Ratfink

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Overview

Poor Logan. He always seems to be getting into trouble. Fifth grade will be different. That is until Grandpa moves in. Grandpa is becoming more and more forgetful and Logan doesn't want him doing embarrassing things-especially in front of his friends. He doesn't want his parents to send Grandpa away either. Then there is Emily Scott. She's had it in for Logan since the first day of school. She is trying to set him up so he looks like he turned ratfink on his best friend, Malik. And when Emily produces an ...

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Overview

Poor Logan. He always seems to be getting into trouble. Fifth grade will be different. That is until Grandpa moves in. Grandpa is becoming more and more forgetful and Logan doesn't want him doing embarrassing things-especially in front of his friends. He doesn't want his parents to send Grandpa away either. Then there is Emily Scott. She's had it in for Logan since the first day of school. She is trying to set him up so he looks like he turned ratfink on his best friend, Malik. And when Emily produces an embarrassing photo of Logan, will he really turn 'ratfink' to preserve his reputation and save Grandpa?

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Leona Illig
Logan, a 15-year-old boy, hopes that fifth grade will be different. He has had problems in school before: acting out and telling stories that his imagination churns out at rapid-fire speed. This year, however, if he does well in school, his parents have promised to grant him his wish: a pet of his own. His determination to do better, however, is challenged right from the start. First, his grandfather, who is having trouble with his memory and manages to get into all kinds of embarrassing situations, comes to live with them. Then, a new girl, Emily, arrives at school. They get off on the wrong foot—literally, since Logan trips over her shoe—and their relationship goes downhill from there. As Logan faces problems and gets into trouble, it looks like he will never get his pet. Along the way, however, Logan begins to learn some valuable lessons from, surprisingly, his grandfather. By the end of the book he has realized that there are worse things than being embarrassed, and that standing up for what is right is what really matters. There is a happy ending, but it is not because every problem is solved; it is because the characters learn how they can help each other. There are so many good things to say about this book that a review twice this length would be needed to include them all. There are no stereotyped characters in this book: everyone has good and bad points, and they interact with each another in realistic and compelling ways. The author, Marcia Thornton Jones, has written a number of books, and, with any luck, this book will be the first of many about Logan and his family. In any case, this book is a winner! Reviewer: Leona Illig
Publishers Weekly
Jones (the Adventures of the Bailey School Kids series) introduces 10-year-old Logan, a fifth grader with a penchant for storytelling and a knack for finding trouble. Logan has the best intentions for his last year of elementary school, but the temptation to stretch the truth proves too great (“The words rose up inside me like a burp after chugging soda pop”), leading to misunderstandings with his best friend, Malik, and conflicts with new student Emily, who seems determined to make Logan's life miserable. Besides contending with mishaps at school, Logan has pressures at home. His grandfather, who has recently moved in, is growing increasingly forgetful, and his unconventional actions, like picking the neighbor's petunias while wearing nothing but a towel, prove embarrassing. Young readers will relate to Logan's frustrations with his family and peers, his desire to keep humiliating truths a secret, and his underlying love for his aging grandfather, who relies on Logan for help remembering. Although Logan's mishaps are often predictable, Jones's amusing and sympathetic descriptions, brought to life through Decker's pencil sketches, will keep her readers engaged. Ages 8–12. (Feb.)
School Library Journal
Gr 3–6—All Logan wants is a pet for his 10th birthday, but his grandfather is moving in with the family, and his parents feel that adding an animal to the mix would be too much for them to handle. Grandpa is becoming forgetful, and Logan is mortified by his antics and worried that his friends will find out about the man's erratic and embarrassing behavior. To make matters worse, Emily, the new girl at school, seems set on getting Logan in trouble, and his parents and teachers blame him for everything she instigates. As the story progresses, readers watch as Logan begins to understand his grandfather's aging, and the two form a tender double-act, Logan helping Grandpa to remember his life story through photographs, and Grandpa encouraging Logan to work on creative writing instead of telling whoppers to his parents and friends. Jones portrays the relationship delicately, without making the child's realization seem over-the-top. This is a great title to introduce the sensitive topic of living with aging relatives, and Jones does it in charming style. The book is well paced and filled with believable characters and situations. A thoughtful, rewarding read with a totally satisfying resolution.—Alison Donnelly, Collinsville Memorial Public Library, IL
Kirkus Reviews
Clumsy and impulsive, ten-year-old Logan is determined to have a better year in fifth grade than in the past but is hindered by an increasingly forgetful grandfather at home and a vengeful new classmate at school. In the first months of the school year he nearly loses a best friend, wreaks havoc in a pet shop and ruins his school fair, but he also learns to apologize and take responsibility for his actions. He comes to understand, even sympathize with the feelings of others-specifically his grandfather and Emily (the Snot) Scott. From the opening scene of Logan's nearly naked grandfather caught with their neighbor's flowers, the story relies heavily on small-boy humor for its laughs. But imaginative, inventive Logan has realistic concerns young readers will find believable. The worthwhile message that there are worse things than being laughed at is explicitly stated, and the plot moves inexorably to its dramatic, if predictable, conclusion. Co-author of the popular Bailey School Kids series, Jones aims for a slightly older audience here and hits her target well. Decker's final illustrations not seen. (Fiction. 8-11)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780525420668
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 2/18/2010
  • Pages: 216
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 630L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Marcia Thornton Jones is the coauthor of the bestselling The Adventures of the Bailey School Kids series, among others. She lives in Lexington, Kentucky.

C. B. Decker has illustrated many books for children. She lives in Modesto, California.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 4, 2011

    hi

    DO NOT GET THE SAMPLE! it does not give u anything to read

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  • Posted January 22, 2011

    omg

    looks terrible

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2010

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    Posted February 5, 2013

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