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Rats Saw God Paperback – May 22, 2007

4.4 out of 5 stars 110 customer reviews

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Batman Character Encyclopedia
Batman Character Encyclopedia
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

In order to pass English class and graduate, 18-year-old Steve York has to write a 100- page essay about his life. What sounds like a run-of-the-mill writing assignment, however, becomes an excuse for Steve to reflect on the last four years (from Texas freshman to California senior), and figure out where it all went wrong. Maybe it was when he discovered that he really couldn't relate to his father, the Famous Astronaut. Or it could be because his "heart had been run through frappé, puree, and liquefy on a love blender" by his ex-girlfriend, Wanda "Dub" Varner. No matter where the finger of blame ends up pointing, it's a wild ride of self-enlightenment as Steve discovers that not all relationships are permanent, and that some--like the one with his dad--can be mended with a little work. With Steve, author Rob Thomas has taken a teenage outsider and given him a funny, intelligent voice: "There are those males who merely fill ear holes with tiny studs hardly big enough to offend a Marine. Not me. Most days I wear big hoops. When I combine the look with a doo rag, I'm a regular pirate." As with his other novels--Doing Time and Slave Day--Thomas proves his thorough grasp of young adult issues and emotions. Teens will appreciate the author's empathy and humor, and teachers and parents will examine his work for clues to the mystery of adolescence. (Ages 13 and older) --Jennifer Hubert --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

In his first novel Thomas lays bare the pain, awkwardness and humor at the heart of one teenager's search for identity. Steve York has always lived in the long shadow cast by his too-perfect astronaut father. When his parents divorce just before he begins high school, Steve blames his father for the family's break-up, even though he doesn't know all the facts. Life with "the astronaut" (as Steve insists on calling him) is okay for a while as Steve juggles straight-As with a part-time job and hangs out with a wise-cracking crew of artsy, nonconformist cronies, one of whom, Dub, becomes his first love. But Dub's eventual betrayal causes Steve to flee his father's home and take a dive from scholar to stoner. His last chance for academic redemption lies in writing a 100-page paper for his new guidance counselor, a narrative that becomes the framework for this novel. Thomas, a former high school teacher, nails his setting with dead-on accuracy. The sharp descriptions of cliques, clubs and annoying authority figures will strike a familiar chord. The dialogue is fresh and Steve's intelligent banter and introspective musings never sound wiser than his years. Readers will likely enjoy the quick pace of Steve's journal-style flashbacks; on a deeper level, they will be moved by his emotional stumbles and impressed by his growing maturity. Ages 12-up.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Paperback: 202 pages
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse; 1st Printing edition (May 22, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416938974
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416938972
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.6 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (110 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #757,978 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
What has caused the descent of Steve York, verbally gifted high school student, once a straight A student, now an apathetic drug user?
A few months before graduation, Steve's guidance counselor intervenes, arranging for Steve to complete a failing English credit by composing a 100 page story.
Steve decides to write about his sophomore and junior year of high school, when he became involved with a group of non-conformists and formed the Grace Order of Dadaists (GOD) club. Also during that time, Steve met his first love and experienced the worst kind of heartbreak.
As Steve relates the sometimes wonderful, sometimes painful story of those years, he alternates with commentary on his senior year in San Diego: his academic recovery, fueled in part by a new love interest, and his reconciliation of long time tension with his father, a famous astronaut.
The novel's structure highlights the downward trajectory of Steve's Houston years, contrasted with the upward swing of his year in San Diego. Thomas tells Steve's story with a mix of clever humor, engrossing early-90s trivia, and non-sentimental, realistic teenage emotions. Highly recommended.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The way that this book is written, you can't really say that you are going to stop "at the end of this chapter." There are no actual chapters. Taking place in two different years- one of which is the present time of the book, and one the essay that the main character is writing- it goes back and forth, sometimes with as little as two paragraphs in a section.
The book is mainly about Steve York, a San Diego senior in high school, who is failing, bummed out about life, and at the beginning he has a constant high. It goes back and forth between him in the present, and him as a sophomore student in Houston, Texas, who is popular at school, and is liked by everyone, who has a great girlfriend, and a lot of close friends- the only bad thing about his life, is that he lives with his father, Alan York, who is a world famous astronaut. Steve almost always calls his father "the astronaut".
A no-nonsense counselor, Mr. Demouy, tells him that if he writes a hundred page paper on the topic of his choice, that he can graduate from high school, and get his missing English credit. Through out the book, Demouy and Steve become close.
The book takes place in two different times and places, the late eighties, in Houston, Texas, and about nineteen ninety, in San Diego, California. In Texas, Steve lives in a suburb, in a large house, that has boxes that were never unpacked scattered through out it. And in San Diego, he lives with his mother- who is never home, for she travels with her husband (a pilot) almost all the time- and his sister, who turns out to be a major part of the story. Steve hates it at his dad's house, and doesn't care- mainly because he is (or was) high all the time- about where he lives in San Diego.
I loved this book, but it isn't for everyone.
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Format: Hardcover
I was assigned this novel for a master's class in teaching the adolescent learner. Thomas writes from the true perspective of a teenager in search of a meaning in his life when things seem hopeless and lost. Steve York displays all the characteristics of a high schooler looking for his identity. Although he protrays himself as a cynic and misfit, York represents all teenagers who simply seek acceptance and a place to fit in. York experiences the highs and lows, including his first love and the battle of appeasing a disappointed father.
Through writing, York finds that meaning and is able to mend fences and realize that only you can truly choose the right path for yourself. Steve eventually does that, makes up with his father and uses his intellect for construction and not destruction.
This is a solid YA novel that many teenagers should be able to associate with.
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Format: Hardcover
In this latest novel, Rob Thomas presents an authentic portrait of high school life in America. Essentially structured as an autobiographical account of the life of one young self-proclaimed iconoclast, this book deals with typical episodes in the life of a high schooler in modern times; homecoming floats, semiformal dances, Pearl Jam concerts. But more importantly- it delves into the psyche of teenagers and the varying approaches to these events. From the stereotypical rite of passage types who go to football games on Friday nights and drink at parties afterwards to the self-proclaimed nonconformists whose dogmatic insistence on "standing out" borders on hypocrisy, the author employs poignant characters that the reader identifies with closely and a vivid first person narrator to paint realistic portrait of the social infrastructure of the American high school. Thomas has a powerful contemporary voice that today's youth will relate to and which other teen authors often lack; his obvious familiarity with the modern American teenager (stemming from five years as a high school journalism teacher) manifests itself in authentic depictions of the ubiquitous social intricacies found in high schools across the country. From the "low-maintenance Marcia Brady trend girls" and their "long, straight, center-parted hair, poufy, midriff-baring tops, bell-bottom jeans with ragged hems and cork-soled clogs" to the reaction over the death of demigod Kurt Cobain and his "It's better to burn out than fade away philosophy," this book captures the essence of a generation.Read more ›
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