From School Library Journal
Gr 4-6-"A lot happens in a school when the teachers aren't looking." Malcolm the rat learns that very quickly when he is adopted as the pet for Mr. Binney's fifth-grade class. After everyone has gone home, the school comes alive with the activities of the Midnight Academy, a secret society of classroom pets that endeavors to protect the school. Malcolm is accepted into it on a trial basis but runs into trouble right away when its leader, an iguana named Aggy, goes missing. The other members blame Malcolm for the disappearance, so it becomes doubly important for him to find Aggy-to ensure her safety, and to clear his name. The story is a bit long-winded, but Malcolm is thoroughly likable, and the action sequences keep the pages turning. Lies's frequent illustrations, which are soft and expressive, do a lot to endear Malcolm to readers. Some aspects of the tale strain credibility, like how Malcolm communicates with a student by pointing to words in the dictionary, and some plot elements seem somewhat convoluted or poorly explained. Overall, though, the winsome illustrations and Malcolm's appealing character make this debut novel a satisfactory selection. It may also be a good choice for younger students who are reading above grade level yet aren't quite ready for heavier emotional or thematic content.-Amy Holland, Irondequoit Public Library, NYα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
"A rip-roaring tale; even rodent haters will have to like Malcolm."—Kirkus
"Escapades, humor, and romance weave together in this madcap elementary school adventure . . . A first-rate debut."—Publishers Weekly
"This creature-feature leavens spookiness with healthy doses of whimsy."—Booklist
"Malcolm is thoroughly likable . . . a good choice for younger students who are reading above grade level yet aren't quite ready for heavier emotional or thematic content."—School Library Journal