Colin is tired of school bullies and other students' refusal to speak up or "rat" on the real troublemakers. When Colin does speak out against a couple of school thugs, they post an embarrassing photo of him on a social networking website. Colin makes some new enemies in the process but also a few new allies, including the VP, Mr. Miller. One of Colin's new unwanted allies, though, is Jerome, who is selling weapons to kids at school for "self defense." Colin threatens to turn Jerome in but backs off, tired of his...
Colin is tired of school bullies and other students' refusal to speak up or "rat" on the real troublemakers. When Colin does speak out against a couple of school thugs, they post an embarrassing photo of him on a social networking website. Colin makes some new enemies in the process but also a few new allies, including the VP, Mr. Miller. One of Colin's new unwanted allies, though, is Jerome, who is selling weapons to kids at school for "self defense." Colin threatens to turn Jerome in but backs off, tired of his growing reputation as the school rat. When Jerome is shot and killed, Colin regrets not speaking up earlier. Jerome's killer is now known but has not been located by the police. When the police show up, Colin tells them what he knows, and while he realizes that he has some enemies, he also has some real admirers as well.
"The hard-hitting, reluctant reader–friendly titles in the Orca Soundings series can boast another standout in this tale of a teen experiencing the downside of being a Good Samaritan...This is strong material about cyberbullying, standing up for what's right, and breaking the senseless cycle of silence."
"The plot is fast-paced and appropriate for teens while the language is kept clear and straightforward for teens reading below grade level...The very current issue of cyber-bullying is something that all teens will be able to understand...Rat puts forth a powerful argument for speaking up that will resonate with the reader."
"An engaging and truthful no-holds-barred novel. It is well worth reading."
NJ Youth Services
"This book for reluctant readers provides a realistic portrayal of timely topics including cyberbullying, sexual harassment, and school violence."
Library Media Connection
"Colin is a believable character who isn't perfect but is brave enough to stand up for victims...Reluctant readers will enjoy this fast read which has a controlled vocabulary, and is about situations students see in their own lives."
TriState YA Book Review Committee
"Choyce's gritty urban realism will appeal to many teen readers, particularly reluctant readers. The plot is active with contemporary dialogue and vocabulary, and addresses timely issues of concern to young adults."
- Enid Portnoy
This slim volume of one hundred twelve pages captures the conflicting feelings of a modern teenager who struggles to eliminate forms of bullying in his high school. Colin, who narrates the story, cannot understand why others consider him a troublemaker when he stands up for people who are being bullied. Above all, Colin dislikes the fact that his peers believe that no one should interfere, and no one should "rat on anyone." Colin becomes obsessed with the idea that since they think of him as a rat, he will find some positive attributes of that creature. Putting his skill as an artist to work, he even designs a kind of logo that makes him feel a little stronger when confronting unpleasant people and situations in school. High School is so competitive that Colin becomes the outsider due to his strong feelings. When a student does not fit in, high school can become a very uncomfortable place. Sure, friends get angry when they disagree about how to handle situations but Colin gets angry when the bullying is directed against people who are afraid to stand up for themselves. Again, Colin uses his ability to draw to display how he feels when "friends" begin harassing others. When violence is used against those that Colin befriends it is time to do something more than just think about his beliefs. The language in the book is a little rough but will be familiar to today's high school students. High school is one of the most competitive educational settings. Every student wants to be a part of a group but may be unwilling to conform to the extent that is demanded by his or her peers. Choyce has written a direct and realistic story that high school students know well. Choyce is a writer, teacher and host of a television talk show. He has written over fifty books for both youth and adults.
Lesley Choyce divides his time between teaching, writing, running Pottersfield Press and hosting a television talk show. He is the author of almost sixty books for youth and adults. Lesley lives in Lawrencetown Beach, Nova Scotia.