Book Reviews of Rats

Author: Paul Zindel
ISBN-13: 9780786812257
ISBN-10: 0786812257
Publication Date: 8/1/2000
Pages: 176
Reading Level: Ages 9-12
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.

3.5 stars, based on 1 rating
Publisher: Hyperion
Book Type: Paperback
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From School Library Journal

Gr 6-9-Staten Island and the rest of New York City are threatened by an invasion of vicious killer rats in this gory, makes-your-skin-crawl thriller. The epicenter of the disaster turns out to be a huge landfill brimming over with decades worth of rotting garbage, right next to the quiet neighborhood where Sarah Macafee, 15, and her brother Michael, 10, live with their widowed father. Mr. Macafee just happens to be the city sanitation officer in charge of the landfill, which is in the process of being paved over with a layer of asphalt. The horror begins one summer morning with rats emerging from residents' toilets, hot tubs, and in-ground swimming pools. Sarah and Michael discover a neighbor dead in her car, and alert their father that rodents from the landfill are mounting an attack on their neighborhood. Readers looking for gruesome details are treated to numerous descriptions of bodily dismemberment by these traditionally maligned mammals, and the jolts of horror recur at regular intervals while Sarah and her brother survive several cliff-hanger escapes. Just in the nick of time, Sarah figures out a way to halt the vermin in their tracks and put an end to the bloodbath that engulfs a crowded Manhattan entertainment center. Zindel's style is fast paced and the plot is chock-full of shivery, stomach-churning action. Young readers will certainly rest easier once Sarah uses her wits to end a nightmare of carnage.-Douglas Wooley, Brooklyn Public Library, NY