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This Journal Belongs to Ratchet by Nancy…
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This Journal Belongs to Ratchet

by Nancy Cavanaugh

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Showing 5 of 5
Awesome book! ( )
  LTFL_WCANYWHERE | Feb 7, 2017 |
Recommended Ages: Gr.

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  pigeonlover | Apr 27, 2016 |
If only getting a new life were as easy as getting a new notebook. But it's not.
--page 1

Everything in my life is old and recycled.
--page 2

Dad's motto: "If the Good Lord wanted us to throw everything away, he would've put a Dumpster right outside the Garden of Eden.
--page 3

Ratchet is 11 and she has always been homeschooled. Her mother died years ago and her father has been raising her alone. Since she was six, she has been helping her father with his job - he fixes cars in the garage. Her real name is Rachel, but no one calls her that. Her dad gave her the nickname because she reminds him of a ratchet, the way she helps make all his jobs easier. Ratchet doesn't like being different. She doesn't like that her father doesn't have a job where he wears a suit and goes to an office. She doesn't like being homeschooled. And she doesn't like never having any friends. This year, Ratchet has decided her life is going to change. She is going to make a friend.

This is a enjoyable story about a young girl trying to find her way. The story is told via entries in Ratchet's homeschool writing journal. Ratchet's voice is believable and quite relatable. She worries constantly that she is different and her father is different. She wonders about her mother. She wants to know more about her mother to maybe find out more about herself. And most of all she wants to find a friend. Since she doesn't go to school, making friends is harder than usual, but she is determined. I enjoyed reading Ratchet's story and I was rooting for her all the way. I wanted her to realize that people will like her for who she is and that she doesn't need to change for others.

Recommended to:
Middle grade girls (5th-8th). This is a fun story that I think young girls will relate to and enjoy. A quick, fun read with a positive female character. ( )
  Jadedog13 | Feb 3, 2016 |
I was immediately put off by this book within the first few pages when it talked about homeschoolers having no friends and getting an A+ on a paper when she just wrote the same sentence over and over. As someone who was homeschooled k – 12th grade, I always get angry when people assume we sit around doing nothing all day and are some kind of friendless hermits. I had plenty of friends growing up and worked super hard on my schoolwork. Now that I’ve gotten that little rant out of the way...

I loved the unique structure in which this story was written. Not only is it through Ratchets journal but it’s her social studies journal, which is formatted into different writing assignments like poetry, letter, fairytale, review, etc… I found this to be a very unique and interesting structure. At first I thought the fact that the whole book is in a funky, handwritten font would drive me up a wall, but your eyes adjust after awhile.

Once I was able to get past the stereotypical view of homeschoolers and the awful handwritten font, I really did fall in love with the story. Ratchet is a very likable main character who is learning how to deal with her embarrassing father, finding out about her absent mother and what it really means to be a friend. This is one of those middle grade stories that will be enjoyed by all ages. I highly recommend it! ( )
  BornBookish | Oct 21, 2013 |
Ratchet (real name Rachel) desperately wants her life to change. Her mother died when she was five and she lives with her mechanic dad who home-schools her and gets her to help him in the garage. Ratchet loves her father but finds him rather embarrassing. She wishes she could to go to school like other kids and that she didn't have to wear second hand clothes or live in ramshackle houses. But most of all she wants a friend - and so she makes a plan . . .
This book is the notebook Ratchet uses for her English school work. Each entry is different depending on what style she is instructed to use - free verse poetry, re-writing a proverb or fairy-tale a proposal for a project, a letter of complaint etc., but they are all about Ratchet and her efforts to change her life. And her life does change - but not in the way she expects..
Although I was initially put off by the format, I was soon hooked by Ratchet and her story. In the end I couldn't put this book down. Ratchet is very well-characterised and the other characters seem just as real. Although I predicted a couple of the plot twists, this didn't spoil my enjoyment of a good story that was well-told. Highly recommended for girls aged 9 and up. ( )
  RefPenny | Jul 21, 2013 |
Showing 5 of 5
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Move over Diary of a Wimpy Kid-there's a new journal in town and it belongs to Ratchet Meet Ratchet, an 11-year-old girl who knows more about spark plugs than sleepovers. Homeschooled by her mechanic-environmentalist dad, and with her mother long dead, Ratchet only wants one thing: to belong. This is Ratchet's journal, and in its pages are Ratchet's writings, her poems, and her drawings. Together, they tell Ratchet's story. It's a story about trying to make friends, about fighting to save a park, about the memories of her mother, and about her unlikely friendship with a boy. This journal is her sanctuary. And it's always there for Ratchet when no one else will listen. Ages 9+… (more)

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