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Sarah McGraw lives with her father and brother on the edge of town, beside a garbage dump. Her father manages the dump, but it's a job that's growing out of control, and the rats at the dump are mutating and attacking the workers. Sarah's father needs to work fast.
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Paul Zindel was born on Staten Island, New York, where he spent ten years working as a chemistry teacher before becoming a writer. His first book, The Pigman, was published in 1969 to massive acclaim. He has since written over a dozen more novels and established himself as one of the strongest writers in his field. In 1971 he won the Pulitzer Prize for drama for The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds and published an autobiographical account of his formative years, The Pigman and Me. Paul Zindel lived in Montague, New Jersey until his death in 2003 at the age of 66.From School Library Journal:
Gr 6-9-Staten Island and the rest of New York City are threatened by an invasion of vicious killer rats in this gory, makes-your-skin-crawl thriller. The epicenter of the disaster turns out to be a huge landfill brimming over with decades worth of rotting garbage, right next to the quiet neighborhood where Sarah Macafee, 15, and her brother Michael, 10, live with their widowed father. Mr. Macafee just happens to be the city sanitation officer in charge of the landfill, which is in the process of being paved over with a layer of asphalt. The horror begins one summer morning with rats emerging from residents' toilets, hot tubs, and in-ground swimming pools. Sarah and Michael discover a neighbor dead in her car, and alert their father that rodents from the landfill are mounting an attack on their neighborhood. Readers looking for gruesome details are treated to numerous descriptions of bodily dismemberment by these traditionally maligned mammals, and the jolts of horror recur at regular intervals while Sarah and her brother survive several cliff-hanger escapes. Just in the nick of time, Sarah figures out a way to halt the vermin in their tracks and put an end to the bloodbath that engulfs a crowded Manhattan entertainment center. Zindel's style is fast paced and the plot is chock-full of shivery, stomach-churning action. Young readers will certainly rest easier once Sarah uses her wits to end a nightmare of carnage.-Douglas Wooley, Brooklyn Public Library, NY
Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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