Sunday, August 25, 2019

Oh, Rats!

Seidler, Tor. Oh, Rats!
August 27th 2019 by Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books
ARC provided by Follett First Look

Phoenix is a young squirrel who is just starting to become adventurous. He is very jealous of Tyrone, a squirrel who lives in the attic of a house, brings home exotic food like red licorice, and impresses the girls with it. Phoenix is interested in Giselle, who is taken with Tyrone's wild ways, and is motivated by her attention to become more daring himself. When he saves Tyrone one day, he thinks he has a chance, but Tyrone is later found dead, electrocuted by power lines. After this, Phoenix is snatched up by a bird, Walter, only to be dropped over Manhattan. He lands on a soft spot... of hot tar! He barely survives this, as well as being dropped in the river, but is saved by two wharf rats, Lucy and Beckett. Beckett is a very thoughtful rat, and when another rat shows up seeking medical assistance from Mrs. P., Beckett is able to realize that there is poison around, and the wharf is going to be demolished to make way for some tennis courts. The rats slowly accept Phoenix as one of their own, and he is part of their campaign to get back at the humans and save the wharf. Using Tyrone's untimely demise as inspiration, Phoenix helps plan a successful black out of the area, and the humans are not happy. Will the rats be able to save their habitat, and will Phoenix ever make it back to his home in the woods?
Strengths: This is reminiscent of Appelt's The True Blue Scouts of Sugarman Swamp or Perkins' Nuts to You. There are not a lot of books about rats fomenting rebellion, and the animal antics are fun. Readers who like Pyron's A Pup Called Trouble or even A Cricket in Times Square might like this one. The illustrations are very charming.
Weaknesses: I had trouble being sympathetic towards the rats wanting to save a crumbling wharf.
What I really think: I weeded Avi's Poppy years ago and don't see this doing well in my library. You'd think, with all the Warriors fans that I have, that this would do well, but it's just not quite the right flavor of talking animal book, somehow.

Ms. Yingling

No comments:

Post a Comment