Moral

P22 is a mountain lion that has captured the hearts and imaginations of the people living in the Los Angeles, California area.  Mountain lions are solitary creatures that normally live in mountains, forests, and deserts.  However, P22 became famous when he was discovered living in a park... in downtown Los Angeles!  Who is P22?  How did he wind up in downtown Los Angeles?  How did he change America?  Tony Lee Moral answers these questions in his book The Cat That Changed America.  Keep reading to learn more about The Cat That Changed America, P22, and how you can integrate geography and map skills into your lessons about this book!

Learn about P22, a mountain lion who lives in Griffith Park (Los Angeles, CA) with the children's book The Cat That Changed America by Tony Lee Moral.

Disclosure: Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post.



Author's Summary

Based on a true story with an imaginative retelling for young readers; P22 mountain lion is born in the beautiful Santa Monica Mountains outside Los Angeles, California.  But he is forced out of the mountains by Prime, a fierce older male lion who wants him dead.  He heads east to stake out a new territory of his own in the bright lights of the big city.  Along the way, he makes friends as well as enemies and crosses two freeways, the 405 and 101.  He passes through the City of Stars at night, and strolls down the Hollywood Walk of Fame, all the while trying to avoid those bothersome humans.  After more adventures, he reaches the edges of Griffith Park. Can he make it his new home?

🍎 Author: Tony Lee Moral
🍎 Illustrator: Louise Grove
🍎 Publisher: Sabana Publishing
🍎 Date: October 22, 2020
🍎 Pages: 154

Learn about P22, a mountain lion who lives in Griffith Park (Los Angeles, CA) with the children's book The Cat That Changed America by Tony Lee Moral.


About The Cat That Changed America

The Cat That Changed America is a fictional story about P22, based on actual events.  It's a short chapter book, making it ideal for students who are transitioning from picture books to novels.  The printed version's font is double-spaced Comic Sans, whereas the ebook version is single-spaced Times New Roman.

Learn about P22, a mountain lion who lives in Griffith Park (Los Angeles, CA) with the children's book The Cat That Changed America by Tony Lee Moral.

The Cat That Changed America tells the story of what P22's life may have been like before he was discovered in Griffith Park.  The story is told from P22's perspective and we learn about his family, friends, and the foe that scares him enough to make crossing two urban highways look like a good option.  In The Cat That Changed America, we also learn about the hazards P22 has to deal with.  Male mountain lions fight over territory... often to the death.  Crossing two urban highways can be a deadly experience.  And, people leave out poison for rats and other small animals to eat.  Life isn't easy for P22, but Tony Lee Moral does a good job of describing events in a kid-friendly way.  Children will feel a sense of anxiety and compassion for P22 and his wellbeing... without feeling overwhelmed by those feelings.  They will also feel relieved and a sense of justice when they discover how P22 inspired people to build animal crossings over busy highways and to find other ways to get rids of rats and other pests without resorting to poisoning them.

Learn about P22, a mountain lion who lives in Griffith Park (Los Angeles, CA) with the children's book The Cat That Changed America by Tony Lee Moral.

Geography and Map Skills

The Cat That Changed America is set in the Santa Monica Mountains, downtown Los Angeles, and Griffith Park.  Being familiar with the geography of that area is essential to understanding the story since so much of what happens in The Cat That Changed America is dependent on it.  

Learn about P22, a mountain lion who lives in Griffith Park (Los Angeles, CA) with the children's book The Cat That Changed America by Tony Lee Moral.

Before you and your students start reading The Cat That Changed America, take a look at a map of the United States.  You can use either a political or topographical map.  Can your students find California on the map?  Can they find Los Angeles?

Learn about P22, a mountain lion who lives in Griffith Park (Los Angeles, CA) with the children's book The Cat That Changed America by Tony Lee Moral.

Now take a look at California on a topographical map.  What does its topography look like?  What interesting landforms and bodies of water can your students find?  P22 was born in the Santa Monica Mountains.  Can your students find them?  Find Los Angeles again.  Where are the Santa Monica Mountains and Los Angeles in relation to each other?

Learn about P22, a mountain lion who lives in Griffith Park (Los Angeles, CA) with the children's book The Cat That Changed America by Tony Lee Moral.

P22 settled in Griffith Park in downtown Los Angeles, a place that people often call an 'island' in the middle of the city.  Look at a map of Griffith Park.  Why would people call Griffith Park an island?  Is it a real island?  Could this be a good home for P22?  Why or Why not?  As you read The Cat That Changed America, use your maps to trace P22's journey.  After reading the story, have a class discussion...do you think Griffith Park will be a good home for him?  Why or why not?

Learn about P22, a mountain lion who lives in Griffith Park (Los Angeles, CA) with the children's book The Cat That Changed America by Tony Lee Moral.

To learn more about P22 and The Cat That Changed America, watch Tony Lee Moral's documentary below.



Watching the trailer is free. There is a small fee to watch the full documentary. 
(Not a sponsor. Not an affiliate link.)

Learn about P22, a mountain lion who lives in Griffith Park (Los Angeles, CA) with the children's book The Cat That Changed America by Tony Lee Moral.

To learn more about mountains lions, please read my blog post Fun Facts About Mountain Lions and P22.


1 comment:

  1. Thanks Kelly for bringing awareness to the plight of our mountain lions and for creating some thought provoking questions for our readers to follow up on. This story is particularly timely as the wildlife crossing strikes ground this year.

    ReplyDelete