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Sadie and Ratz

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  562 ratings  ·  123 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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3.83  · 
Rating details
 ·  562 ratings  ·  123 reviews

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Apr 01, 2012 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
Edward Sullivan
Mar 15, 2012 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.
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
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 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 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 four-year-o ...more
Apr 03, 2012 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 a ...more
Mary Ann
Apr 01, 2012 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.
Guilherme Semionato
Sep 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I translated this one to Portuguese just out of fun. A gorgeous, terrific little book.
Alexandra Stoencheva
Apr 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
"Sadie and Ratz" is a transitional book written by Sonya Hartnett that tells the story of Hannah, her hands, and her family. Hannah is a young girl who dreams of one day having a dog, but her parents say that she is too young. Until she gets older she is only allowed to have her stick bug and her hands, Sadie and Ratz. Sadie and Ratz do some crazy things and often times get blame for a lot of stuff that they did not do. Hannah's baby brother begins to make Hannah's life really hard when he learn ...more
Dec 14, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2nd, 4th, 1st, 3rd
Not sure what to think about this book; Sadie and Ratz are the main character's hands. They can be mean, and they take out their anger on Baby Boy, a 4-year-old who blames them for mishaps around the house like marker on the wall, spilled milk, and a missing leg on a pet stick insect. There is no real resolution except that Baby Boy's hands, Colin and Scraps, are uncovered as the culprit when a clock is smashed. Thoughtful readers will see how children can get pegged as "bad kids" and "good kids ...more
Michael McNamara
Oct 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Someone on worldliteratureforum recommended Hartnett, so I grabbed this book from my local library. Wonderful. Immersive prose details the tale of Hannah's hands, Sadie and Ratz, which behave like wild beasts when her baby brother is around. Baby brother's hands are beasts too, and when he blames Hannah for his misdeeds, Hannah is forced to put Sadie and Ratz in hiatus in order to expose him. Evocative, even without the amazing illustrations, which have an ostensibly simple quality that reveals ...more
This is a story about sibling relationships, and how hard it is when you get the blame for something you didn't do! A great easy read for children that they will be easily able to relate to.
Liked his very much and could add it to my list of books about siblings.
Dec 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Early readers and transitional chapter books for new readers aren’t the most fun to read generally. This however is spot on.
Terrance Franklin
This was a very fun read in my opinion it was very great book. Sadie and Ratz is told by the viewpoint of young Hannah as she tells the story of her family and her friends Sadie and Ratz who are *spoilers* her hands. She constantly talks to and humanizes her hands in a very comedic way and boy are they mischievous. It was very funny when Hannah's parents supported Hannah talking with her hands ;and it was interesting how they helped bring Sadie and Ratz to "life" by showing her how to make hand ...more
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 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 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 crea ...more
Jul 12, 2013 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
Dec 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: beginning readers and parents reading with them
This is a humorous tale of imagination and sibling rivalry. The charcoal illustrations are very expressive and really complement the narrative. It's a fun, fast read and will likely appeal to young readers.
S Farneth
Apr 01, 2014 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 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 Elera
"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 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
Jul 26, 2012 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, TE ...more
Jan 02, 2012 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. Bab ...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 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
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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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