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Rats Did Not Cause The Plague! And Their Long Tails Are Extraordinary

Misunderstood: Why the Humble Rat May Be Your Best Pet EVER
Farrar Straus Giroux

As much a moving memoir as it is an amusing pet manual, Misunderstood is a unique nonfiction book for teens and tweens about domesticated rats in general and a wonderful rat named Iris in particular.

Brimming with smarts and energy just like its furry subjects, Rachel Toor's text blends history and science with profiles of interesting people and autobiographical anecdotes as it joyfully sets the record straight about why this reviled creature is actually a most amazing species. Readers will come away with a deeper understanding and appreciation of domestic rats—and may be convinced to adopt one themselves.

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Rachel Toor
Rachel Toor and Helen

Rachel Toor has been an admissions officer at Duke University, a high school cross country coach at the North Carolina School of Science and Math, an SAT prep tutor, and she currently teaches writing at Eastern Washington University in Spokane. A featured columnist for The Chronicle of Higher Education , she is the author of four previous books including the YA novel On the Road to Find Out.

Chérie Newman is an arts and humanities producer and on-air host for Montana Public Radio, and a freelance writer. Her weekly literary program, The Write Question, is broadcast on several public radio stations, and available online at PRX.org and MTPR.org.