RAT LIFE by Tedd Arnold

RAT LIFE

Age Range: 12 - 17
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KIRKUS REVIEW

A teenaged boy’s quiet life in Elmore, N.Y., in 1972 is literally swept along when a dead body surfaces in the local river and he befriends a quirky young Vietnam vet. When 14-year-old Todd isn’t making beds and doing chores at his family’s motel, he writes stories about aliens. Chance connects him with 17-year-old Rat, a mysterious Vietnam vet who works at the local drive-in theatre and offers Todd a summer job. Eager for pocket money and strangely drawn to the taciturn Rat, Todd accepts. Gradually, Todd tries to get Rat to tell his story and wonders if Rat is connected to the murdered man in the river. As Todd unravels the mystery of Rat’s life, he must decide whether to trust his own instincts or avoid Rat because he’s a “ticking time bomb.” Realistically and sensitively written as Todd’s own manuscript, this entertaining and thoughtful account is an absorbing snapshot of early 1970s life, as well as fast-paced coming-of-age fare that should appeal to young male readers. (author’s note) (Fiction. 12-17)

Pub Date: April 1st, 2007
ISBN: 0-8037-3020-9
Page count: 208pp
Publisher: Sleuth/Dial
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 2007




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