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Sadie and Ratz

3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  379 ratings  ·  102 reviews
Award-winning Sonya Hartnett spins a tale for younger readers about mischief, siblings, and taking matters into your own hands.

Sadie and Ratz are the names of Hannah's hands. They aren't animals, but they behave like wild beasts, says Dad. For one thing, they're always after four-year-old Baby Boy (whom Sadie wishes were a dog). They jump onto his head and try to rub his e
Hardcover, 64 pages
Published March 27th 2012 by Candlewick (first published January 1st 2010)
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Children are literal creatures. They have to be. If you tell them something that says one thing and means another they need a certain level of sophistication to be able to parse your speech. And generally speaking the older they are the more likely they may be to interpret you correctly. Does that mean that all children's literature should be inherently straightforward and matter-of-fact? No! Just because kids can be literal that doesn't mean a bit of metaphor doesn't do them any good. Metaphors ...more
Barb Middleton
I am number four.

My parents had five kids; four of them six years apart. I have pulled the curtain on certain parts of my childhood such as when my older brothers tried suffocating me at the bottom of my bed in my bedsheets, or bamboozled me out of my Halloween candy, or broke my bed and pinned the blame on me. Yes, when we were wee ones, we had moments (gasp),when we were piranhas. And because I was the youngest, it took me awhile to figure out how to fight back. But I learned. I fought verball
Edward Sullivan
This is one of the best written and most sophisticated early readers I have ever read. Hannah is a little girl who projects her anger, frustrations, and inclinations for mischief on Sadie and Ratz, the names she gives to her hands which are "wild beasts." I am awed by Hartnett's remarkable ability to so perfectly capture a young child's imagination and perspective. Ann James's striking illustrations are also notable.
Hannah's hands, Sadie and Ratz, have minds of their own and often make poor decisions. Their favorite activity is torturing Hannah's little brother, Baby Boy.

When Sadie and Ratz are blamed for things they didn't do, Hannah has to make a decision.

An excellent, darkly funny book about taking responsibility and the contentious relationships between siblings.
Why, yes, I've had the attention span of a gnat lately, and a Beginning Reader book is about my speed.

Picked this up because I love this author and wanted to see what she did with the younger format. Turns out, what she did is exactly what I should have expected--a realistic story that highlights something that's both common and dark; in this case, creating what is essentially a pair of imaginary friends (her hands) through which she can act out her frustrations and vent her childish anger. She
Although in many respects this is a strange little book, I find it intriguing for its subject matter and for its characters. Hannah has two hands that seem to operate without her permission at times. She has named them Sadie and Ratz, and they enjoy "crunching squishing squeezing" (p. 6) and doing things that get Hannah in trouble. Sadie and Ratz are particularly skilled in keeping Hannah's younger brother in line until one day he retaliates. At first no one thinks the sweet-tempered four-year-o ...more
This book made me SO happy. It's been a very long time since I've written that sentence. Short, sweet and to the point, Sadie and Ratz may be Sonia Hartnett's best work to date. Hannah is not responsible for all the crazy things happening in her house. Sadie and Ratz, her hands, are the culprits. What follows is something that anyone with siblings (especially those with younger brothers or sisters) can most definitely relate to. There is not a wasted word throughout the book. The illustrations a ...more
S Farneth
Hannah is a very imaginative little girl who has named her hands Sadie and Ratz. They’re almost pet like and she can tell you what Sadie and Ratz like to do, what they are good at and how they get into trouble, especially when they come to Hannah’s rescue.

A classic case of sibling rivalry that anyone with a brother or sister will recognize. Hannah describes Sadie and Ratz as wild beasts, and says they act like piranhas. They like to crush things up, twist and scrunch, scratch! scratch! scratch!
Alondra Munoz
This was a very easy book to read and follow along to which I really liked. It was a chapter book and it had a few pictures on every other page which in my opinion I think is great for little kids who are being introduced to chapter books. The book is about a little girl named Hannah who named her hands Sadie and Ratz and “Sadie and Ratz” misbehave all the time they do things that would upset her parents and grandparents. Hannah has a little brother whose name was never revealed it was just Baby ...more
Hannah is a girl who names her hands Sadie and Ratz. Sadie is the boss. She is the same size as Ratz but is meaner. Hannah's hands like to be kept busy in mischief. However, Hannah is getting the blame for things not done by her hands. So, she sends Sadie and Ratz on a vacation to find the real culprit. Can Hannah clear Sadie's and Ratz's name before it's too late? Read to find out.

Intended Grade Level: 2nd-4th
Mary Ann
Wonderful interplay of text and illustrations. Looking forward to reading this with some students and getting their reactions. Best thing? It's an early chapter book you'll want to read again and again, thinking about it more each time.
As posted on Outside of a Dog:

I’ve mentioned before how hard I think it must be to write a satisfying early chapter book. It’s so easy to fall into the traps of talking above children’s heads, or talking down to them, or simply equated easy with boring (hello, Dick and Jane). That’s why it’s so rewarding to have a book like Sonya Hartnett’s Sadie and Ratz. Here is a book that is right on a child’s level, and is wonderful and strange and just a little bit subversive. My kind of book.

Young Hannah
Jim Erekson
I always wonder how well a piece of realistic fiction will resonate with kids. This one is obviously targeted at a specific problem, the one of not being believed, and being misunderstood. The voice is uncomplicated, and uses some sophisticated vocabulary for the age group--which I think is great. We want kids to know that their thinking has real words. This is targeted at preschool, so it is most likely intended as a read-aloud. But it may be a good chapter book for K-1, too.

The writing did no
Louise (A Strong Belief in Wicker)
I'm always interested in Sonya Hartnett's work, although I think I've only read one, or maybe two of her books (so far). I stumbled on this one browsing the library shelves. One of the Aussie Nibbles series, a great series of Australian reads encouraging reluctant readers with short, engaging, funny chapter books. I think this is the best Nibble I've had so far. Sadie and Ratz are the names that Hannah gives to her hands. Sadie and Ratz are naughty, much more so than Hannah. Still all three get ...more
Hannah’s hands are named Sadie and Ratz, and they get into all sorts of trouble. They like to crunch, squish and squeeze things. They are especially active when Hannah’s little brother, Baby Boy, does things like going into her room or using all of the markers. Then Sadie and Ratz try to rub off his ears. Baby Boy screams for help and Hannah gets into trouble. But then one day, something strange happens and Sadie and Ratz get accused of drawing on the wall, when they were nowhere near there. Bab ...more
Julie Rand
I thought this was a wonderful charming book which would appeal to beginning readers transitioning to chapter books. I must also say it’s one of my favorite among the books we’ve read so far.

The gorgeous evocative charcoal drawings beautifully illustrate the main scenes in the book and also do a good job of conveying emotion, something that is harder for kids to understand from words alone. The story of a girl, Hannah, who has named her hands Sadie and Ratz and who sometimes loses control of th
Hartnett, S., & James, A. (2012). Sadie and Ratz. Somerville, MA: Candlewick Press.

Summary: Little Hannah has discovered the brilliance of using her hands for puppets, even going as far as to name them Sadie and Ratz. Hannah gets into trouble when Sadie and Ratz "act up" and retaliate against her younger brother who is always picking on her. Until one day, the little brother's antics catch up to him and Hannah isn't the one in trouble anymore.

Review: Kirkus Reviews starred (January 15, 2012)
Marissa Garcia
"That night, Sadie and Ratz wanted to rub Baby Boy's ears, nose, hair and chin right off his head. But I knew that would cause more strife. Baby Boy knew it too. Baby Boy was little, but he was crafty."

Hannah's hands have minds of their own, and when they want to be beastly, they become Sadie and Ratz, who love to crush and rip and smashing things. Baby Boy, Hannah's four year old brother, sees the perfect opportunity to blame Sadie and Ratz for his own mischief around the house. Hannah retires
Marissa Garcia
"That night, Sadie and Ratz wanted to rub Baby Boy's ears, nose, hair and chin right off his head. But I knew that would cause more strife. Baby Boy knew it too. Baby Boy was little, but he was crafty."

Hannah's hands have minds of their own, and when they want to be beastly, they become Sadie and Ratz, who love to crush and rip and smashing things. Baby Boy, Hannah's four year old brother, sees the perfect opportunity to blame Sadie and Ratz for his own mischief around the house. Hannah retires
Hannah is a little girl with a big imagination and two naughty hands. One of her hands is named Sadie, the other hand is Ratz. When they are on the rampage, look out! For her hands behave as wild beasts. And these beasts like to declare war on her four year old brother. Of course, Sadie and Ratz are forever getting in trouble for picking on her brother, for hurting him, etc. But how can Hannah live at peace with her horrible baby brother? The relationship between the two remains TENSE, TENSE, TE ...more
I read this to find out if it would make a good Christmas present for my 4 year old niece. I liked the story, but the illustrations were black and white ink drawings that were just okay. I would have liked more colorful drawings.

The story brought back childhood memories. I'm the oldest of three, and my mother was always angry with me because my younger sister (by 5 years) and brother (by 7 years) would tease me and get into my things, and I'd respond by giving them a good pounding, which of cour
This book cracked me up. After Donalyn Miller mentioned that Dory Fantasmagory reminded her of this book, I decided to try it. This would be a great read aloud and book to ask children to make predictions or inferences, plus it had a great ending! I just wish there had been color illustrations, although black & white does lend itself well to mischief.
Addison Children
A very beginning chapter book. Hannah has named her hands Sadie and Ratz and they frequently get into quite a bit of trouble. Then her four year old brother starts blaming Sadie and Ratz for things he may have done. How can Hannah prove their innocence? Check it out.
Lu Benke
A great idea for an early chapter book, but not very well executed in the text. Sadie and Ratz are names for the older sister protaganist's hands. They like to get rambunctious and have lives and personalities of their own. And they get rightfully blamed for problems such as causing little brother to "bellow like a banshee bull." Till little brother starts taking advantage of their reputation. Ultimately, the older sister shows maturity, changes, and sends Sadie and Ratz "on a vacation." The lit ...more
An odd and very short chapter book about a girl and her hands - Sadie and Ratz. Those two naughty hands sometimes get her in trouble.... I didn't love it, and don't think it would be for every kid, but it might be very useful for social workers or parents who are working with children with poor impulse control, or who struggle to keep their hands to themselves.
Kathleen Behrendt
Hannah has named her two hands Sadie and Ratz. When Hannah gets in trouble, she blames Sadie and Ratz for the mischief. Her little brother, Baby Boy, gets on Hannah's nerves so her hands always want to rub Baby Brother's ears off as punishment. Baby Brother realizes he can cause trouble and blame Sadie and Ratz. This works until he blames the hands for pulling a leg off Pin, Hannah's stick insect, when Hannah is in school and Sadie and Ratz are on vacation. The charcoal drawings add a dark side ...more
Hannah copes with her annoyingly THERE 4-year-old brother using her friends Sadie and Ratz, the names she has given to her hands. Sadie and Ratz come alive in response to Baby Boy's irritating behavior, but as Baby Boy becomes older and more savvy to his sister's ways, Sadie and Ratz begin to take the blame for Baby Boy's own bad behavior. From a parental point of view the family strife escalates rather alarmingly, (and the parents look "worried") but Hannah herself figures out a way to solve he ...more
Kate Hastings
Grades K-2. RL 530. Hannah's hands are named Sadie and Ratz. They have a mind of their own. Sometimes they can't help but pick on her younger brother-- and when she is disciplined, she always blames it on Sadie and Ratz. They come "awake."

Soon Little Brother has a Sadie and Ratz of his own-- and starts to fib and blame things on his big sister. Hannah decides it's time to take control and send Sadie and Ratz on vacation until they can behave!

I found this book to be a little heavy-handed, but I d
Hannah has two mischevious hands she calls Sadie and Ratz. When her little brother starts getting into trouble and blaming Sadie and Ratz Hannah is determined to show her parents the truth. She sends them on a vacation from their usual antics and when Mom's antique clock is found in pieces the truth finally comes out. What excites Hannah more than anything though is the realization that Sadie and Ratz now have two new friends: Colin and Scraps.

A funny brother and sister story that reads a little
A book that thrives on the streak of darkness and cruelty inside all children and the way it coexists with kindness and love.
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Sonya Hartnett (also works under the pseudonym Cameron S. Redfern) is, or was, something of an Australian child prodigy author. She wrote her first novel at the age of thirteen, and had it published at fifteen. Her books have also been published in Europe and North America. Her novels have been published traditionally as young adult fiction, but her writing often crosses the divide and is also enj ...more
More about Sonya Hartnett...
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