I Was a Rat! by Phillip Pullman

Reviewed Erick C.
I Was a Rat Book Review


Old Bob, the cobbler (shoemaker) and his wife, Joan, the washerwoman had no children. One evening, after hearing a knock, Old Bob opens his door to a young boy dressed in a pageboy’s uniform. “I was a rat!” is all he’ll say. Thinking him lost or an orphan, Joan and Bob take the boy in and call him Roger. And so the story begins for this boy who thinks he used to be a rat. The police don’t want anything to do with him, and he can’t seem to do anything right at school. The royal philosopher thinks Roger is just plain insane. Where does he belong? In the circus as a freak? With a gang of boys as a burglar? Down in the sewers, a giant rat-creature? Or exterminated like a common pest? Roger can’t seem to fit in anywhere.


Philip Pullman is probably best known for the His Dark Materials trilogy, consisting of The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass. I Was A Rat! is a very different kind of book. A clever, funny story that takes a classic fairy tale and asks the question, “what if…?” The story is written at a quick, page-turning pace, and is full of humor, adventure, and great twists.