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Ratscalibur
Cover of Ratscalibur
Ratscalibur
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From the New York Times bestselling author of I Am A Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to Be Your Class President"A witty mash-up of favorite fantasy motifs."—New York Times Book...
From the New York Times bestselling author of I Am A Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to Be Your Class President"A witty mash-up of favorite fantasy motifs."—New York Times Book...
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Description-

  • From the New York Times bestselling author of I Am A Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to Be Your Class President

    "A witty mash-up of favorite fantasy motifs."—New York Times Book Review

    "Ratscalibur is funny, it's scary, and it's sweet, like life. But it has talking rats and magic, so it's better than life."—Jimmy Fallon

    "Full of clever dialogue and hilarious puns...Don't be surprised if this novel achieves best-seller status." —Booklist

    "The only way I could've liked this more is if I were eleven."—Ira Glass

    "A charming take on an old favorite."—Publishers Weekly

    When Joey is bitten by an elderly rat, he goes from aspiring seventh-grader to three-inch tall rodent.
    At first, Joey is amazed by his new rat self. The city streets call to him at night. Smells that would have repelled him before are suddenly tantalizing. (A chicken bone? Yes! A squashed cockroach? Like perfume!) And wow, the freedom! But when a bout of hunger leads Joey to pull the spork from the scone, he finds himself at the center of a longtime rat prophecy.
    Joey has unwittingly unlocked the sword Ratscalibur; and now, it is up to him to protect his new rat friends from the evil crows who seek to destroy their peaceful kingdom. But what does an eleven-year-old know about actual swordplay? And what happens when Joey no longer wants to be a rat?
    From the Hardcover edition.

Excerpts-

  • From the book CHAPTER 1

    Joey didn't want to move to the city, but his mom got a really good job offer, so here they were. The apartment was pretty small—just a bedroom for Mom, a bedroom for Joey, and a living room with a little kitchen attached. Right now it was full of brown cardboard boxes, stuffed with everything they owned.
    "Joey, get me a knife," said Mom. She was sitting on the floor ripping open boxes. She was looking for the coffee maker, but she hadn't marked what box it was in. Mom drank a lot of coffee, so this hunt for the coffee maker was getting pretty desperate.
    Joey handed her a steak knife. They had already unpacked most of the kitchen. There was still a lot of work to do, but he got kind of scared when he thought about what he'd do when they were done. He didn't know anyone here. That morning, when he was helping the movers carry boxes, he'd spotted some boys across the street. They didn't look like the boys from back home. One of them raised his arm and started to wave at Joey, but the other boy—the bigger boy—punched him on the shoulder, and he put his hand down. After that they just watched.
    The city was big. The city was loud. The city was dirty. It was hot, too, but that's the way it was in August anywhere. But hot in the city meant smelly. Every piece of dog poop or pile of garbage bags seemed to have a little cloud of stink around it. Their apartment was on the ground floor, which worried Joey. That made it easy for crooks to just climb in the window. Mom said the iron bars on the window would keep the bad guys out, but that didn't make Joey feel any better. They hadn't needed iron bars on their windows back home.
    "Aaargh!" said Mom, as she threw handfuls of Joey's underwear out of a box. Mom had a big vocabulary, but she sounded a lot like a half-awake animal when she didn't get her coffee. All her words would turn into grunts and groans. "No coffee. Coffee maker hiding," she said, and she dug some wrinkled money out of her purse and sent Joey down the street to buy a cup at the store on the corner.
    The man at the store was nice, but he didn't speak any English. Joey didn't speak any Spanish, so they didn't have anything to say after Joey got the coffee. Next year, in seventh grade, Joey would start taking foreign-language classes. It would probably be a good idea to take Spanish.
    As he walked home, the sidewalk was crowded with people who were in a hurry to go somewhere and other people who weren't in a hurry to go anywhere at all. Joey was bounced around among them, like a pinball. He almost spilled the coffee one time, when a skinny man in a business suit brushed past him. As he was steadying himself, Joey caught a glimpse of a pile of garbage behind one of the buildings on the block. It was just a big mound of empty bottles, plastic trash bags, and broken baby toys . . . but something underneath the pile moved.
    Joey ran home the whole way, not caring if he spilled a little. "Mom, Mom!" he called, as he came through the door—and then stopped. Uncle Patrick was there!
    He must've just walked in, because he and Mom were still hugging, even though Mom looked a little annoyed. Uncle Patrick let her go and turned to Joey. "Hey, honcho!" He gave Joey a huge hug of his own. Uncle Patrick was big, big, big. He had big hands, big shoulders, and a big, big belly. He didn't have a job exactly, but he spent a lot of time watching football games, drinking beer, and falling asleep on the couch. He was kind of like a big friendly dog, which made sense. Mom said Uncle Patrick got along better with animals than people, anyway. He was Joey's favorite person, besides Mom.
    "How you liking life in the big...

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    March 23, 2015
    In this playful retelling of the legend of Excalibur, a kingdom of city-dwelling rats is in crisis until a stranger frees the legendary Spork in the Scone to reveal himself as their foretold hero. But Joey is actually a human boy, transformed into a rodent by a Gondorff the Gray, a talking pet rat who happens to be a powerful Ragician. Joey’s quest to find Squirrelin the Squagician is his only hope to save Ravalon and return himself to human form. Pulling in references to The Lord of the Rings, The Three Musketeers, and more, Lieb (I Am a Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to Be Your Class President) gleefully spoofs Arthurian legend, paying close attention to the keen sense of smell leading Joey on his rodent journey. Lintern’s elegantly drafted pen-and-ink drawings bring additional humor and suspense to the furry underbelly of the cityscape. First in the Chronicles of the Low Realm, it’s a charming take on an old favorite about overcoming life’s twists and finding strength inside oneself. Ages 8–12. Agent: Richard Abate, 3 Arts Entertainment.

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    Penguin Young Readers Group
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