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Water Rat
Written by Marnie Laird

USA Today, 10/1/1998
"Water Rat, by Marnie Laird, is an exciting tale about an incursion of pirates in tidewater Delaware in 1748. Middle-school readers can revel in the swashbuckling aspects of the novel, based on true events, without even noticing all the details they are picking up about life in the colonies 250 years ago."

Washington State Young Adult Review Group, 2/1/2000
"Laird does a good job of giving Water Rat a sense of eighteenth-century Delaware, and in Matt a strong, believable character: a fourteen-year-old determined to survive in a world where everything seems to be stacked against him. . . . [F]or younger teens who enjoy a good adventure with a sympathetic hero."

Bloomsbury Review, 5/1/1999
"Fourteen-year-old Matt is the Water Rat, a boy orphaned and sent to work in a port-side tavern for his keep. Set on the Delaware coast in 1748, the story offers a touching look at the tensions of life in Colonial America, complete with pirates and a growing disaffection for British rule. Shunned by his peers and beaten by the tavern owner, Matt is forced to run away, straight into the arms of an adventure from which he emerges with self-confidence and a new understanding of what it is to be loved and cared for."