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Fourth Grade Rats

3.64  ·  Rating Details ·  1,642 Ratings  ·  152 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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Miri Mandel Yes, I'm a bookworm and I enjoyed this book very much.
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Alex Li
Dec 16, 2009 Alex Li rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: advisory-2010

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
Sophie Muller
Jan 10, 2015 Sophie Muller rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: teen-literature
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
May 08, 2012 Kristiina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Oct 09, 2013 Taniah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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!
Oct 23, 2011 Amanda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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. :)
Jan 04, 2008 Julie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Dec 21, 2015 Isobel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It was very funny
Oct 28, 2016 Lulu rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
this book is super good and funny I like it
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
Shelby P.
I have to admit that this book was pretty funny, but they could have done a better job with the plot.
Katie Fitzgerald
Though Fourth Grade Rats has recently received a makeover in time for the publication of its prequel, Third Grade Angels, it’s actually an older title, which was first published in 1991. While Third Grade Angels focuses on Suds’s attempt to be the most angelic member of his class, Fourth Grade Rats is about his quest to follow his friend Joey’s lead and become a rat. According to Joey, rats say no to their mothers, carry their lunches in bags, not lunchboxes, and they never cry or get scared. Su ...more
Daniel Franklin
Summarize the book
Synopsis taken from the 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
Amy-Jo Conant

I think both boys and girls would find this book interesting. Perhaps boys more so than girls. The two main characters are both 4th grade boys. Now that they are in 4th grade they are know as rats (moving up quickly from 3rd grade angles). This is all due to a silly school rhyme but one of the boys Joey takes it pretty seriously. He convinces his friend suds what a great thing it is to be a rat, how it's the path to being a man. Joey takes twinkies and pushes unsuspecting younger student
Books Kids Like
Oct 06, 2013 Books Kids Like rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spinelli-jerry
“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
Kenzie Bakeman
Nov 18, 2015 Kenzie Bakeman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of those books that I read when I was in elementary school and still kept in the back of my mind all the way up to college. Jerry Spinelli's writing puts readers up close and personal with each character and real issue going on in his/her world, which makes this book so special. All kids go through a time of feeling like they do not belong at their school for various reasons. Sometimes it is bullying that makes a student feel left out and afraid to be himself, but other times it is t ...more
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!


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
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
Oct 02, 2012 Jen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jordon Worley
May 06, 2013 Jordon Worley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pleasure
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Heather Wright
Apr 30, 2015 Heather Wright rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"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
Feb 19, 2012 Nicolette rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 29, 2009 Miss G rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
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
I remember this book because my fourth grade teacher read this to the class... in fourth grade. Along with Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing. Even in those days, I thought that Whats-her-face was a shallow meanie pants who only liked boys that could climb trees and save cats. I can't imagine what she must have grown up to be, and I hope the fictional parents are extremely ashamed of their fictional daughter.
Hailey Layug
May 22, 2014 Hailey Layug rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: for-school
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.
I wonder if my third and fourth grade book club will enjoy this book. The story itself has held up fairy well, although the fashion featured in the illustrations is truly hilarious (1991 was not a good year for boy's clothes, apparently). I thought this was a fine book, but nothing very memorable or exciting. The basic moral is nice, and Suds has a decent character arc, but the book just didn't grab me.
Brittany Cullen
This is also a great book that kids can relate to because it is about 4th graders. It teaches that you dont have to be like all the other kids in your grade to be liked. If you just be yourself you should be liked, you dont have to change especially to be a "rat" and be mean to everyone in the school. An easy to read book that is great for children to relate to becuase they will have peer presure to change but they should know to be themselves
Jan 27, 2012 Cheryl rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chapter-book
One of Jerry Spinelli's earlier books,and he has written a slew of fine books. This was fine for what it was, which is younger than my usual middle grade fare. It should be excellent for helping a young kid through growing up and getting lots of peer pressure to do things that aren't that grown up, (like being a rat when you hit fourth grade.)
The illustrations in this edition, from decades ago, were embarrassingly outdated, though nicely drawn.
Dec 27, 2016 Diane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Suds' best friend Joey thinks that it's time to put away childish things (like peanut butter sandwiches and Suds' lunch box with elephants all over it.) They are fourth graders now and they should be creating havoc in their classrooms and picking on younger students. Suds is having a hard time with this, though. Do fourth graders really have to be rats?
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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
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