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*Grk Smells a Rat (The Grk Book)* by Joshua Doder- young readers fantasy book review
Grk Smells a Rat (The Grk Book)
by Joshua Doder
Ages 8-12 224 pages Delacorte November 2009 Hardcover    

Tim and his family are off to India with his friend Max and Maxís sister, Natascha. Max will be participating in the first-ever Vijay Ghat Lawn Tennis under-16 youth league tennis championship.

Timís sidekick is a spunky little dog named GRK. While GRK canít speak, he and Tim have learned to communicate in myriad other ways. When Natascha purchases a pirated copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Tim and GRK are pulled into an adventure that will take him to the dark side of India, to a country where children are stolen from their parents and made to labor for the old lady who carries the blue rat.

All of the children believe that the rat has special powers and knows their movements and thoughts. Threatened by the possibility that the blue rat will kill their parents if they do not do its bidding, the children are used as vendors for pirated books and other wares. Others spend their days locked in warehouses sewing clothing and making purses that are knock-off designer items. When the blue rat is threatened by Tim and Natascha, the old lady takes a desperate step to gain her power once again.

The real hero in this story is GRK, who always seems to be a step ahead of his human friends. This is a delightful story that also teaches the reader about another country and about human rights.
 
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