Cover image for Class pets : the ghost of P.S. 42
Class pets : the ghost of P.S. 42
Asch, Frank.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, [2002]

Physical Description:
88 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Molly and her brother Jake are two mice in search of the perfect home when they enter P.S. #42, but they soon discover that the school has as many dangers as wonders--including the ghost of a class pet.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 4.0 2.0 65662.
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

On Order



Molly and Jake are brother and sister mice looking for a new place to live when they discover Public School 42. Molly manages to squeeze through a crack in the foundation while Jake, too plump to make it through, gets stuck on the playground with a nasty cat called Big Gray. While Jake fights for his life, Molly meets Miss Clark's class pets. Gino, a gentle and kind hamster, is mysterious to say the least. he introduces Molly to Peaches, a plump white abbit who used to belong to a magician, and a wacky pair of lovebirds named Prince and Princess. While Jake battles an owl, and barely excapes death by fire, Molly thinks she's found her dream home. Maybe one day she might even do the impossible and become a class pet herself. But she hasn't yet tangled with the bully Big Gray. And how will Jake react when he finds out that P.S. 42 is haunted?

Author Notes

Frank Asch was born on August 6, 1946, in Somerville, NJ. In 1969 he graduated from Cooper Union in New York City with a Bachelor's of Fine Arts. Since then he has taught in both the United States and abroad. He has also organized art, writing, puppetry, and creative dramatics workshops for children all over the country.

In 1976 Mr. Asch and his wife started their own children's theatre called The Belly Buttons. In l989, Frank Asch and Vladimir Vagin published Here Comes the Cat!, the first Russian/American collaboration on a children's book, which has since received the Russian National Book Award. Mr. Asch also joined forces with naturalist and photographer Ted Levin for a series of poetry books for children. In 1996, their first book, Sawgrass Poems, was named to the John Burroughs List of Nature Books for Young Readers. Like a Windy Day was released in fall 2002. It was the fourth and last book in the "element" book series that already includes The Earth and I, Water, and The Sun Is My Favorite Star.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 2^-4. This first chapter book in the new Class Pets series introduces sibling mice Moly and Jake, who have left their parents' cozy home in an Italian deli to make a place of their own. When they find their way to a school, their adventures split. Molly ventures into a classroom filled with a wild assortment of pets, including a hamster; and Jake has several terrifying encounters before rejoining Molly. The story is esoteric in places: the hamster turns out to be a ghost who conjures deceased animals via the Other World Web, and a classroom bunny teaches the mice how to meditate (although he just calls it "listening" ). But Asch deftly blends the otherworldly elements into the story with vivid, witty language; plenty of action; and memorable characters, nicely depicted in Kanzler's pencil sketches. Readers will eagerly await the series' next installment. --Gillian Engberg

Publisher's Weekly Review

In a promising start to the Class Pets chapter book series, Asch (the Moonbear series) delivers an agreeable romp of a tale about brother and sister mice in search of a new home. Molly and Jake have come of age, and with Deli Dan's crowded with relatives, it's time for them to leave the nest. They consider living in a church ("What would we eat? Bibles?") and a funeral parlor, before finally settling into an elementary school. The action splits at this point, and the chapters alternate between the two siblings, as Molly slips inside through a crack to explore while chubby Jake has to find an alternate route. In Miss Clark's third grade classroom, Molly meets Gino, a hamster ghost, a white rabbit named Peaches and two lovebirds (Prince and Princess). Meanwhile, outside, Jake is busy avoiding the clutches of a hungry cat and a predatory owl. Eventually the two plotlines come together in a most satisfactory cat-and-mouse chase-with an ending that ensures Molly and Jake will be back for a second installment. Frequently fired wisecracks ("Look what the cat dragged in-himself!" quips Peaches) balance quieter descriptive passages ("When you're young, life stretches out like an endless ball of yarn. Then one day you realize it all went by in the blink of an eye!" Gino says). Kanzler's softly shaded drawings play up Gino's ghostliness and add atmospheric details that help cement the book's appeal for the elementary crowd. Ages 7-11. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 2-4-Two young mice are searching for a place to live. When Molly discovers a way into P.S. 42, she and her imaginative brother encounter several interesting creatures both inside and outside the building. There is Big Gray, the menacing neighborhood cat, and class pets Peaches, a demure rabbit; Prince and Princess, dramatic lovebirds; and Gino, a ghost hamster who died of old age. He guides Molly through the school and, along the way, fills her in on the details of his demise and the workings of an educational institution. In 19 short chapters, Jake and Molly find out about life in a school, caring children, loyalty, ghosts, and survival. A few full-page black-and-white drawings of the creatures' escapades are scattered throughout. Although the hamster as ghost is a clever twist, the plot is rather complicated, the characters are not fully developed, and the dialogue doesn't flow easily. This title is too long for most second graders and too precious for older students. Stick with Dick King-Smith's School Mouse (Hyperion, 1995) for a similar but more satisfying read.-Beth Tegart, Oneida City Schools, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



Chapter 2 In the rear of the vacant lot stood a tall wooden fence. Molly slipped under with ease, but Jake had to search around for a knothole large enough for him to squeeze through. On the other side they found themselves standing on blacktop beside a swing set. Next to the swing set was a slide and a set of monkey bars. "What kind of weird stuff is this?" wondered Jake out loud. Molly sniffed the base of the monkey bars. "Smells like kid sweat." She sniffed again. "Kid sweat, chewing gum, and soda pop." "And what's that?" Jake pointed toward an old brick building with large windows and white trim. "Kind of big to be a house," said Molly. "Maybe it's a store?" The letters and numbers above the front door read: P.S. 42. "Can you read that?" asked Jake. Molly had taught herself how to read a few labels by watching Deli Dan unpack cartons of food in the basement. "All I see is a P and an S," she replied after some careful thought. "The P could mean pickles, pork, or popcorn. And the S could stand for soup, sauerkraut, or sandwiches. But I have no idea what those numbers are all about." "I love popcorn," said Jake. "I say we go inside and check this place out." At the corner of P.S. 42 Molly found a crack in the cement block foundation. The crack was just a little larger than her head. "Never go where your whiskers aren't welcome," said Jake, quoting their poppa. "My whiskers fit fine," replied Molly. "It's the rest of me I'm worried about." "Here, let me give you a push," said Jake, and he shoved his sister through the crack. Once inside, Molly called out, "It's nice and warm in here. I think I'm in some kind of kitchen." "Smells good to me!" squeaked Jake. "How's the rat situation?" Molly sniffed and sniffed again. "No scent of rats whatsoever!" she reported. "Good, I'll be right there!" said Jake, and he stuck his nose into the crack. Molly waited for a full minute before she grew impatient. "What's taking so long?" she called through the crack. "I want to go exploring." "I can't fit," confessed Jake after his third try. "Do you want me to come out?" offered Molly. "No, don't bother," grumbled Jake. "I'll find some other way in and meet you on the inside." "Oh, Jake, do be careful," warned Molly. "That goes double for you, Sis," replied Jake. Text copyright © 2002 by Frank Asch Illustrations copyright © 2002 by John Kanzler