Cover image for Third grade pet
Third grade pet
Cox, Judy.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Holiday House, [1998]

Physical Description:
93 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
Fearing for the safety of the third grade's class pet, Cheese the rat, Rosemary takes him home in her backpack and creates chaos in the household.
Reading Level:
320 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.1 1.0 43755.

Reading Counts RC 3-5 2.4 4 Quiz: 21677 Guided reading level: N.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf
X Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf
X Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf
X Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf
X Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



The good news is that the third grade can buy a class pet. The bad news for Rosemary is that the kids want a rat! How gross!There's no way Rosemary's mother will let her take a turn as ratkeeper for a creepy, dirty animal. But Rosemary surprises herself when she begins to like Cheese, the gray and white hooded rat. Then, when Cheese's life is in danger, it's Rosemary to the rescue . . . if she can hide him from her family!

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 2^-3, younger for reading aloud. "Rats are yucky!" In a comic, tender chapter book, Rosemary is grossed out when her third-grade class chooses a rat for its pet, but when she takes care of Cheese, one on one, and he buries his head in the curve of her elbow, she discovers that he is little and soft, with ears as soft as rose petals, and he knows her. To protect him from the class bully, she secretly takes Cheese home, and creates chaos trying to keep him hidden and safe. Kids will enjoy the farce, and most of all, they will appreciate the physicalness of how creepiness gives way to cuddly affection. The teacher is kind and unobtrusive; the classroom scenes are as funny and immediate as those in Rosemary's home. Perhaps the high point is her visit to the orthodontist, who loses his cool when the rat leaps out of Rosemary's backpack. Cynthia Fisher's illustrations were not seen in galley. --Hazel Rochman

Publisher's Weekly Review

The fresh and credible voices that Cox (Now We Can Have a Wedding!) attributes to her young characters give this brief, quick-moving novel plenty of life. When her teacher announces that the class can adopt a pet, Rosemary decides, "Any pet would do. So long as it wasn't a rat." Much to her horror, that's exactly what the class adopts. But as Rosemary gets to know "Cheese," she has a change of heart that may well reassure youngsters who harbor similar fears about animals. Cox treats readers to a number of funny moments, as when Rosemary, determined to keep the rat away from her nemesis (who has referred to the class pet as "cat bait"), smuggles it home under her sweater; later that afternoon on a trip to get her braces tightened, the pet escapes and terrifies her orthodontist. The author also interjects some endearing asides between Rosemary and her toddler brother, Spot, as when she hides Cheese in her room and Spot spots him: "Me wants Mousey." Short sentences, funny quips and ample lighthearted art make this a smooth read‘and a good choice for less-than-eager readers. Ages 7-11. (Dec.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 2-4‘When her class adopts a rat as a pet, Rosemary is horrified. However, she quickly warms up to Cheese and soon finds herself trying to save him from the clutches of Brian, the class clown. To prevent the boy from harming the animal when it is his turn to take him overnight, she sneaks the creature out of school to her home. There, a host of new problems surface, including a curious baby brother. Realizing this is not a solution, Rosemary returns the pet to the classroom, making sure that Brian understands his responsibility for the animal's care. Readers who are becoming comfortable with chapter books as well as fans of Suzy Kline's "Horrible Harry" series (Viking) and Betsy Duffey's How to Be Cool in the Third Grade (Viking, 1993) will feel right at home with this light and breezy story. Fisher's illustrations rendered in pen and ink and watercolor washes in black-and-white bring the lovable rodent to life.‘Lisa Gangemi Krapp, formerly at Sousa Elementary School, Port Washington, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.