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Unhooking the Moon

3.91  ·  Rating Details ·  861 Ratings  ·  164 Reviews
Meet the Rat: A dancing, football-playing gangster-baiting ten-year-old. When she foresaw her father’s death, she picked up her football and decided to head for New York.
Meet her older brother Bob: Protector of the Rat, but more often her follower, he is determined to find their uncle in America and discover a new life for them both.
On their adventures across the flatland
Paperback, 374 pages
Published April 29th 2010 by Quercus (first published 2010)
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Nov 11, 2011 Catie rated it liked it
Recommended to Catie by: Jo
This is a very engaging and sweet story that will carry you right along with its madcap, almost surreal adventures. I really enjoyed reading it, but I just never quite connected to it all the way. I kept feeling swept forward, without anything firm to hold onto.

The story is narrated by a sixteen year old Bob, as he recalls the fateful summer when he was twelve, and he and his ten year old sister Marie Claire “The Rat” Debilliers traveled (by bicycle and other unreliable means) from Winnipeg to N
Initial Final Page Thoughts.
I can’t deal with this. This was supposed to be my happy place book post- Feed and Deadline. But wow… what a beautiful book.

High Point.
The fact that no one that I know has read it so it’s MINE ALL MINE. The Rat = possibly the cutest kid in the entire world. I want her to be my best friend and we can talk in accents together and sing Frank Sinatra and drink Mocha even though I don’t like coffee. Bob= the second cutest kid in the entire world and the best big brother E
Mari Anne
Nov 20, 2013 Mari Anne rated it liked it
Shelves: mg-ya
While I enjoyed this middle grade novel about a pair of orphans who go off in search of their long lost uncle, I did NOT enjoy it as a middle grade novel. There were entirely too many swear words, along with very adult themes that were dealt with in this book, that made it seem inappropriate for the recommended age level of 9 - 12. This is the second British children's book I have read where the expletive "goddamn" is thrown around by the kids. In this one they even go so far as to say it isn't ...more
Giselle (Book Nerd Canada)
A finished copy was provided by the publisher for review.

Bob and his little sister Marie Clare live with their father in Winnipeg. When the unthinkable happens and their dad passes away, the two siblings go on a journey across several provinces to New York City to find their long-lost Uncle.

What a story! It starts off a bit slow, but I can understand that Hughes is setting up the environment that they're used to living. Once they're on the road, it becomes a huge difference from their sheltered
Dec 16, 2013 Karen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: j-ya
I am really starting to wonder what I am looking for in a book anymore. Unhooking the Moon is getting rave reviews and I really just didn't care for it. I understand that it is a kid's book and I am an adult, but I try to read with 11 year old eyes so I can recommend books to the triplets across the street and I just can't imagine any of them liking this book. If I had to like someone in the book it would be the narrator - Bob - whose name was somehow jarring and unnatural. It seems I was suppos ...more
Apr 23, 2016 MaggyGray rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-books-in-2016
Ich saß heute auf meinem Bett und habe darauf gewartet, dass der gewischte Boden in der Küche trocknet, während ich dieses Buch zu ende gelesen habe. Und die Tränen sind geflossen!

Dieses Flohmarkt-Buch ist ein weiteres Juwel der Kinder- und Jugendliteratur, das man als Erwachsener ebenfalls lesen sollte, wenn man auf emotionale Unterhaltung steht, ohne dabei dauernd erstickungsnah auf den Fingernägeln kauen zu müssen.

In diesem Buch geht es um die Geschwister Robert "Bob" DeBillier und seine jüng
Sep 24, 2013 Petr rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: translated
Báječná knížka. Vtipná, dobrodružná, dojemná... A Krysa je prostě číslo.
Acabo de terminar este libro y recién lo estoy digiriendo.
¿Qué decir? ¿Por dónde empezar? Tengo muchos sentimientos revoloteando dentro de mi pecho, y es que este libro me hizo experimentar un montón de sensaciones; felicidad, adrenalina, alegría, desilusión, tristeza, impotencia... ¡uf! tantas sensaciones juntas...

La historia es narrada por Bob, quien, junto a Marie Claire (la Rata), protagonizan el libro.
Bob y la Rata son dos hermanos que vivían felices y tranquilos junto con su padre en una p
Jan 26, 2013 Michele rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya

Star parts: OK where to start. Well for a start the book made me laugh out loud. And what were the bits that made me laugh the most, well probably the bits that should have had you crying such as the funeral scene. And the climax, which involves some pretty awful people, and is totally exciting, and still hysterically funny.

The characterisation is great, the Rat and Bob really come alive, their voices are authentic and they way Bob deals with his sister is, in my mind, really realistic.

The sto
Erzsi Deak
Oct 20, 2010 Erzsi Deak rated it it was amazing
Cannot say enough about this book -- loved it. But here's the publisher's blurb:
Meet the Rat: A dancing, football-playing gangster-baiting ten-year-old. When she foresaw her father's death, she picked up her football and decided to head for New York. Meet her older brother Bob: Protector of the Rat, but more often her follower, he is determined to find their uncle in America and discover a new life for them both. On their adventures across the flatlands of Winnipeg and through the exciting stre
Dec 28, 2010 Rachael rated it it was amazing
Winner of the Booktrust Teenage Prize 2010, and I can see why.

Basically this book is about Bob and his sister Marie Claire. Marie Claire is an amazing character, she's very unique, has visions of the future, speaks loads of languages and knows everyone in their village in Canada and loves drinking a mocha coffee.

But after their Dad dies Marie Claire (or the Rat as she's known!) convinces Bob to travel to New York to find their only living relative there, their drug dealer uncle. The book is abou
Только вчера узнала о существовании жанра middle grade, и уже сегодня прочитала именно такую книжку. Книжка про брата и сестру, про провинциальную Канаду и кипучий Нью-Йорк, про поиски пропавших родственников и множество приятных и безумных людей, которые помогают детям в этих поисках. Авантюрно, современно и не без ругательного слова "педофилы" — вероятно, этим сейчас как раз интересуются двенадцатилетние.
Jan 25, 2015 thelastword rated it it was ok
Bob is weak. The Rat crazy. She leads, he follows. What you get is a pretty irresponsible journey filled with adoration from Bob for the actions of his (what I saw as) very spoilt sister. We were supposed to love her; everybody loved her, but I couldn't. Because of that I could not anchor myself into the story at all.

Sorry Bob. Glad you love your sister though, that's really nice of you.
Wow.. Que puedo decir? Este libro me hizo experimentar de todo... La rata (Uno de los personajes principales) definitivamente se ha convertido en uno de mis personajes preferidos de libros. Es tan.. única. Por un momento me sentí como ella, por otros simplemente quería ser como ella.

Es una historia muy conmovedora de la que jamas me arrepentiría de volver a releer una y mil veces.

Apr 16, 2014 Habibah rated it really liked it
1. I decided to read this book because the book cover appealed to me and I thought the blurb was quite interesting.

2.A character that I found interesting was Marie Claire nicknamed the Rat. I thought it was funny she was called the Rat because she had ears that were pointy and mousy blond hair but all of that added to her character. I thought she was interesting and enjoyed her character because she was a very lively, confident and sociable.She was also the type of character that thinks about th
Shay Durand
May 09, 2014 Shay Durand rated it it was amazing
Gregory Hughes has written an extraordinary and heart warming story that captured all of my emotions. In many parts of the story I laughed out loud, and other times I would find myself tearing up. The book took myself and the characters on a journey unlike any other, as we discovered another part of the world while venturing off on our own.

The characters in this book are very unique with original personalities. Ten year old Marie Claire, or is also known as “The Rat” to her older brother Bob, i
Mar 06, 2012 John rated it really liked it
Sometimes life hands you a gentle lesson. My wise and courageous preteen daughter guided me to 'Unhooking the Moon' two weeks into her first year at High School. I didn't realise at the time that she was giving me a little bit of herself. The Rat - the heroine of Unhooking - is a wise and courageous preteen too and I can see why my 'rat' connected so well.

Rat and her brother Bob travel to New York from Canada after the sudden death of their sad sole father in a quest to find his drug dealing br
Franzie Lovegood
Aug 24, 2011 Franzie Lovegood rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Den Mond aus den Angeln heben erzählt die unkonventionelle Geschichte von Roberto "Bob" und Marie Claire "Die Ratte" DeBillier.

Eines Tages kommen Bob und die Ratte nach Hause und finden ihren wundervollen Vater tot in der Küche - Herzinfarkt. Da ihre Mutter schon Jahre vorher das Land der Lebenden verlassen hat, beschließen die beiden, abzuhauen und den einzigen lebenden Verwandten zu suchen, von dem sie wissen: Jerome DeBillier, Bruder ihres Vaters, ihrer Aussage nach Drogenhändler. So machen s
Ringo The Cat
Jun 08, 2011 Ringo The Cat rated it really liked it
Meet Bob and his sister, the Rat. They are prairie kids from Winnipeg, a land “so flat you can watch your dog run away for three days”. When their father dies (after one of the Rat’s curiously accurate premonitions), the Rat decides they should go to New York, to find their long-lost (drug dealer) uncle Jerome DeBillier. So the two set off on a road trip of sorts to New York. What follows is one of the quirkiest of traveler’s tales, with the two of them meeting conmen, hustlers, rap idols, etc.
Jul 23, 2012 Luna rated it really liked it
It took me ages to get into this story, it wasn’t until Bob and his little sister, The Rat, were on their journey to New York that I started to care.

Unhooking the Moon is all about The Rat, Bob might be the narrator but everything that happens is because of Marie Claire (aka The Rat). She is one of the most complex, confusing and wise characters I have ever read and she is a real pain. Maybe if Gregory Hughes has made The Rat more plain this story would have been easier to enjoy but if he had th
Rosie Brocklehurst
Jan 10, 2011 Rosie Brocklehurst rated it really liked it
I found this book impressive and much better than many books by established children's authors. I finished it in one reading. Hughes makes you care about the characters in a tale that compresses more harsh realities in its pages than any child should have to experience. After their father dies, the two kids aged ten and twelve, journey from Winnipeg to New York to find a long lost Uncle , their only know relative, despite the fact that they believe he is involved with drugs. The Canadian scenes ...more
Mar 11, 2011 Anne rated it it was amazing
'Unhooking The Moon' won the Booktrust Teenage Prize last year and in my view, this was a very worthy winner.
Gregory Hughes has written an extraordinary story of a brother and sister from Winnipeg, USA. Bob and his younger sister Marie-Claire - AKA The Rat are orphans. Their mother died many years ago and they have spent the last few years being cared for by their Father. When their Father dies quite suddenly, the two of them are determined that they will not be put in a home so they set off to
Mar 13, 2011 Josie rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
The Rat has to be one of the best fictional characters I've read about in a long while. She reminds me of a modern-day Anne Shirley -- garrulous, bluntly honest, good-hearted, and with a very individual outlook on life. I loved the beeping and her obsession with bringing down paedophiles, haha. And of course I'm a huge fan of what I call Incidental Magic, which is when there are supernatural elements in an otherwise ordinary, set-in-real-life story (think: The Time-Traveler's Wife).

I thought the
Susan Mann
Apr 23, 2011 Susan Mann rated it liked it
Central character Rat is a fascinating 10 year old. The author has created a typical youngster playful, naughty, but also very feisty. In some respects she seems the one with the most sense the best judge of character leaving her elder brother Bob behind in so many ways.

This novel is written from Bob's point of view, he admires his sister worries about her, not only her recklessness but also her health particularly her state of mind.
He follows her through a series of adventures that would make
Booktrust Teenage Prize

After their father dies, the hapless 12YO Bob and his psychic 10YO precocious-to-the-max sister Marie Claire, a.k.a The Rat, leave Winnipeg by hopping a freight--with their bikes--cross the border with the help of Joey the cigar smuggler and bike into NYC to find their uncle the drug dealer (yes and no) with the help of cigar Joey, a street hustler and their new best friend and famed rapper-of-the-moment, Ice. Far-fetched in spades (though no more than say, Hunger Games),
Kendrick Goodman
Apr 24, 2014 Kendrick Goodman rated it really liked it
This book was different from any other book I have read in a long time. Looking at the page number length I was assuming this was not intended for elementary school children, but instead for middle school. The book takes you on a journey with Rat and her older brother, as they discover another part of the world and themselves, while venturing on their own. Hughes is able to put the reader in the book as he explains moments lucidly. One can argue that this is a survival story as 2 children are on ...more
Barb Middleton
Mar 06, 2014 Barb Middleton rated it liked it
I loved to cross-country ski on the Red River by Fargo, ND, with my sheep dog, ski-skating at high speeds. Relatives protested my solitary exercise for what if I fell through the ice? Northern Minnesota is generally one solid block of ice in the winter, but there are always drownings from either snowmobile or ice-fishing accidents. Those concerned relatives took away my peaceful days on the river replacing them with thoughts of collapsing into frigid waters. I was so mad that I let those fears t ...more
Tatyana Naumova
Какая же она, а.
Nov 26, 2014 Katie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Celou dobu jsem si říkala, sice trochu dětská ale jinak milá a správně praštěná knížka. Váhala jsem mezi čtyřmi a pěti hvězdičkami. Pak jsem si přečetla poslední dvě kapitoly a dávám tři.
Nechápu, nechápu, nechápu. PROČ? To jako autor napsal knížku a řekl si, to je moc veselé, dáme tam nějaký dojemný konec? Aby bylo jasno, já miluji špatné konce, ale tohle se mi FAKT nelíbilo.
Jan 07, 2015 Penny added it
Bob narrates the story of how he and The Rat (his sister) are left orphans when their father dies, and set off from the prairies of Winnipeg to New York, to find their uncle. Bob and The Rat meet various people on their journey, some kind, some not, and it is their interaction with these people and each other that makes up the bulk of the story.
I'm quite tempted to condemn this book with the epithet 'heartwarming', and I'm sure a lot of people (especially those older than the teenagers it's aim
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This book deserves better attention!! 8 17 Oct 28, 2014 02:50PM  
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Got off to a bad start as a teenager. Expelled from school. That said I've had an okay life. I've had hundreds of different jobs. Ive done a lot of traveling and met a lot of good people along the way.
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“But that's life. We wander around like blind mice searching for whatever it is we're looking for. From mice to miserable men, from the poetry of childhood's hour to the darkness of death's goddamn dominion, we never stop searching. Why can't we just be?” 6 likes
“fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly.” 1 likes
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