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Malcolm at Midnight

(Malcolm at Midnight #1)

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  819 ratings  ·  157 reviews
When Malcolm the rat arrives as the pet at McKenna School, he revels in the attention. He also meets the Midnight Academy, a secret society of classroom pets that keeps the nutters (kids) safe. There’s just one problem…rats have a terrible reputation! So when the Academy’s iguana leader is kidnapped, Malcolm must prove his innocence—and that even rats can be good guys. ...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published September 4th 2012 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (first published January 1st 2012)
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really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
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 ·  819 ratings  ·  157 reviews

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colleen the convivial curmudgeon

I ended up really enjoying this book. Maybe I'm just a sucker for anthropomorphic animals, but Malcolm was great. Some of the secondary characters weren't quite as developed, but the important characters were all developed enough to be interesting and believable - especially Amelia and, to a lesser extent, Jovhan.

The narration style was really interesting, and it's not something I think I've encountered before. Basically, it's written by a student as a note/explanation to his/her teacher.
Sep 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Let's talk about this book's narration, because holy wow is it unique: written to the class's teacher from the students, the narrator addresses him as "you, Mr. Binney". It's subtle but effective. And footnotes linking to "vocabulary words" or hilarious commentary on specific students in the class are definite funny highpoints, a burst of awesome in each chapter.

That being said, Malcolm isn't distanced at all from the reader due to the narration style. In fact, it'd be nigh impossible not to
Caroline Akervik
Jul 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Malcolm is a rat who is suffering an identity crisis of sorts. He aspires to be a rat of “valor and merit,” a heroic rat. The problem is that his friends at the McKenna School, both human and animal, are suspicious of rats in general and mistake him for a mouse. Honey Bunny, one of the leaders of Midnight Academy, despises rats and claims that they are “skuzzy garbage-eaters who lie and cheat.” Malcolm aspires to be the rat he is inside, the rat he is when he is alone at midnight, while striving ...more
Aug 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Malcolm at Midnight by W.H. Beck with illustrations by Brian Lies tells the story of Malcom a classroom rat. After arriving at McKenna school he soon finds himself part of a caper involving a secret society of school pets, and evil cat and a kidnapped iguana. Malcolm must use his smarts and wits and his human friends to clear his name and to help save the school.

I loved this book. Malcom was delightful and his relationships with the other pets and his classmates were fun to read. The book is
Dec 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
MALCOLM AT MIDNIGHT will appeal to fans of mysteries and animal adventures, particularly fans of Humphrey the Hamster, Despereaux the Mouse, and the Rats of NIMH.

McKenna School has a newbie: Classroom mouse Malcolm. He is quickly inducted into The Midnight Academy, a secret society of all the classroom pets at McKenna School. They meet under cover of night and are devoted to keeping the school kids safe. Malcolm loves the school, and he loves the club, but he has a secret… he’s not a mouse at
Holly Mueller
I really enjoyed listening to this delightful mystery about Malcolm, a smaller than average rat, who becomes the newest fifth grade pet at McKenna School. Malcolm will steal your heart! He meets a secret society in the school called the Midnight Academy, which is made up of classroom pets who look out for the nutters (kids). Unfortunately, since rats have a bad reputation, Malcolm lets the misunderstanding go uncorrected that he's a mouse. One day the Academy leader, an iguana named Aggy, ...more
Jun 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
I received an audio book of Malcolm at Midnight from W. H. Beck along with some bookmarks. It was such a treat to listen to Malcolm's story while I worked and I look forward to sharing it with my students.

Malcolm at Midnight is a wonderful school story mystery full of interesting characters with quirky personalities. Malcolm becomes the 5th grade's class "mouse" even though he is actually a small rat. He befriends a girl in the class and becomes a member of The Midnight Academy which is led by
Sep 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
Absolutely fantastic! On par with Beverly Cleary's The Mouse and the Motorcycle and Carmen Agra Deedy's The Cheshire Cheese Cat: A Dickens of a Tale. A must read for lovers of animals acting like people stories.
Judy Desetti
May 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Judy by: WAW 2015 nomination list: GR 3-5
Wonderful!! I loved it. I believe this will make a great read aloud. Kids will love the animals and mystery involved. The story was so engaging as we learned about all the characters and how it all fits together.

If like Poppy by Avi you will love this!
Poppy by Avi

May 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
Devoured in a day. Impressive laying of plot-groundwork in this mystery. Animal illustrations gorgeous, as expected of Brian Lies of Bats at the Beach fame. Excellent dialogue and rich atmosphere--we get to know the school intimately through Malcolm's nose, ears, and over-gnawed whiskers.

Regrettably, the primary antagonist is a cat--but though a villain, she's a tragic one.

Will definitely recommend to my library patrons!
Nov 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful story! There is a lot of action and suspense. It was hard to put down when I knew it was time to go to bed. It has some great lessons about friendship, self-esteem, honesty and integrity.
May 15, 2013 rated it liked it
You will want to stay up all night reading this because it is such a good book. I read this until 4:00 in the morning. I reccomend this for people who are night owls.
Oct 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Even my 11 yr old who is usually too big for read alouds listened along. We all loved it.
Kristen Doyle
Dec 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
My 8 year old and I read this together and we loved it! Great kids chapter book!
Mar 07, 2018 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I had passed this book several times at the library, debating whether or not I should try it. I finally decided to give it a go and was delighted by the results.

Malcolm at Midnight follows the rat Malcolm, who is commonly mistaken for a mouse. When the lights shut down at McKenna Academy, Malcolm's new home, he discovers the Midnight Academy a secret society of classroom pets who meet at midnight to discuss how to protect their school. The venerable iguana Aggy Pop is the head of Midnight
Sharla Desy
Feb 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Potential Battle of the Books book for 2019. This is the story of Malcom, a rat mistaken for a mouse, who longs to be a critter of valor and merit. Malcom is a classroom pet at McKenna School, and his story is told as a lengthy note from a student to the teacher, Mr. Binney. Malcom no longer resides in Mr. Binney's classroom, having bitten a student. The note explains why.
Malcom deals with issues of self-image, peer pressure, mistaken identity, misplaced trust and forbidden friendships. The
Nov 02, 2017 rated it liked it
This book was just meh for me. It kind of reminded me of a Bunnicula type of story where the animals all talk to each other and have to solve a mystery. I did like the way this book incorporated vocabulary words with footnotes though. It would be a great read aloud for like a 4th or 5th grade class.

If this book were to become a live action film, I think I would chose John Ceena to play Honey Bunny - the adorable little bunny that is gruff and hates kids (but who is classroom pet) and Tim Curry
My oldest had been wanting me to read this one for a long time so when we were ready for another family read aloud book, she quickly got this one off her shelf. :) It has fairly short chapters so it was a good one for summer night readings when we needed it fairly short.
Good animal story (think The Secret Life of Pets in a school) and loved the internal dialog about being a rat of "valor and merit" and to "be the fifth grader you want to be". More depth than I would have expected and a fun
Dec 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This story is one of the fastest paced and CUTEST stories about a rat! A rat who is mistaken for a mouse because of his size who ends up becoming a hero for class pets and humans alike. So find out what adventures Malcolm experiences by reading this book.
Dec 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
The 5th grade book group suggested that we do this as one of our books, and we all really enjoyed it. There wasn't quite enough to the story to fill the whole 45 minutes of the group meeting, but we all liked the book a lot.
Audiobook Accomplice (Gillian)
A tale sweet enough that I, uhm, alREADY got the sequel?
My Full Review
Faith Reed
Nov 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery-2
Really loved the mystery of Malcom and I loved the narration of the book!
Lauren Mulwa
Sep 10, 2017 rated it liked it
was a ok book but very long chapters
Dec 01, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: middle-grade
Adventure, talking animals, friendship, honor and valor, plot driven

Good readalike for fans of "Masterpiece." Skews younger even though class is 5th grade.
Sarah Jacobs
Dec 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Good book for younger readers.
Jan 15, 2017 rated it really liked it

Malcolm is a very small rat, so everyone mistakes him for a mouse. Mr. Mark Binney, a fifth grade teacher at McKenna Elementary school who is looking for a mouse to be the class pet, purchases Malcolm at the pet store. The owner is out of mice, so he substitutes Malcolm. Who will ever know since Malcolm is so small, and what’s the difference anyway? (Plenty, if you ask Malcolm! Like tails, and whiskers and intelligent black eyes.)

During Malcolm's first night at McKenna School, he escapes his
Oct 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book is about a small rat that everyone thinks is a mouse gets adopted to a school. His name is Malcolm and he is a curious rat that is happy to leave the pet store. Malcolm then figures out that there is a secret club in the school with other pets as well. He then needs to help his club meber when a spy rat invades.

This book may be for a younger age group but it's still a good book to read or share with someone younger. It’s creative and a good book that really makes you open your mind to
Aug 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: juvenile-fiction
When I say 'rat' what words come to mind? Sneaky? Evil? Untrustworthy? Well don't believe everything that you read in books. Rats aren't all bad--and Malcolm is determined to prove that even though he is a rat he can still be have valor and merit like everyone else in Mr. Binney's classroom. Of course, Mr. Binney wouldn't have bought Malcolm in the first place if he didn't think he was a mouse. It's not Malcolm's fault he's so small though. As if being mistaken for a mouse wasn't enough Mr. ...more
Rachel B.
Feb 19, 2017 rated it liked it
A solid personification of a small animal adventure story. Malcolm is a runty rat that everyone mistakes for a mouse and he doesn't deny it (right away, anyway). Instead he joins the secret society of classroom pets and many misunderstandings ensue. I enjoyed listening to the audio version and appreciated how all the loose ends from the story tied ultimately together.
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Reader, writer, teacher-librarian.

Author of books for kids, like Malcolm at Midnight and Glow: Animals with Their Own Night-Lights.

Also writes under the name Rebecca Hogue Wojahn.

Other books in the series

Malcolm at Midnight (2 books)
  • Malcolm Under the Stars
“You talked to us about what kind of fifth-graders we wanted to be this year. How it was all in our choices, every minute of our days. How even grownups like you had to think about it sometimes, to be the person they wanted to be.” 4 likes
“A critter reveals his true self at midnight.” 3 likes
More quotes…