When You Wish Upon a Rat
Pub 9-2012, Amulet, $16.95
Author Maureen McCarthy is known for her bestselling books in Australia, which include Cross My Heart and Chain of Hearts. When You Wish Upon a Rat is Maureen McCarthy’s first book for middle school readers.
In When You Wish Upon a Rat, eleven-year-old Ruth Craze visits her aunt Mary Ellen in New York, and Mary Ellen gives Ruth a rat named Rodney. Rodney can grant Ruth three wishes that can change the way Ruth lives. She could wish to be an only child, or her parents could care more about Ruth than about her brother. After living her wish for a little while, Ruth can leave that life by finding a red door before six o’clock. If Ruth doesn’t leave the life she wished for, she will be stuck in her wishful life forever.
Rodney the rat is one key feature that really worked in the book. I would have left this book on the shelf if Rodney weren’t in it. Without Rodney in the story, it just wouldn’t be as good or exciting. The reason Rodney worked so well in the book is because Rodney wasn’t always perfect about granting wishes; Ruth’s wish would not turn out exactly as what she wished. Other than the rat, there were no other key features.
The beginning of the book was slow going but after a while it got better. I really think I should have left the book for someone younger than 15 years old to read, but I didn’t because it was one of the only books that had an animal as one of the main characters. The most important thing this book wants you to remember is that it can be hard to change your life, especially if a rat is the one that changes it for you, and he has all the magic.
- Kyra N.,15