I finished Malcolm at Midnight last night at midnight, which says quite a bit. I don’t usually stay up till midnight if I can help it and I have gotten more strict with myself about getting carried away in a book past bed time. But last night, the full moon was already keeping me up and with the last part of the book coming together in fun and exciting ways, ( I mean how can you put a book down right when your protagonist gets flushed down a toilet?), I made an exception.
Malcolm is a rat. He is the new pet in Mr. Binny’s fifth grade classroom in a school where classroom pets are much more than they seem. An eclectic group of animals from acrobatic gerbils to gibberish speaking baby chicks, an eyeglass wearing iguana to a bunny with Attitude (that’s with a capitol A, you’ll notice), computer savvy tarantula to the library fish who spells out messages in the bottom of his tank, as well as a hedgehog and a hermit crab make up the Midnight Academy. The Midnight Academy is a secret society of classroom pets who work to keep the school and the “nutters” (that’s what they call the kids) safe.
Malcolm wants to fit in and be liked and it seems he might be off to a good start, even if he is being mistaken for a mouse, until the bunny with Attitude threatens him and it all goes down from there. Malcolm wants to be the best rat he can be and he gets plenty of opportunities to learn what that means through trial and error while facing a ghost in the clock tower, trying to thwart the plans of a bitter old cat on the fourth floor who is out for revenge and a whole lot of other adventures along the way.
Written in a refreshing style and full of great lessons on prejudice, honor, bravery, being yourself, not to mention where to find the best nosh once everyone has gone home, Malcolm at Midnight is a fun mystery and adventure book that might just keep you up till midnight.