The Rat with the Human Face by Tom Angleberger

Published by Harry N. Abrams

Summary:  This is the second of the Qwikpick Papers, three sets of papers supposedly found by Tom Angleberger in an old Qwikpick gas station in Crickenburg, Virginia.  It reports the escapades of Lyle, Dave, and Marilla, the three 11-year-old members of the Qwikpick Adventure Society.  In the first book, they searched for and found a poop fountain.  This adventure begins when the three friends overhear an electrician at the Qwikpick (where Lyle’s parents work) talking about his encounter with a rat with a human face in the basement of an old research lab.  The kids decide finding this rat will be their next escapade.  Of course, just about everything goes wrong, and in the end Marilla’s father bans her from Qwikpick membership.  There are a few glimmers of hope, though…the kids actually see the rat, and could that be a romance beginning between Kyle and Marilla?  A sequel is all but guaranteed.  Grades 3-6.

Pros:  The kids’ voices are so genuine, it is hard to believe they didn’t really write this report.  Tom Angleberger, author of the Origami Yoda series, is a master of quirky details that seem just odd enough to be true, like the stuffed Andrew Jackson doll in the Quikpick crane game.

Cons:  I read this book when I had jury duty, hoping that the title would convince the judge I was unfit to serve.  Unfortunately, we were all dismissed before I could test my hypothesis.

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