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The Story

As a night watchman for nearly three decades, I befriended many cats. I took cats home as pets, domesticated kittens for adoption, and trapped cats for neutering and vaccinations. My experience with felines led to the plot of Ethan and the Strays.


On the way to school, Ethan falls in love with three stray kittens and wonders how he can help them as winter nears. His father has already stated, “no pets!” But a nearby vet guides Ethan and his older brother as they trap the kittens and transport them to the animal clinic.


Young readers will discover interesting facts about cats, the plight of strays, and the contemporary method of handling them called trap-neuter-return (TNR).


Hatem Aly, an illustrator of many celebrated books, dramatizes this story with his bright-colored, whimsical art.


Ethan and the Strays is my third book and will be published with Simon & Schuster in October 2023.


Reviews & Honors


“The author, John Sullivan, has rescued dozens of cats in Chicago, his hometown. And his commitment and care and love for cats comes through in every line of this tender and memorable picture book.” –Paula W., VP, Publisher

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