|Rat with the Human Face (Qwikpick papers)|
Author: Angleberger, Tom
While searching for the Rat with the Human Face, friendships fray as club members Dave and Lyle compete for Marilla.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 5.10
Points: 3.0 Quiz: 178771
Kirkus Reviews (02/01/15)
School Library Journal (02/01/15)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 02/15/2015 This second in Angleberger’s Qwikpick Papers series tracks two compelling story lines: Lyle, Marilla, and Dave’s expedition from the trailer park they call home to find the titular rat, and the catastrophic rupture of their friendship. Presented artfully as a dossier—insofar as a twenty-first century 12-year-old might achieve one—the pages are full of poorly typed (yet legible) manuscripts, Lyle’s charming asides about “top secret” personal details in handwritten notes, and the kids’ sketches and snapshots, all of which amplify the story overall. Though there’s not much resolution to the tale of their quest to meet that rat, even after they encounter it at a mountain lab, the untimely end to their trio—when they’re caught misbehaving and Lyle is pinned as the main troublemaker—is palpably important. Meanwhile, the gentle puppy crush between Lyle and Marilla is as spot-on as Angleberger’s narrative style and authentic, conspiratorial kid tone. Between Lyle’s honesty and the bittersweet realism of this funny tale, Wimpy Kid fans, as well as those who appreciate Angleberger’s Origami Yoda series, have much to like here. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Angleberger’s middle-grade books are consistently hits. This one likely won’t be different. - Copyright 2015 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 02/01/2015 Gr 4–6—This is the second entry in this series about a trio of middle schoolers in small-town Virginia who embark on gross and harebrained adventures. Narrator Lyle has heard rumors of a rat with a human face living in a seasonal research station outside of town. Along with friends Dave and Marilla (on whom he has a crush), Lyle contrives to ride with a busload of retirees to attend a brunch at a nearby hotel so they can sneak into the research facility and observe the rat. There are a few pleasantly quirky surprises—a convenience store crane game with a stuffed Andrew Jackson doll, a layer of social anxiety as Lyle reflects on living in a trailer park with parents who are clerks at the Quikpick, and a running device where the characters compete for points in "rhyme-jitsu." Lyle's story is told in "typed" reports, with sporadic spacing errors, on fake crumpled paper. These are interspersed with "handwritten" marginal comments and "unofficial personal" notes. A key scene depends on the peculiar narrative device of setting the story in the year 2000, meaning, as explained in a cumbersome author's note, that nobody has cell phones and their camera requires time to recharge the flash. VERDICT This series may appeal to reluctant readers, particularly fans of Angleberger's "Origami Yoda" books.—Bob Hassett, Luther Jackson Middle School, Falls Church, VA - Copyright 2015 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.