Rat Boys: A Dating Experiment by Thom Eberhardt, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
Rat Boys: A Dating Experiment

Rat Boys: A Dating Experiment

by Thom Eberhardt
Best friends Summer and Marci are in a quandry when they tell obnoixious Jennifer that they have dates for the Spring fling. Unfortunately for them, this is not exactly true. The only way to recover from the ultimate humiliation of getting caught in this ile is to produce actual dates for the dance. Luckily for them, the girls' part-time boss, crazy Doris Trowbridge,


Best friends Summer and Marci are in a quandry when they tell obnoixious Jennifer that they have dates for the Spring fling. Unfortunately for them, this is not exactly true. The only way to recover from the ultimate humiliation of getting caught in this ile is to produce actual dates for the dance. Luckily for them, the girls' part-time boss, crazy Doris Trowbridge, finds a magic ring. With it, she turns two pet rats into the cutest guys they have ever seen. But now everyone, including Jennifer, is interested in them. And rats have a lot more in common with boys than anyone would think...

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Though screenwriter Eberhardt's zany plot makes no pretense at credibility, it introduces a witty, believable 15-year-old narrator whose language liberally sprinkled with the kind of teen jargon that makes English teachers cringe can be overheard at any mall. In a foreword, Marci explains that the tale she is about to relay, involving her best friend, took place a year earlier when the two were ninth graders: "This whole thing is really about the first dates me and Summer ever had in our lives, which were these two totally cool, cute beyond belief guys. I am not kidding about this they were to drool and die for." And they are, quite literally, rats, turned into handsome humans with the help of a magic ring that grants the wish of the person wearing it in this case Doris, the owner of an antique store for which Marci and Summer work part-time. Bribing the rat boys with food, the girls teach them to talk and dance in an attempt to pass them off as real guys at the town's annual spring dance and to show up their nemesis, a popular, picture-perfect classmate. As the ruse spins out of control, slapstick twists, snappy dialogue and wry asides from Marci create some laugh-out-loud moments reminiscent of a teen-targeted screenplay. Ages 12-up. (Oct.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
Fourteen-year-olds Marci and Summer have always dreamed of going to the Annual Spring Fling dance. The trouble is, they do not have dates. To make matters worse, they tell the most popular girl in school that they do have dates. Luckily, the girls work for an eccentric woman in a shop that proves that one man's trash is another's treasure. The shop owner Doris comes upon a magic ring that changes her life. The ring's magic even unwittingly changes Marci and Summer's problem from no dates to dates with boys who used to be rodents. This is a cute story of teen girls as they attempt to make dream dates out of two furry creatures and the trials that befall them as they attempt to pull off the charade. In the end, the ring is destroyed and most things return to normal. An entertaining story with enough action to keep readers turning the pages. 2001, Hyperion, $15.99. Ages 12 up. Reviewer: Julie Eick Granchelli
Marci Kornbalm and Summer Weingarten are two ordinary fourteen-year-olds, growing up in what they feel is the most boring place on earth—suburban Indiana. They endure the usual tribulations of adolescence with imperfect teeth, imperfect parents, imperfect clothes, and far-from-perfect popularity with the opposite sex. Then the two Cinderellas are faced with a seemingly insurmountable hurdle—the annual Spring Fling. Not only are they totally without hope of finding dates, but Marci also has boasted impulsively to the most popular girl in the school that they will be going to the Fling accompanied by two very cool guys. If they do not find dates quickly, they will suffer total social humiliation. To the rescue comes an unlikely fairy godmother in the form of "Weird Doris" Trowbridge, owner of the town's antique store. She just found a magic ring and with it turns her two pet rats into the two cutest guys Marci and Summer have ever seen. Now all Marci and Summer have to do is train the rat boys to behave before the big dance. Written in breezy teen-speak—"And me and Summer are all like, 'Put those muscley arms around us, and slow dance us until we turn to mush.'"—Eberhardt's fractured fairy tale might not age gracefully, but it is an extremely funny social satire. Fast moving and easy to read, this novel would be a particularly good pick for reluctant readers. VOYA CODES:3Q 4P M J (Readable without serious defects;Broad general YA appeal;Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8;Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9). 2001, Hyperion/Disney, 160p, $15.99. Ages 11 to 15. Reviewer:Vivian Howard—VOYA, December 2001 (Vol. 24, No. 5)
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-Eberhardt has created several teen movies and it shows in his first book's clich d characters, overblown plot, and predictable conclusion. Marci, the 14-year-old narrator, and her best friend, Summer, live in suburban Indianapolis, where they work for "Weird Doris" at her junk shop, Hidden Treasures, and care for two rats that she's adopted. One day Doris discovers a magic ring in an old box she's bought. Coincidentally, Marci has angered Summer by bragging to Jennifer Martin, their arch rival, that they have dates to the big Spring Fling dance that night when they don't. Ta da! Doris uses the ring not only to transmutate herself into a popular "daytime drama star," but also changes the rats, la Cinderella's godmother, into hot-looking guys for her young friends. The Spring Fling is turned into chaos, Jennifer is upstaged, and Marci learns that ordinary girls can handle the weirdness of life better than someone so pampered. This is literally labeled an epiphany. Written to imitate, rather than approximate, teenspeak, the book's frequent misuse of "like" and "this" may even irritate the preteen girls most likely to read it. Steer those looking for a fast read about popularity to Phyllis Reynolds Naylor's "Alice" books (Atheneum) or Jerry Spinelli's Stargirl (Knopf, 2000). Fans of fractured fairy tales will find richer, more satisfying material in Robin McKinley's Beauty (HarperCollins, 1978), Gail Carson Levine's Ella Enchanted (HarperCollins, 1997), or Patrice Kindl's Goose Chase (Houghton, 2001).-Tina Zubak, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, PA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Two 14-year-old girls of the less-than-stunningly-beautiful variety use a chance encounter with a magic ring to provide themselves with dates for the big town dance. If you're into, like, total fluff, this'll do it. Marci tells in her amusing valley-girl style how she and her best friend Summer attempt to convince ultracool Jennifer to think they are not rejects. The transmutation of two pet rats into studmuffins provides the comic premise along with the change of weird Doris of the local secondhand shop into a famous soap opera star. Rat-training is a combination of reward and aversion with some complications in the reward part limiting it to food, and the aversion part limited to the use of an electric "Juicer Gooser" borrowed from the repellent twin boys next door. That an Indiana town is having "Spring Fling" in March along with blooming bougainvillea is no more outrageous than anything else that happens in this Hollywood-wannabe comedy by screenwriter Eberhardt. With no pretensions, this is just plain fun and as memorable as your last set of hiccup inducing giggles at a sleepover. (Fiction. 10-14)

Product Details

Publication date:
Edition description:
1 ED
Product dimensions:
5.75(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.75(d)
Age Range:
10 - 13 Years

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