This is a truly wonderful little book - which I would guess is aimed at age 9 - 13 children. It's only short and easily readable in an afternoon.
It's a beautiful story and very well written and shows the war and how it affected this small farming community from a young girl's perspective. It's not just about a missing cat - it is much more than that. It covers Lily's relationship with her family, with an evacuee who is sent to live with them and with the American soldiers based nearby. We also learn about Lily's guilt - she doesnt feel that she misses her Dad (who is away at war) enough, and feels closer to her new friends, the American soldiers.
The book starts as a letter to Michael from his grandmother Lily - enclosed with the letter is her childhood diary which tells the story of the evacuated village and her search for her cat Tips. We know that there is going to be a twist at the end of the book, and the twist is quite surprising but brings a lump to the throat.
As a postscript, Michael Murpurgo explains that the people of Slapton were actually evacuated during the war, and the village and it's beach used as a training ground for the Americans in preparation for the D Day landings.
I would recommend this book to all; adults and children alike.