Kid’s Book Review: Rat

Kid’s Book Review: Rat

About the Book and Author

This book for 10-14 year olds is a moving story of community, loneliness, by award-winning writer Patrice Lawrence. It reminds us that we can never know what’s really going on in someone else’s life.

Rat is published by Oxford University Press in partnership with Barrington Stoke, and is perfect for less confident readers as it is shorter than most books for this age group.

When his mum is sent back to prison, Al knows exactly who’s to blame. Mr Brayker, who lives downstairs, has been making trouble for Al’s mum ever since they moved in, and Al’s determined to get his revenge. Ignoring advice from his gran and sister, Plum, Al takes things into his own hands with a plan that involves the only two creatures he can rely on: his pet rats, Venom and Vulture. But things don’t turn out exactly as he’d imagined …

Rat cover
Patrice Lawrence author

Patrice Lawrence is an award-winning writer, whose debut YA novel, Orangeboy, won the Bookseller YA Prize and the Waterstones Prize for Older Children’s Fiction, and was shortlisted for the Costa Children’s Book Award and many regional awards. Indigo Donut, her second book, was shortlisted for the Bookseller YA Prize, was Book of the Week in The Times, The Sunday Times and The Observer, and was one of The Times’ top children’s books in 2017. Both books were nominated for the Carnegie Award.

Eight Pieces of Silva, published by Hodder in August 2020, is shortlisted for the YA Book Prize 2021.


Book Review

The book is very realistic and makes the reader appreciate how hard it can be for some less-fortunate people to survive

Rat, by Patrice Lawrence is a truly moving book. Al has problems controlling his anger at times, and Mr Brayker only encourages it. But with help from his gran, his half-sister, Plum, and Ty, by the end of the story he has worked out how to control his rage. He eventually discovers that other people on his block of flats have also got or had major problems in their lives, which is really emotional.

Considering that Al has a very hard life of his own, he copes well, and this makes the story even more interesting. The book is very realistic and makes the reader appreciate how hard it can be for some less-fortunate people to survive. It also shows how important it is to have family.

I really enjoyed reading Rat, because it is a touching, emotional book, that shows you what it is like to live in poverty. I would suggest that you read it if you are over 9 years old, as it is quite sad in some places.

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Alternatively, we suggest that you visit your local library and request to borrow a copy from a friendly librarian.

Whichever you choose, we hope you enjoy being part of your unique reading community – happy reading everyone!

Reviewer Profile

Reviewer Photo
  • Name: Arthur
  • Age: 11
  • Likes: football, music and pizza
  • Dislikes: mushrooms and rugby
  • Favourite Book: Lord of the Rings by J R R Tolkein
  • Favourite Song: The Final Countdown by Europe
  • Favourite Film: E.T.