Terry Pratchett's previous children's titles include Truckers, Diggers, Wings, Only You Can Save Mankind, Johnny and the Dead (which was successfully televised) and Johnny and the Bomb, which won a Smarties Prize Silver Medal and was shortlisted for the Guardian Children's Fiction Award. He lives in Wiltshire
PW called this tale about a group of intelligent rat criminals, a kitty and a kid who develop a highly successful pied piper scam (until the rats develop a conscience) "an outrageously cheeky tale, with a dynamite plot and memorable characters." Ages 12-up. (May) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
'Other writers are mining the rich seam of comic fantasy that Pratchett first unearthed, but what keeps Pratchett on top is - quite literally - the way he tells them' The Times; 'Pratchett's writing is a constant delight. No one mixes the fantastical and mundane to better comic effect or offers sharper insights into the absurdities of human endeavour' Daily Mail
Gr 7 Up-In this laugh-out-loud fantasy, his first "Discworld" novel for younger readers, Pratchett rethinks a classic story and comes up with a winner. His unforgettable characters include Maurice, a scheming and cranky but ultimately warmhearted cat; Keith, a young musician who isn't as dumb as he looks; and half a dozen intelligent rats with personalities all their own. Their plan is simple. The rats steal food, frighten ladies, "widdle" in the cream, and generally make nuisances of themselves. When the town advertises for a piper, Keith appears to lead the rats away, and they all meet up later to divide the loot. It works like a charm until the conspirators stumble into Bad Blintz, a village with not a single "regular" rat to be found. As Maurice's band of rodents poke around in the town sewers, Keith befriends the mayor's daughter, a ditzy girl with a head full of stories. When the humans are captured by evil rat catchers, it's up to Maurice and his crew to save the day. Pratchett's trademark puns, allusions, and one-liners abound. The rats, who grew intelligent after eating magic-contaminated trash behind a university for wizards, now tackle major questions of morality, philosophy, and religion. Despite the humorous tone of the novel, there are some genuinely frightening moments, too, as the heroes confront a telepathic Rat King in the bowels of Bad Blintz. Readers who enjoyed Robert C. O'Brien's Mrs. Frisby & the Rats of NIMH (Atheneum, 1971) and Richard Adams's Watership Down (Macmillan, 1974) will love this story. A not-to-be-missed delight.-Miranda Doyle, San Francisco Public Library Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.