I Was a Rat!

Author: Philip Pullman

A lonely, older couple find their lives turned upside down when they take in a little boy wearing a page’s uniform and making a most extraordinary claim: “I was a rat.” The boy, who they dub Roger, certainly behaves very rattily–gnawing and eating anything at hand, fearing cats, and having no idea about proper manners. Whatever he may have been, he is certainly a boy now, and old Bob and Joan are glad to accept him as-is . . . only the rest of the country might not take to their ratty boy as readily, especially when the media gets involved. And when things look their darkest, Roger finds an advocate in perhaps the most unexpected person possible–an event which gets its own media twist!

Philip Pullman never ceases to amaze or amuse; he’s a wonderful author! I Was a Rat! is perhaps one of his most unusual works–an extraordinary outtake on the classic Cinderella story, actually, although you won’t see that until the very end. The story is imaginative, touching, and funny–as well as being an excellent satire of the media and their effects on the public’s opinions. Roger is an extremely original character, exactly what you would expect from someone who had been a rat and was magically transformed into a human boy with complete capability but no experience. But beyond his rattiness, Roger is also a really good kid and an interesting one. The variety of other characters in the story is also excellent. Really, I would highly recommend I Was a Rat! to anyone, especially if you enjoy sweet, humorous, and satirical storytelling at its best!

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