During the Great Depression, a boy who faces bullying stumbles upon a mystery and comes of age in this novel that integrates fact and opinion and has a rich 1930's vocabulary. Extra material: An Author's Note is included in the back of the book.
Mike Costa has lived his whole life in The Strip, Pittsburgh's warehouse and factory district. His father's large Italian family runs a food wholesale business, and Mike is used to the sounds and smells of men working all night to unload the trains that feed the city. But it's 1933, and the Depression is bringing tough times to everyone. Money problems only add to Mike's worries about his beloved grandfather, who is getting forgetful and confused.
Mike is being tormented at school by a loud-mouth named Andy Simms, who calls Mike Macaroni Boy. But when dead rats start appearing in the streets, that name changes to Rat Boy. Around the same time Mike notices that his grandfather is also physically sick. Can whatever is killing the rats be hurting Mike's grandfather? It's a mystery Mike urgently needs to solve in this atmospheric, fast-paced story filled with vibrant period detail.
"From the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
Katherine Ayres lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where she writes and teaches writing to graduate students in Chatham University's MFA Program. She also lives in Stockbridge, Massachusetts where she writes, gardens, hikes, kayaks, and watches for bears. She is the author of ten books for children and teens, as well as three chapbooks of poetry. She has been honored as a Champion of Literacy, as Outstanding Writer for Children by the Pennsylvania School Library Association. Her picture book, Up, Down, and Around was chosen as the Pennsylvania One Book, Every Young Child, and as the Kansas Reads to Preschool selection. BEAR SEASON (Autumn House Press, 2013) is her first collection of essays.
“An involving and informative kid’s-eye look at several aspects of city life in the 1930s.”—School Library Journal
“Vivid touches abound.”—Kirkus Reviews