Cover image for The revenge of Randal Reese-Rat
The revenge of Randal Reese-Rat
Seidler, Tor.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Farrar Straus Giroux, 2001.
Physical Description:
233 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Musical Maggie Mad-Rat leaves her home in Africa to attend her cousin Montague's wedding in New York City, where she meets family and makes new friends, including the unique Randal Reese-Rat.
General Note:
Sequel to: A rat's tale.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 5.2 6.0 54854.
Added Author:
Format :


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

On Order



Sequel to A Rat's Tale.
In A Rat's Tale, Montague Mad-Rat saved the day for the wharf rats of New York City and won the affection of the she-rat of his dreams, the lovely Isabel Moberly-Rat. All ratdom hailed Montague as a hero -- except for the rat whose story is at the center of this captivating sequel. A rodent of impeccable breeding and exquisite personal hygiene, Randal Reese-Rat is mad with jealousy, believing Montague has stolen his former bride-to-be. His jealousy is no secret on his wharf, and when an unthinkable crime is perpetrated against Izzy and Monty on their wedding night, Randal is the prime suspect. Now on the lam, with a price on his head and thugs on his tail, Randal involves secret friends of his in a perfect and horrible revenge on the whole rat colony, Izzy and Monty included. But his plans are hopelessly complicated when a new rat enters his life, an exotic she-rat who also happens to be the cousin of his nemesis, Montague.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 4-6. In A Rat's Tale (1999), Montague Mad-Rat saves his vast colony of fellow New York rats from human destruction and wins the heart of the lovely Isabel. In this epic follow-up, Isabel's former suitor, Randal, scorns her marriage. When a horrible fire destroys the newlyweds' home, Randal becomes the prime suspect, and he escapes through the city's parks and sewers, plotting revenge against family and friends who believe him capable of such a crime. His plans to ruin his community are upset when he falls in love with a gorgeous rat who shares his interests; she's the cousin of loathsome Montague. As in the first title, Seidler creates an elaborate world with a skillful mix of fantasy and realism. Puns, hilarious character foils, and plenty of satire provide humor as Seidler raises some disturbing, relevant questions about retribution and violence, balancing them with a reassuring "love saves all" message. An engrossing, wholly realized adventure. --Gillian Engberg

Publisher's Weekly Review

Fans of A Rat's Tale may be disappointed in this sequel, which focuses less on Montague Mad-Rat and his eccentric family and more on his rival for Isabel Moberly-Rat's hand, Randal Reese-Rat. The story opens in Africa, where Aunt Elizabeth has traveled to bring her daughter, Maggie, to New York City for the wedding of her cousin, Montague. Monty became a hero in the inaugural novel when his hand-painted seashells fetched a handsome sum, large enough to save the rodent community's wharf. On the wedding night of Monty and his fetching bride, Isabel, an arsonist sets a fire in their home and Randal Reese-Rat is the chief suspect. A "citywide rathunt" ensues, and the jealous (and, as it turns out, innocent) Randal seeks revenge on the rat community that has turned against him. Seidler plants clues to another potential romance as well as the identity of the true arsonist along the way. Though the author's talent for moving fluidly from one character's perspective to another is as evident as ever, the chronological flow is not as smooth here as in its predecessor (the narrative often backpedals to fill in gaps between episodes). And Helquist's drawings, while paying homage to the late Marcellino's earlier portraits of the characters, do not possess their polish or panache. Maggie's comment, as she heads back to Africa, that she felt "she was leaving something of herself behind" hints at a return visit. Ages 8-up. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 4-6-In this sequel to A Rat's Tale (HarperTrophy, 2001), Montague Mad-Rat is to be married to Isabel Moberly-Rat as soon as his aunt and cousin arrive from Africa. The wedding is a grand affair, but Randal Reese-Rat, Isabel's old beau, is consumed with jealousy, so when an arson fire nearly kills the newlyweds, everyone is certain that Randal is the culprit. The simple yet evocative language and the warmly depicted characters make this fantasy a delight. Randal's obsession with wild animals reveals unsuspected depths to his soul, and Cousin Maggie's songs are funny and touching. The many black-and-white illustrations, full of detail, make it clear that these lithe, sociable New York rodents have busy lives and unique personalities. This chronicle of their adventures is sure to win new fans and please old ones.-Eva Mitnick, Los Angeles Public Library (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



The Revenge of Randal Reese-Rat Chapter One Elizabeth Mad-Rat loved warm, tropical places, but the midday African sun was more than she could take. It might have been bearable if she could have stopped to rest in the shade of one of the strange-looking African trees along the roadside, but she had no time to spare. The ship she'd come on, the SS Ratterdam, was leaving early the next morning to sail back to New York, and she was determined that she and her daughter should be on it. The sun was so powerful that Elizabeth finally lifted her traveling case up over her head as a parasol. She'd found the suitcase, a French cigarette box with a dancing gypsy on it, years ago on the island of Martinique. It wasn't heavy -- there was nothing in it but her comb and a seashell she'd picked up on a strip of beach on her way out of Dakar that morning -- but her arms soon grew tired anyway. I'm not as young a rat as I once was, she thought wistfully. She finally stopped in the shade of a palm tree and collapsed on her traveling case. Once she had caught her breath, she realized how parched she was, and, seeing a thick vine twisted around the tree trunk like a spiral staircase, she started up it in search of a coconut. Last year, in Jamaica, she'd sipped some lovely milk from a broken coconut. But when she reached the top of the tree, there wasn't a coconut to be seen. Worse, even from way up there she couldn't make out the hill her daughter lived on. "This is terrible," she muttered, realizing she must have taken a wrong turn on her way out of Dakar. "I'm a total nincompoop." "Is that what you are?" said a squawky voice. "I wasn't sure. I thought maybe you were a rat." If Elizabeth hadn't grabbed on with her tail at the last second, she would have tumbled out of the tree. Perched only two or three rat lengths away, camouflaged by the green palm fronds, was an enormous green bird with a vicious-looking hooked bill. "Are total nincompoops native to Senegal?" the bird asked. "I -- I am a rat," Elizabeth said shakily. "But I'm not nearly as y-young and tasty as I once was." The bird was bigger than a hawk, and for hawks rats were take-out food. But although the hooked bill looked capable of snipping her head off, the bird just blinked at Elizabeth and said: "Senegalese rat?" "No, I'm from... well, I'm not r-really from anywhere. I travel a lot. But originally I'm from New York." "New York. Is that near New Machavie?" "Where's New Machavie?" "In the south. I met a marabou from there once." "The south of Africa?" said Elizabeth, who had no clue what a marabou was. "Of course." "No, New York's in the United S-States." "Oooo, that sounds juicy! Nothing I like better than a snake breakfast." "No, not United Snakes, United States." "Oh." The bird looked disappointed. "I don't suppose states are as juicy." "I have no idea, they're something to do with human beings." Elizabeth cleared her throat. "So you like to eat snake, but not rat?" "No, I'm wild about rat. Especially for lunch." Elizabeth shot a panicky look up through the fronds. Judging by the sun, it was between two and three o'clock, which was late for lunch in most places -- but maybe not in Africa. "It was l-lovely talking to you," she said, starting to back down the twisty vine. "Why are you shivering, rat?" "Am I shivering? I must be ch-chilly." "But it's a hundred and one degrees Fahrenheit. Thirty-eight degrees Celsius." The bird cocked his head to one side. "I hope you're not thinking I'd eat you." "But you said..." "I like the taste of rat, but I wouldn't dream of eating one." "You can't digest them?" Elizabeth said, stopping her descent. "No, I can digest anything," the bird said, giving his feathers a quick preen. "My digestive system is as highly developed as my sense of temperature. I gave up rat out of respect for Maggie." "Maggie? Not Maggie Mad-Rat?" "That's the one." Again Elizabeth nearly tumbled out of the tree -- this time from surprise. "You know Maggie?" "Everyone does." "But she's my daughter!" "Is she really? You must be very proud." "Well, yes," Elizabeth said uncertainly. "She's one of a kind, our Maggie." Elizabeth wondered what this meant -- for the sad truth was, she knew very little about her daughter. She'd given birth to her onboard the same New York-Dakar ship she'd disembarked from that morning, after which she'd spent a month in Dakar nursing the little ratling. This had been very hard on her -- she hadn't spent that long in one place in ages -- and as soon as Maggie was old enough to travel, they'd caught a ship to Belém, Brazil. But when Elizabeth had gotten ready to move on to Trinidad and Tobago, she'd learned that her daughter wasn't as mad for trekking to exotic, faraway places as she was. "I'd like to go home, Mother," Maggie had said. "Home?" "Africa." "But Africa's not your home, sweetie. It's just the first place you happened to put to shore, that's all." "It's home to me. I love the open spaces, and the strong smells, and the animals -- everything." In the end they caught a ship back to Senegal. They found a nice spot for a nest outside Dakar, under the stump of a lightning-struck bakawana tree on top of a hill that was shaped like a giant sleeping rat. But once Elizabeth had helped Maggie settle in, she couldn't hide her restlessness, and Maggie soon sent her on her way, assuring her that she could take care of herself. In the years since, Elizabeth had often meant to drop by for a visit -- after all, Maggie was her only child -- but the temptation to go somewhere new and different had always won out. The Revenge of Randal Reese-Rat . Copyright © by Tor Seidler. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. Excerpted from The Revenge of Randal Reese-Rat by Tor Seidler All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.