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Fourth Grade Rats

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3.6 of 5 stars 3.60  ·  rating details  ·  1,310 ratings  ·  117 reviews
A fast, fun, friendship read from the Newbery-award winning author of Maniac Magee. Fourth graders are tough. They aren't afraid of spiders. They say no to their moms. They push first graders off the swings. And they never, ever cry. Suds knows that now that he's in fourth grade, he's supposed to be a rat. But whenever he tries to act like one, something goes wrong. Can Su ...more
ebook, 160 pages
Published September 1st 2012 by Scholastic Paperbacks (first published 1991)
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Alex Li

Troublesome Rat and goody Angel

"First grade babies! Second grade cats! Third grade angels! Fourth grade rats!" Splendid, funny, believable, Fourth grade rat by Jerry Spinelli leaves you wanting more. The author makes the book flow because of the themes of the book, descriptions of the characters unique personality, and their thoughts.
The theme, peer pressure, from the book Fourth grade rats, happens a lot to Suds. Suds, the main character, just want to be a third grader again so that he can stay
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Taniah
Have you ever been in a situation where you had to grow up and get rid of somethings that you grew up with ? The genre of Fourth Grade Rats is realistic fiction. My opinion is that the book is good but it has to many parts where the main character ( Suds ) should have had flashbacks on how him and his best friend ( Joey ) were such angels in third grade.

The setting of the story takes place at Joey's and Suds's house and at the play ground.Joey wanted Suds to grow up and act like a rat but some
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Sophie Muller
I just cannot believe how great this series by Spinelli is! Three things I loved:
- Suds asks his dad pointing at his weights: "Is that how you became a man?" Answer: "It helped me looked like one." Brilliant answer knowing Suds is struggling to become a man pressured by his best friend Joey.
- Joey's mom: I thought she was being careless in her way to deal with Joey's rebellious stage. Loved how I was proved wrong at the end of the book!
- Lunch box: if I had a son I would him to feel that way too
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Elizabeth Stavis
Suds was happy as a "third grade angel" and he doesn't want to have to be a "fourth grade rat." His friend, Joey, can't wait to be a rat, and to only look at for "number 1" (that's himself!).

I loved how this book was easy to read but funny. Joey is over the top--he does crazy things like try to pierce his own ears just for the pain!--and Suds does hilarious things like carry a lunch box with flying elephants and yo-yos. You'll laugh out loud at their adventures!
Kelly
Kelly Wiegand
April 27, 2015
EDL54500 Library Materials for Children and Youth

Title: Fourth Grade Rats

Author: Jerry Spinelli

Plot: Fourth graders are known around the school as rats; however Suds is having a difficult time transitioning from a third grade angel to a fourth grade rat. When his friend Joey shows him how to become a rat, Suds is conflicted. Will Suds become a rat like Joey and will it be worth the consequences?

Setting: School; Joey's House; Suds' House

Characters: Suds; Joey; Suds' M
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Heather Wright
"Fourth Grade Rats" is a realistic fiction book for children of ages 8-12. This book is about a boy who enters the fourth grade and think he has to be the bigger kid at all times and push the younger kids around but he cant because he's rat(likes to snitch), His friend Joey trues to help him and not be rat and less of a wimp now that he entered the fourth grade. The characters in this book were different form each other in many ways. You have Joe who is now trying to be bigger and bad now that h ...more
Amanda
I figured I might as well start adding the books I read with my students on here. I love Jerry Spinelli. This was pretty amusing, but not as funny as some of his other books I've read. My 4th graders have LOVED it though, if that says anything. :)
Kristiina
I thought this book was hilarious!!! I laughed out loud numerous times, and at one point I couldn't stop!!! I can't wait to read it to my 4th graders in the fall!!! A perfect chapter book for any boy who is a reluctant reader.
Julie
Oh, a little lame. Does any little boy actually decide that since he's in fourth grade, he has to be a jerk now? Eh. Not my favorite Spinelli.
Callie Stillion
This would have been a 1-star book, but the happy, 'I`m so sorry' part at the end changed that.
I think that the first fact that Suds and Joey are going into fourth grade is a little too far. This book would have been better if it was the summer before Joey, Judy, and Suds go into fourth grade.
Like I said, there was a bit of a jump on the timeline. All we knew in the end of Jerry Spinelli`s Third Grade Angels is that Suds didn`t get the halo. We don`t know anything else about the rest of the scho
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Barb Middleton
Rats! Ages...9.

Sometimes human. Sometimes not.

Preferred speech: dude, Number One, real men don't cry, no, N-O, nope, and ain't.

Grade 4 teachers clamber to read this book aloud to their classes. I can see why. For starters it's short - only 86 pages. It is brimming with funny dialogue. It deals with parents, siblings, friends, bullies, classmates, and boy-girl relationships. It also has a cheeky main character, Sudsie, who changes from an innocent angelic 3rd grader to a beastly 4th grader.

The st
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Books Kids Like
“First grade babies!
Second grade cats!
Third grade angels!
Fourth grade…RRRRRATS!”

Suds Morton doesn't want to be a fourth-grade rat. It means giving up his lunch box with the flying elephants and carrying a brown paper sack. Suds would have to eat bologna sandwiches instead of his favorite peanut butter and jelly. He'd have to say no to his Mom and destroy his clean room. He doesn’t want to do these things, but his best-friend Joey Patterson is a rat and is pressuring Suds to be one, too. Suds res
...more
Daniel Franklin
Summarize the book
Synopsis taken from the scholastic.com website:
“Suds doesn't mind being in fourth grade, but he doesn't want to be a "rat." Ordinarily, this wouldn't be too much of a problem, except that his best friend, Joey, takes it very seriously. According to Joey, being a rat is the next step up to being a man. And if you're a rat, Joey explains, you can't cry or be afraid of things. You have to leave your lunch box at home, make a mess of your room, and say "no" to your mother. You have
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Robert
It's the beginning of the school year; it's time for Fourth Grade Rats. It's not the greatest book ever written, but my new fourth graders seem to like it each year.

When you're in fourth grade, you're no longer an angel; you're a rat!

Fun!
****

We finished this today. Good ol' Suds became a rat only to find out it wasn't quite as satisfying as he had hoped. Except, all seemed fine until he saw Joey had been "re-programmed". Then the happy ending began to kick in.

Mom's line that Suds became a man w
...more
Hailey Layug
This was an okay book. The story was really good and recommends this book to kids in elementary school.(Really for the boys). Suds for a minute I thought he would stay like a rat. And Judy Billings, I was expecting more of her and Suds to hang out more but she jusy ditches him near the end. Although I didnt like much if it, it was a good book. But still, kids should have read Frindle. Fourth Grade Rats was a funny, entertaining book.
Jordon Worley
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jen
Author Study:

Fourth Grade Rats by Jerry Spinelli, is perfect for a 4th grade student to read. I would use this book with my 4th graders as a book choice for literature circles because they can relate to the book. They have all experienced being bullied, being a bully, or pressuring others to be mean to other students. At the school that the two main characters Suds and Joey attend, the 4th graders are "Rats". Suds' best friend Joey is excited about being a rat and bullying younger students. Joe
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Randy Tramp
The Book
Fourth graders are rats. They aren't suppose to be afraid of spiders. They say no to their mom and they push first graders off their swings. That was all according to Joey. Suds needed to be a rat.

My Thoughts:
They story is a good lesson in pier pressure. I kept my attention throughout the entire story. So kids of all ages will be entertained.
Joan
I used the first pages aloud to introduce Spinneli as a good author for fourth graders. When reading the monkey bars part, I climbed up on a chair to shout out,"I'm proud of it." and then stepped down as the boy fell down and hurt his thumb. I stopped after introducing the "girl he loves, but ignores her." Many Spinelli books checked out that day.
Brenda Cregor
One day, I decided to talk back to my mother JUST as I had seen my cool, rich, popular friend do to her mother. Only, my talk-back session was abruptly stopped by my mother's hand slapping my face.
Love that lady!
There is a similar lesson in this book.
Jesse Baldwin
This book talks about how fourth graders are suppose to be tough kids and one kid doesn't think that he will fit in. I would use this book to teach kids that there is nothing to worry about and they are still going to have their friends with them next year.
Oliver
I liked that it showed another preview of the other book. I liked when it showed his lunch box with the flying elephants and when his mom said she would hire a teacher and make her teach Suds all the time in the tub.
Gabes Lapinski
I chose this book because it would be fun for the fourth graders to read about other fourth graders. It would make a cool and special connection with them and the book.
Rosemary Siguencia
this book was nice because it tolled use that people like us the way we are because the girl never liked the boy even though he climied a tree just to rescued her cat
Emily
Fourth graders are tough. They aren't afraid of spiders. They say no to their moms. They push first graders off the swings. And they never, ever cry.
Nicolette
This was a pretty good book. It was about a boy who didn't want to grow up when he graduates to the fourth grade but feels pressured by his peers to be what they consider to be a man. Unfortunately what they consider to be a man is rough, tough, and mean. He becomes this so called man and even though his peers seem to like him, even his long time crush Judy Billings, he doesn't like himself very much while he is acting this way. He has to push around little kids, say no to his mom, and face his ...more
Miss G
This book is a great example of that trait of voice! There were even a couple of times that I laughed out loud it was so funny! It was kind of sad that Suds Morton decide to be a follwer and follow what his best friend Joey was doing. Espeically just to get a girl! And Judy Billings only liked the boys who would risk themselves for attention - only the popular ones. If I were Suds, I wouldn't like a girl like that at all! I'm glad he finally realized he doesn't have to be a rat just because he's ...more
Peg
Great book on friendship and making the right choice, no matter what others are choosing to do.
Azaria
Im new how do u read this book I need yo know can someone tell me please
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When Jerry Spinelli was a kid, he wanted to grow up to be either a cowboy or a baseball player. Lucky for us he became a writer instead.

He grew up in rural Pennsylvania and went to college at Gettysburg College and Johns Hopkins University. He has published more than 25 books and has six children and 16 grandchildren.
Jerry Spinelli began writing when he was 16 — not much older than the hero of his
...more
More about Jerry Spinelli...
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