Malcolm at Midnight

by W.H. Beck and Brian Lies

Malcolm the rat is the new pet of the Room 11 fifth-grade class, although he’s... read more

Malcolm the rat is the new pet of the Room 11 fifth-grade class, although he’s so small everyone thinks he’s 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—head of the Academy—goes 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’s teacher; Ms. Brumble, the school custodian; and the mystery of a missing ring. Everything’s connected in Wisconsin author W. H. Beck’s 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’s burgeoning friendship with class troublemaker Jovahn, also unfold in this satisfying mystery/adventure. (Ages 7–10)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2013

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