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School Library Journal
Brave Frederick and his timid brother are pet rats in Miss Dove's classroom. When Frederick bites a cruel student who is harming Ishbu, they are threatened with extermination and flee to the outside world. They are captured by the Big Cheese, a blind possum who hates humans and runs San Francisco's rodent underworld. He offers them rewards if they can steal a gem-encrusted bandicoot figurine, but the brothers refuse and manage to escape, boarding a ship that eventually sinks in a storm. They are washed ashore on an island dedicated to the Hindu rat goddess Karni Mata, where the rat high priestess shows them their talisman-the coveted figurine, which, as it turns out, contains poison that can wipe out the human race. After a few twists and turns, the brothers realize that they must somehow return to San Francisco to save humankind from danger. The story has too many coincidences to make the events believable, even for a fantasy. The author occasionally insinuates her voice a bit too much into the narrative, presenting facts that are intrusive to the plotline and do not further the story. Children might enjoy the nonstop action and Frederick's problem-solving ingenuity, but discerning readers will be disappointed by the many contrivances.
—Sheila FiscusCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.