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I Was a Rat by Philip Pullman
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I Was a Rat

by Philip Pullman

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» See also 12 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
One night a strange boy arrives on Bob and Joan’s doorstep – he claims that he was a rat, but that he has recently turned into a boy. This boy also claims to know the new princess…who isn’t who she says she is. The story follows "Roger" though his troubles learning to be a boy and how others view him: a carnival attraction, a terror, a budding thief, or a confused little boy in need of a good home.

The fairytale connection wasn't as strong as I expected it to be. It was more of a coming of age (kind of?) book than a fairytale. Amazingly, Roger was very believable as a past rat/current boy...there was just enough innocence and rattiness :) ( )
  agrudzien | May 18, 2013 |
Continuation of the Cinderella story from the point of view of one of the rat's who accompanied her coach. He ends up staying a boy in the palace where Cinderella comes to live. Like Candide, life doesn't provide happy-ever-after results, but it does provide opportunities to do one's best. ( )
  raizel | Nov 18, 2009 |
I had no idea this was a retelling of Cinderella! This is going to be a great one to read with the kids, oh, and I love Philip Pullman :-)
  rfewell | Jan 27, 2009 |
Seems like amnesia,

but Cinderella’s coachboy

really was a rat. ( )
  librarianlk | Jul 14, 2008 |
Old Bob and Joan hear a knock at their door and find a boy in a tattered page uniform. He announces, "I was a rat" and indeed he was before Cinderella's fairy godmother transformed him to ride with the coach. He never got turned back and now must adjust to life as a boy. There are many funny situations along the way, especially the coverage in the Daily Scourge Newspaper.

Other books to try: Ella Enchanted, Beauty: A Retelling, Spindle's End, Beast, Spinners, Just Ella

Other books by this author: The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, The Amber Spyglass, Count Karlstein, The Ruby in the Smoke ( )
  libraryleonard | Mar 5, 2008 |
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (12 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Philip Pullmanprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hawkes, KevinIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hawkes, KevinCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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This story is meant for Jack, Kate, and Rosie.
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Old Bob and his wife, Joan, lived by the market in the house where his father and grandfather and great-grandfather had lived before him, cobblers all of them, and cobbling was Bob's trade too.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0440416612, Paperback)

"Bless my soul!" said Bob. "Who are you?"
"I was a rat," said the little boy.
When a grubby young pageboy knocks on the door of Bob the cobbler and Joan the washerwoman's house, the kindly couple hardly knows what to think. Could this delusional boy be the answer to their prayers for a little one of their own? And was he really once a rat? It seems so. He shreds his bedding, for example, and he chews his toast swiftly with his front teeth. He eats an entire pencil and bites his teacher. Despite the fact that he is a little ratty in his habits, the old couple grow quite fond of the young fellow.

In time, the word spreads that there's a rat-boy in town, news that intrigues everyone from the Royal Philosopher to the P.T. Barnum-inspired freak-peddler Oliver Tapscrew to a reporter from the local rag The Daily Scourge. As the harmless, well-meaning boy is transformed into "The Monster of the Sewers" through pure sensationalism and mass hysteria, Philip Pullman playfully satirizes the power of the press and society at large.

What does it mean to be human? In this often darkly comic Dickensian tale, rats start to look pretty good by comparison. But in a fairy-tale ending, Bob and Joan teach us that humans, corrupt as we are, can always take solace in toasted cheese, love, and good craftsmanship. Kevin Hawkes's black-and-white illustrations enliven the already vivacious adventure that, thanks to Pullman's ever lovely wordplay and sly satire, is every bit as enjoyable for adults as it is for young readers. (Ages 9 to 12) --Karin Snelson

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:27:25 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

A little boy turns life in London upside down when he appears at the house of a lonely old couple and insists he was a rat.

» see all 4 descriptions

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