"Bless my soul!" said Bob. "Who are you?"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.
"I was a rat," said the little boy.
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 --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Great all around, as I have come to expect from Pullman.
Beautifully crafted, great plot, characters, pacing, etc. Highly recommend.
This is the same guy that brought us The Golden Compass and sequels, which are so epic and serious, but this is anything but. Read morePublished 7 months ago by gfrierson
"I Was A Rat!"
Written by Phillip Pullman
(Doubleday/Random House, 1999)... Read more
The book is OK, it's a good read worthy of an additional star for a total of four, will hold the interest of kids and adults interested in children's literature, and has a cute... Read morePublished on March 27, 2012 by FriendofOnyx
Bob and Joan, an older couple living a quiet life in the village near the castle, never were able to have children of their own. Read morePublished on June 7, 2007 by A. Luciano
In this book an old couple stumbles across a little boy.He says he was a rat so they take him all over town and try to find his owners.When they can't they decide to keep him. Read morePublished on September 19, 2006
A shabby looking boy knocks on the door of an old couple, and insists he was a rat. The boy certainly has some rat like tendencies, such as drinking out of his bowl and chewing on... Read morePublished on September 10, 2006 by Amazon Customer
"I Was A Rat" is about a boy who finds a couple to live with and insists he is a rat. But soon he causes tons of comotion in his home town new york. Read morePublished on August 8, 2006 by montessori student
This is a fantastic book about a boy although a little bit ratty comes to a couple named Bob and Joan.They take care of the boy and call him Roger. Read morePublished on May 3, 2006