Huge thanks to Candlewick for sharing a copy of The Infamous Ratsos Are Not Afraid with our #bookexcursion group! #bookexcursion is a team of ten educators who read and share new children’s and middle-grade titles. For more of my #bookexcursion reviews, click here!
I’m always on the lookout for books for my readers who are in between picture books and middle grade. The jump to chapter books can feel huge for some readers, which is why it’s so important to find books that will engage kids from the first page. The Infamous Ratsos series does just that!
The Infamous Ratsos Are Not Afraid is the second in a series from author Kara LaReau, although both books can stand alone as fantastic reads. This installment follows brothers Louie and Ralphie Ratso as they work towards a big idea: opening an arcade in an abandoned lot down the street. They work to upcycle the junk into arcade games, while at the same time dealing with their fear of the supposedly haunted house next door. At the same time, Ralphie is dealing with a rumor that’s flying around at school – one he just can’t seem to shake. In order to deal with the rumor spread about him, he first needs to own up to spreading a rumor about someone else. As the boys navigate their fears, their lovable father Big Lou gives them advice that is important for every real-life kid to hear.
I wasn’t expecting to fall in love with a story about two rats, but it had me engaged from the first chapter. This book has so much to offer kids: likable and imperfect main characters, an engaging plot, and an air of mystery. I can’t wait to get this book into the hands of the young readers in my classroom!