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Brought to you by Penguin.

Alone in a forest with only a cat for company, this is the deeply moving true story of one little girl’s remarkable survival in the shadow of the Holocaust.

Growing up in the Polish village of Tarnogrod on the fringes of a deep pine forest, gives Mala the happiest childhood she could have hoped for. But, as the German invasion begins, her beloved village becomes a ghetto and her family and friends reduced to starvation. She takes matters into her own hands, and bravely removes her yellow star, risking sneaking out to the surrounding villages to barter for food.

It is on her way back that she sees her loved ones rounded up for deportation, and receives a smuggled letter from her sister warning her to stay away. With only her cat, Malach, and the strength of the stories taught by her family, she walks away from everything she holds dear.

Malach becomes her family, her only respite from painful loneliness, a guide and reminder to stay hopeful even when faced with unfathomable darkness. With her guardian angel by her side, Mala finds a way to navigate the dangerous forests, outwit German soldiers and hostile villagers, and survive, against all odds.

© Mala Kacenberg 2022 (P) Penguin Audio 2022

Critics Review

  • In this gorgeous debut, Kacenberg shares her harrowing and courageous story of surviving the Holocaust. This moving account is a welcome addition to the canon of WWII memoirs

    Publisher's Weekly
  • A haunting saga with classic potential

    Daisy Styles
  • A remarkable tale of survival, in which Jewish life in pre-war Poland and the atrocities of the Holocaust appear through an almost dreamlike lens of childhood memory

    Jeremy Dronfield, bestselling author of The Boy Who Followed His Father into Auschwitz
  • Mala’s Cat is fresh, unsentimental and utterly unpredictable… This memoir, rescued from obscurity by the efforts of Mala Kacenberg’s five children, should be read and cherished as a new, vital document of a history that must never be allowed to vanish

    Julie Orringer for the New York Times

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