Our Children's Librarian, Alison Donnelly, is also a book reviewer for School Library Journal. Here is her latest book review:
Ratfink by Marcia Thornton Jones, Dutton Publishers, February 2010
Grades 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 of them 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 filed with believable characters and situations. A thoughtful, rewarding read with a totally satisfying resolution.
If you would like to read Ratfink, let us know, and we can place a copy on hold for you!