Malcolm at Midnight

“A critter reveals his true self at midnight.”

When Malcolm (a smaller than average rat) arrives as the fifth grade pet at McKenna School, he revels in the attention, the Pop-Tart crumbs, and his new Comf-E-Cube. He also meets the Midnight Academy, a secret society of classroom pets that keeps the nutters (kids) out of trouble. After all, everybody knows, “a lot happens in a school when the teachers aren’t looking.” There’s just one problem. Have you heard? Rats have a terrible reputation! So when the Academy assumes that Malcolm is a mouse, he doesn’t exactly speak up. Then the Academy’s leader, a glasses-wearing iguana named Aggy, disappears and the Academy smells a rat . . . a dirty rat fink, to be specific. Now Malcolm must use all of his ratty persistence to prove his innocence, get Aggy back under her heat lamp—and to find out if it’s possible to be a critter of valor and merit, even if you’re a rat. Illustrated by Brian Lies.


ISBN-13: 978-0547681009 (hardcover) | 978-0544336667 (paperback)

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“First-time author W.H. Beck combines many beloved themes—intelligent animals, secret clubs, middle school melodrama—into a fine-tuned noir mystery….ultimately a story about identity and inclusion, but kids will get that message along with a spoonful of adventure, a smart whodunit and several laughs. This one’s a winner.” —BookPage

” . . . a breathless, exciting tale of adventure, danger, betrayal, twists and surprises. Beck unfolds the events in the form of an anonymous note to teacher Mr. Binney detailing Malcolm’s journey, with clever and sometimes hilarious asides in the form of footnotes. Meditations on the nature of power and friendship are subtly and seamlessly woven within the plot…A rip-roaring tale; even rodent haters will have to like Malcolm.” —Kirkus

“Escapades, humor, and romance weave together in this madcap elementary school adventure from first-time author Beck…A first-rate debut.” —Publishers Weekly

“This creature-feature leavens spookiness with healthy doses of whimsy.” —Booklist

” . . . the perfect elementary read-aloud. Highly recommended.” —Library Media Connection

“Malcolm is indeed a rat of valor and merit. So is his story.” —Richard Peck, Newbery Medalist

“Malcolm at Midnight has all the valor and adventure of The Tale of Despereaux with the wit and antics of Frindle . . . three cheers for the fresh and funny Malcolm!” —Kathryn Erskine, National Book Award winner

Malcolm's adventure continues!