1/9/2016 ** As I've read today, I've wondered about books that were moving, but seemed so far beyond the realm of my students' experiences that I wasn't sure if they'd be able to connect.
I think children will be able to connect with this one, in unexpected ways. Diva lives a privileged life in a lovely, safe apartment; Flea wanders and is self-sufficient. Diva doesn't wonder where her next meal will come from, but is fearful of new things. Flea relishes new things, but doesn't know what it is to eat without looking over his shoulder for a swinging broom.
Though the world of Paris and the language of French are unfamiliar to the majority of my students, and though the book has an antiquated look, the themes of friendship, courage, and the fear of the unknown will resonate with all readers. Through friendship, we learn new things. Through empathy and respect for others we can develop loyalty and face our fears.
Find it, read it. It will touch your heart.