When You Wish upon a Rat
By Maureen McCarthy
(Harry N. Abrams, Hardcover, 9781419701610, 288pp.)
Publication Date: September 2012
With echoes of such classic wish-gone-wrong books as Freaky Friday, Half Magic, and Coraline, this terrific novel has the potential to become a middle-grade staple.
Eleven-year-old Ruth Craze is pretty sure she’s stuck in the wrong life. With an absentminded inventor for a father and a flighty artist for a mother, it’s always reliable Ruth who ends up doing the dishes, paying the bills, and finding lost socks. Her brothers are no help (they’re too busy teasing her), and her friends have just decided she’s not cool enough to be a part of their group anymore. So when Rodney the Rat—a slightly sinister stuffed animal that was a gift from her favorite aunt—suggests a way out, Ruth is ready to risk everything. Three wishes. Three chances to create her perfect life. A million ways to get it wrong.