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Malcolm at Midnight

by W.H. Beck
Illustrated by Brian Lies

Published by Houghton Mifflin, 2012
265 pages
ISBN: 978𢠧47-681009

Ages 710

Malcolm the rat is the new pet of the Room 11 fifth-grade class, although he抯 so small everyone thinks he抯 a mouse. On his first night, Malcolm discovers the Midnight Academy, a group of classroom pets that work to keep the school safe. Shortly after Malcolm becomes a pledge, Aggy the Iguana梙ead of the Academy梘oes missing. Eager to prove himself and worried about Aggy, Malcolm sets out to find her. His efforts are complicated by the fact that another Academy member, Honey Bunny (HB), thinks Malcolm IS a rat, and therefore untrustworthy (and probably in collusion with Snip, the bitter stray cat on the fourth floor). Meanwhile, back in Room 11, one of the nutters (children), a lonely girl named Amelia, takes a special interest in Malcolm, who returns to his cage each day, noticing, among other things, that he can read. And then there is Mr. Binney, Room 11抯 teacher; Ms. Brumble, the school custodian; and the mystery of a missing ring. Everything抯 connected in Wisconsin author W. H. Beck抯 debut novel, an irresistible animal fantasy featuring a fresh storytelling voice (complete with engaging footnotes), plenty of tension and drama, and lots of warmth. Wonderfully drawn relationships, including Amelia抯 burgeoning friendship with class troublemaker Jovahn, also unfold in this satisfying mystery/adventure.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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