The statue stepped down from its cushion and stretched. Its tail lashed like a whip. It crouched until its huge nose was level with mine.
‘I wear eye paint and earrings as a sign of my royal blood, you foolish rat,’ it hissed. ‘I am not an offering. Offerings are made to me. This temple belongs to me. I am the Great Cat, Bastet.’
Ramses Rat is looking for adventure and a place to live, so when he finds the Temple of Bastet, from which come delicious smells, he thinks he has found the perfect home. But what he has found, instead, is an adventure. When Ramses tries to get into the temple, he is stopped by the Rats of the Nile, who say they control the temple. Not only are they determined to keep Ramses out, but they want to remove all other rats from the city. Ramses and his new friend Ka are in danger.
But when Ramses meets the Great Cat, Bastet, he finds an unlikely ally. Bastet does not want the Rats of the Nile ruining her city. With Ramses’ bravery and ingenuity and some help from Bastet, peace is restored.
Ramses Rat and the Great Cat Bastet is a junior novel set in Ancient Egypt, apparently the first in a series. Ramses Rat is an adventurous, interesting character, and the story is told in his first person voice. Readers will enjoy the novelty of having a rat as a viewpoint character, as well as the chance to discover Ancient Egypt. The text is complemented with several full page black and white illustrations.
Ramses Rat and the Great Cat Bastet, by Sally Odgers, illustrated by Dushko Zafirovski
Prints Charming Books, 2015
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
Moth’s new house is perched on a cliff top overlooking the best break on the coast. For a kid who lives for surfing, it couldn’t be better. The only problem is that the house is a dump. It stinks and it’s overrun with rats. Wherever Moth goes they are there, watching from the shadows, peering from the rafters. And they are in his room, chewing his things – even his beloved surf board.
As if life couldn’t get any worse, Moth has fallen out with his best friend, Tom. And now he’s in trouble with the school bully, Jaike. Jaike has met the rats and now he’s telling everyone that Moth’s home is infested. Moth is the joke of the school.
Moth’s family battle the rats but who will win? And who will beat the bullies?
Battle of the Rats is an excellent new novel for 10 to 12 year olds. Young readers will feel their skin crawl as they encounter the rats (both animal and human) with Moth.
A great blend of action and issue from outstanding author, Sue Whiting.
Battle of the Rats, by Sue Whiting
Koala Books, 2004