illus. by Tom Lintern. 192p. Penguin/Razorbill. May 2015. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781595142429.
Gr 4–6—A move to the city has Joey adjusting to new surroundings, but that's nothing compared to the changes to come. His favorite uncle, Patrick, brings him a rat for a pet and, much to Joey's surprise, the sickly rodent introduces himself as Gondorff the Gray and asks for his help. One magical, or rather "ragical," bite on the finger later, Joey is turned into a rat, escaping cats and crows as he attempts to deliver an important message to King Uther of the Low Realm. Once Joey pulls Ratscalibur, the mythical spork in the scone, he finds himself on a dangerous quest to see the powerful squagician Squirrelin who will hopefully help save the kingdom of Ravalon and turn Joey back into a human. Readers will root for Joey and his friends to prevail in this fast-paced and entertaining story about a magical world humans can't see. Short chapters and plenty of action keep the story moving, while Joey's worry and self-doubt make him a well-rounded character. Black-and-white illustrations further illuminate the details in Joey's new and exciting life. Readers will be pleased to see every indication of a sequel.
VERDICT A great choice for those who prefer their unlikely heroes in animal form.

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