The Rat Queen
By Pete Hautman
By Pete Hautman
Category: Children's Middle Grade Books
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Through exemplary storytelling, Hautman builds a fairy tale within a fairy tale, interspersing stories from Annie’s book throughout and creating a captivating world in Litvania. Like most stories of this nature, there are dark corners to explore and challenging lessons to be learned, but the overall effect is magical.
—Booklist (starred review)
Remorse, honor, and forgiveness are just some of the themes in this creepy, symbolically rich saga. . . Complex and provocative.
Intricately plotted, atmospherically sinister novel. . . interweaves portentous Litvanian fairy tales with intriguing, white-cued modern-day characters.
In this spooky fantasy, Annie finds a book of folktales from Litvania, her parents’ homeland, and begins reading magical stories filled with clever girls and menacing beasts. . . . Her adventures are bound to find an eager audience in readers who value determination and moral fortitude in the face of an increasingly confusing grown-up world.
—The Horn Book
There is a slippery, tricksy nature to this novel, evoking a fairy tale feel tinged with just a hint of horror—this is a world that can be elegant and dreamy while also being literally overrun with hordes of rats. Hautman uses pace effectively to keep the reader guessing.
—The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
Author Pete Hautman skillfully weaves the history and legends of Litvania (the not-quite-real country of Annie’s family) into this tangled tale of guilt, responsibility, growing up and…rats.
—The Virginian Pilot
Half magical, half in the real world, ‘The Rat Queen’ keeps the reader on edge because there’s a feeling that something scary is going to happen on the next page.
—The St. Paul Pioneer Press
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