A heartwarming and fun adventure, Iris Moffat
Rafferty Ferret Ratbag
April 05, 2022
Rafferty Ferret Ratbag by Sherryl Jordan is a heartwarming story about friendship, desperation and resilience. The main character, Rafferty Ferret, is alone, lost and craving food. When a night robbery goes wrong, he gets himself stuck in a job. Rat catching. From then on, he makes up tricks, schemes and ruthless plans to survive. He seems to find a way to always get out of trouble. But when something big and terrifying happens, Rafferty’s luck almost runs out.
This book starts off with a gripping opening. I straight away empathised with the main character. Rafferty is described as a resilient, desperate but clever orphan. He always has plans stuck up his sleeves. As well as being a rat catcher, Rafferty seems to have a thing about rats. He always finds a way to not kill them. I think this adds a cool layer to the book. Who would have thought an animal catcher would actually like the animals?
I think the author’s aim is to leave a message about resilience – of thinking about your actions and not judging people for their looks. They definitely achieved it. There are a lot of other messages in the book also. As well as being a gripping, relatable book, it also has humour. All through the story I couldn’t stop smiling and chuckling. Whether it’s when Rafferty is rat catching, or exploring the streets, there is always something to laugh about.
I loved the way the book is written, and the language makes you feel like you are there with Rafferty. Jordan uses sentences like “For the rest of the day, and all through that night, the storm raged. At times, the boys felt as if the world had become a wild beast tearing at their tiny shelter. Thunder rolled and lightning sizzled across the moor.” The author also makes the characters come to life. It seems like Rafferty is a real person.
I would recommend this book to readers aged 12 and up, although some 10/11-year-olds who love reading could definitely enjoy this. I love fantasy books, but even though this is not a fantasy book I still loved it a lot! Ever since I started this, I couldn’t put it down. The writing is at a fine pace, and is a good light read but still interesting enough. Each chapter seems to have its own different story, and they all weave together at the end.
Rafferty Ferret Ratbag is in third person speech, even though sometimes it will say what Rafferty is thinking. Here’s an example: “Just one thought played in Rafferty’s frenzied mind, over and over: I shouldn’t be here! I shouldn’t be here!”
It is also not too predictable, which I enjoyed a lot. The structure of the book is good because whenever a chapter ends you always want to read a new one.
This book was altogether fun, heartwarming and laugh out loud. I would love to read it again and I totally recommend it for anyone around my age.
- Iris is 12 and lives in Nelson.