The Books

The Nine Lives of Rotten Ralph

by Jack Gantos

Hardcover, 32 pages

Published by HMH Books for Young Readers (2009-04-20)

List Price: $16.00

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Amazon Description

Poor Rotten Ralph. His health just isn't what it used to be. Thanks to his rotten ways, he's down to the very last of his nine lives!"One more slip and he'll be gone forever," warns the vet.Sarah, Ralph's doting owner, is fiercely determined to keep her cat safe. But how much coddling can Ralph take before he has to do something totally and utterly rotten?In this ninth tale about the most delightfully disobedient cat in town, being naughty has never looked so good to Rotten Ralph. But then again, after a hard day's rotten work, neither does the warmth and safety of Sarah's lap!

One Potato Review

A retrospective, partly, of Ralph’s greatest hits, or anyway his punishments - caught by the tail running wild through Pierre’s Poodle Parlor, a janitor’s job at the circus, kicking and screaming in the self-control room at Mr. Fred’s cat obedience school - framed against the shocking diagnosis of Ralph’s mortality. All nine lives dwindling momentously to one, Ralph becomes resigned to getting pushed around in a baby buggy, and gulping Vital Vitamins. Of course this speaks to children who are always being strapped into things, and fussed about, and made to eat healthy, but it’s also potentially compelling to those of us who are at least a little anxious about our own obsolescence. Don’t worry: he comes to his senses eventually, even if this is the end of the road. Featuring his ghostly (misleading) appearance among the constellations, and a couple of electric eels to save the day. 

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