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Sadie and Ratz

3.81  ·  Rating Details ·  453 Ratings  ·  110 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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Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. RowlingBink & Gollie by Kate DiCamilloThis is Not My Hat by Jon KlassenThe Ear, the Eye, and the Arm by Nancy FarmerHoles by Louis Sachar
3rd grade readers
7th out of 100 books — 5 voters
Charlotte's Web by E.B. WhiteHarry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. RowlingMatilda by Roald DahlThe Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. LewisCharlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
Best Read-Aloud Chapter Books
473rd out of 554 books — 1,107 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Apr 01, 2012 Betsy rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 15, 2012 Edward Sullivan rated it it was amazing
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.
Jun 13, 2012 Brandy rated it really liked it
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
Apr 07, 2012 Barbara rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Apr 05, 2012 Christopher rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Mary Ann
Apr 04, 2012 Mary Ann rated it liked it
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.
Sep 04, 2016 Gervy rated it really liked it
My 6.5 yo daughter really appreciated this - I read it to her one night and then found her reading it herself the next day. Perfect for a strong-minded first child with an annoying younger sibling.
Katie Fitzgerald
Hannah has named her hands Sadie and Ratz and assigned each one a personality in order to explain the way she sometimes lashes out at her little brother. Until now, Baby Boy has been too young to really understand this concept, but in this story he wises up. He starts blaming things on Sadie and Ratz (and therefore on Hannah) when really, he is at fault. It’s only after Sadie and Ratz take a vacation that Baby Boy’s own hands’ personalities start to come out.

When I was a kid, I named my own feet
Julie Rand
Oct 28, 2013 Julie Rand rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-book
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
Nov 09, 2015 Annie rated it liked it
Shelves: transitional
'Sadie and Ratz' tells the story of Hannah and the imaginative lives of her two hands, which she named Sadie and Ratz. Sadie and Ratz seem to have lives of their own, with personalities and attitudes. Sadie and Ratz seem to cause Hannah problems, mainly with her 4-year-old brother who she refers to as "Baby Boy." Whenever Baby Boy gets under Hannah's skin or does something to make her mad, Sadie and Ratz have the urge to "rub his ears off," which makes him screech like "a banshee bull." The ...more
Aug 02, 2013 Katie rated it really liked it
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)
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
S Farneth
Apr 01, 2014 S Farneth rated it really liked it
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!
Jim Erekson
Feb 22, 2013 Jim Erekson rated it liked it
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
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 García
"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
Apr 18, 2012 Tasha rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens-books
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. ...more
Jul 26, 2012 Becky rated it liked it
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, ...more
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
Alondra Munoz
Dec 13, 2014 Alondra Munoz rated it liked it
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
Jul 04, 2015 Kim rated it liked it
Shelves: for-kids
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
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
Dec 29, 2012 Phoebe rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
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 ...more
Apr 15, 2013 Renee rated it it was amazing
Shelves: early-readers-je, paw
Summary: Hannah and her hands, named Sadie and Ratz, regularly get into trouble, especially when younger brother Baby Boy is around.

Hannah's little brother is always blaming Hannah's hands (Sadie and Ratz) when things go wrong. But in the end, Hannah sends the hand friends away for a little while and trouble still happens. That is when the family realizes it is really the brother causing the trouble...and his little hand friends:-)

Delightful! I hope the author continues to write more about thes
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
Feb 12, 2013 Angelica rated it it was ok
Sadie and Ratz is a chapter book about a little girl named Hannah. So what does the title have to do with Hannah, well Sadie and Ratz are her two hands. In this book which consists of three chapters, Hannah tells us of things that she likes to do with Sadie and Ratz but sometimes they can be such beasts as she refers to them. It seems like Sadie and Ratz are getting into quite a lot of trouble but is there something else that is doing bad things. I like the pictures in the book, they seem like ...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
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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 en ...more
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