Sunday, 30 April 2017


Welcome to Sally's book-a-day-for-2017 blog. If unfamiliar with the blog, scroll down.

Ratty (Post 120)

Ratty (1998), is one of a linked set of stories about Teena and her brother, Marcus. In this one, they're staying with their grandparents for a while. Kim, Teena's friend, has a pet named Lily Rat, and Lily has a litter of babies. Most of them are white, but one is patched with brown. Teens takes a liking to this ratling. Kim can't keep all the growing rats, so she offers the patched one to Teena. Her mother insists Teena must have permission and Teena agrees, but somehow she never gets a chance to ask. The grandparents in this story are comparatively young and active (something reflected in the pictures) and Gran is always on the move.

Teena names her new pet Ratty. She is about to show him to Gran when she realises Gran is setting a rat trap. Ratty therefore becomes a secret pet and Teena discovers the responsibilities and obligations of pet-owning the hard way.

Naturally, there's a happy ending, but with luck child readers might think twice before trying to keep a clandestine pet. 

Ratty came about from our experience with pet rats. Buying a single female young rat doesn't guarantee you won't end up with a dozen or more, as we discovered. A child we knew wanted some of them and we thought she had permission. She didn't. We did end up keeping three males, who were lovely pets. The only downside was their unfortunately short lifespan. You can almost see them aging and although the same thing happens with dogs and cats, at least they (barring accidents) can have a good fourteen or so years. The children in the story were named after (unrelated) friends of our own children and the neighbour after one of my relatives. Authors are somewhat cannibalistic people, I conclude. We help ourselves to names and incidents from real life, and then turn them into stories.

About the Blog 

Sally is Sally Odgers; author, manuscript assessor, editor, anthologist and reader. She runs and Prints Charming Books. (Sally is me, by the way, and I am lots of other things too, but these are the relevant ones for now.)

The goal for 2017 is to write a post a day profiling the background behind one of my books; how it came to be written, what it's about, and any things of note that happened along the way. If you're an author, an aspiring author, a reader or just someone who enjoys windows into worlds, you might find this fun. The books are not in any special order, but will be assigned approximate dates, and pictures, where they exist. If you enjoyed a post, or want to ask about any of my books or my manuscript assessment service, post a comment and I'll get back to you.

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