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Zindel, Paul.
New York : Hyperion Books for Children, 1999.
IL 5-8   RL 5.0
ISBN 0786803398

(3 booktalks)

Booktalk #1

Today started out just like any other day for fourteen year old Sarah and her ten year old brother Michael.  They had decided that it was a great day to go door to door to sell "Save the Sanctuary" chocolate bars.  The wind was blowing in just the right direction so that the kids were grossed out by the smell coming from the dump.  They didn't really like living next to it but they had no choice.  Their father was the Supervisor and he wanted to show that it was OK to live in the development next to the dump.  To help keep the smell down, the town had just authorized the paving over of the dump.  Their father was convinced that this was the solution.  And Sarah had to admit that the smell was not quite as bad as it used to be.  But what the residents of this peaceful neighborhood are about to find out is that all the residents aren't happy with this plan.  At first, the protests were small and isolated.  A rat in the toilet.  A rat in the hot tub.  A rat in the garbage disposal.  Then what appears at first to be a small stream of oil or tar leaking out of a crack in the asphalt is actually a stream of large glistening rats!  What do they want?  Can anyone survive their vicious attacks?  Experience the horror in RATS by Paul Zindel.

Booktalk #2

(Read pages 4-7, starting with “He was laughing when the first rat bit him.”) Mutant rats are escaping from the dump and entering people's homes.  They come in through the toilets, the sinks, they enter the swimming pools and hot tubs.  Big, ugly rats.  Thousands of them.  And, as we've seen, they're killing people.  How do you combat mutant rats that attack in droves? (I bought a rubber squeaky rat and came up behind unsuspecting students with it during the booktalks—scared them all day.)  (Mary Huebscher, Librarian, Holy Cross of San Antonio, San Antonio, TX

Booktalk #3

The residents of Staten Island are tired of the smell coming from their huge garbage dump and decide to do something about it.  To cut down on the odor they pave it over.  The residents of the garbage dump are not happy with their home being covered over and decide to do something about it.  The residents, millions upon millions of rats, decide to make their unhappiness known by invading the island - they are coming up out of toilets, out of the drainage pipes in swimming poles, and boiling out of the sewers.  And they are coming out mad, killing mad.  Fourteen-year-old Sarah and her younger brother Michael are the only ones who stand between the killer rats and the people the rats want to devour.  Can Sarah and Michael stop the rats before they kill everyone in their path?  Read Rats by Paul Zindel to find out.  (Kaline Goodrich,

SUBJECTS:     Rats -- Fiction.
                        Staten Island (New York, N.Y.) -- Fiction.
                        Science fiction.


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