Rats! by Lian Tanner

Nicky (Nicola) Bell has had too many changes in her life lately – her dad has left, her mum has sold their house and now Dad is moving in his with his new girlfriend. So Nicky has declared her world a ‘Change-Free Zone’ – no exceptions – and when a new girl called Megan arrives at school Nicky is determined to get rid of her.

Soon, though, Nicky is in trouble. She and her friends play a trick on Megan that sees Megan bitten by Nicky’s pet rat, Monty. Megan’s step-mother threatens to kill Monty if Nicky doesn’t leave Megan alone. Megan’s step-mother is a scary woman and Nicky becomes increasingly convinced that she is up to something bigger than just threatening Monty. The trouble is, not even Nicky’s best friends believe her. It is up to Nicky to catch Mrs Stoat out at whatever she’s up to – and at the same time, to try and restore her friendship and her family.

Rats! is funny, exciting and moving all at once. Kids will enjoy the combination of mystery and humour and the prevalence of rats.

Lian Tanner is a playwright and children’s author. This is her first novel.

Rats is likely to grip readers aged 10 to 12.

Rats!, by Lian Tanner
Lothian, 2004