The Ratcatcher's Daughter

ratcatchers cover

Author: Pamela Rushby

Publisher: Harper Collins

SquiggleMum’s comments:

I’ve met Pam several times at SCBWI meetings in Brisbane, and caught up with her recently at the CYA Conference. Although I don’t usually review novels, I made an exception for this one as I was interested in using it for an English Unit I’ve been writing.

The Ratcatcher’s Daughter is a great read. The story is narrated by Issy, a thirteen year old girl living in Brisbane in 1900. When the Black Death touches not only her town, but her family, Issy steps up to take her father’s job eradicating plague-carrying rats. 

This novel deals with life and death, and also tackles underlying issues of class and gender stereotypes – tying in perfectly with the Australian History Curriculum. I particularly enjoyed the references to newspapers throughout the text, and in the the inclusion of newspaper clippings in the appendix. These provide an opportunity for teachers to discuss the moral, ethical and social dilemmas encountered in propaganda, and also allow for comparison with current media.

The Ratcatcher’s Daughter is one to order for your school library, and you’ll probably want multiple copies if your school is in Brisbane.

Recommended for:

  • Upper Primary classrooms
  • Novel study
  • Exploring character
  • Historical fiction
  • Brisbane local history


squigglemum 5stars

cath pam rushby cya14

* I received a review copy of The Ratcatcher’s Daughter courtesy of Harper Collins. No payment was received for this review and all opinions are my own.