web site hit counter Mousetraps (Exceptional Reading & Language Arts Titles for Upper Grades) - Ebooks PDF Online
Hot Best Seller

Mousetraps (Exceptional Reading & Language Arts Titles for Upper Grades)

Availability: Ready to download

Back in grade school, Maxie and Rick were best friends. Rick would design crazy inventions, and Maxie, the artistic one, would draw them. Then something terrible happened to Rick, and he vanished from her school and her life. Years later, he shows up at Maxie's high school. In some ways he's the same person she once knew. But in other ways - frightening ones - he's very, v Back in grade school, Maxie and Rick were best friends. Rick would design crazy inventions, and Maxie, the artistic one, would draw them. Then something terrible happened to Rick, and he vanished from her school and her life. Years later, he shows up at Maxie's high school. In some ways he's the same person she once knew. But in other ways - frightening ones - he's very, very different . . .


Compare

Back in grade school, Maxie and Rick were best friends. Rick would design crazy inventions, and Maxie, the artistic one, would draw them. Then something terrible happened to Rick, and he vanished from her school and her life. Years later, he shows up at Maxie's high school. In some ways he's the same person she once knew. But in other ways - frightening ones - he's very, v Back in grade school, Maxie and Rick were best friends. Rick would design crazy inventions, and Maxie, the artistic one, would draw them. Then something terrible happened to Rick, and he vanished from her school and her life. Years later, he shows up at Maxie's high school. In some ways he's the same person she once knew. But in other ways - frightening ones - he's very, very different . . .

30 review for Mousetraps (Exceptional Reading & Language Arts Titles for Upper Grades)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Lydia

    What a joy, and yet mind engaging, book this is. Maxie is in high school now, when her 6th grade childhood friend returns. Back then he was "Roddy" but now he goes by Rick. Maxie doesn't know quite how to deal with this, but she must since he is her chemistry lab partner. But the soul of this story is the intricate construct of her family. The weekly dinner at her Grandparents' farm.The coming together of her family which has had to cope with a variety of situations, such as her gay uncles, a chi What a joy, and yet mind engaging, book this is. Maxie is in high school now, when her 6th grade childhood friend returns. Back then he was "Roddy" but now he goes by Rick. Maxie doesn't know quite how to deal with this, but she must since he is her chemistry lab partner. But the soul of this story is the intricate construct of her family. The weekly dinner at her Grandparents' farm.The coming together of her family which has had to cope with a variety of situations, such as her gay uncles, a child who became a father in 9th grade, a single mother, a racially mixed child. Then in Maxie's world, there is her cousin Sean who loves Dexter, a black football star who is black; and her best friend Tay, who seems to be going off track, leaving Maxie confused. But Rick Nash pushes all of Maxie's buttons: she fears him, finds she likes him, wants to be his friend, and then wonders about a love relationship with him. Schmatz packs a lot into less than 200 pages. She writes tight and on task, as she tackles issues of racism, homosexuality, bullying, love, fear, child abuse, and the value of art. I highly recommend this novel, partly because of the interspersed cartoons and hints of humor that modify the extremely heavy subjects of the novel..

  2. 5 out of 5

    Aithen

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I picked this really short novel up at the library because I was dumped there for 5 hours after school yesterday. Reading this book passed the time, but I can't say I liked it or felt more elevated after reading. In fact, there wasn't much good in this book. It started out seeming promising, though rather cliché: a guy comes back to high school, meeting his best friend from grade school again, with whom he'd lost touch since a mysterious incident in middle school. It sounded promising; this, coup I picked this really short novel up at the library because I was dumped there for 5 hours after school yesterday. Reading this book passed the time, but I can't say I liked it or felt more elevated after reading. In fact, there wasn't much good in this book. It started out seeming promising, though rather cliché: a guy comes back to high school, meeting his best friend from grade school again, with whom he'd lost touch since a mysterious incident in middle school. It sounded promising; this, coupled with the fact that many minor characters were gay, drew me into the story at first. Sadly, as I read on, I got more and more frustrated. First of all, I was irked by the random describing at the most dramatic times. I know the main character is an artist, but I swear, when you're having a huge argument with your best friend, you will definitely not stop to look at a robin fly through the air, and how his feathers clash with the bright blue sky. I was really annoyed, because this occured so many times. It seems to me that the author's editor asked her to write more descriptions or something, and that she added them at random. Also, there seemed to be no character development at all, and even less descriptions of the characters. They were anonymous to me, completely unreal and unbelievable. The main character, Maxie, was as flat as a piece of paper. I don't know what she likes, who she is, what she looks like, apart from the fact she loves to draw cartoons. That is the only thing mentioned about her personality! Other utterly flat character: Tay. Even though we were told she was a complete hockey fan, she just abandons her favourite sport early on because she dislikes the coach. Completely unrealistic. I personally have been playing baseball since I was 5, and have continued even when I had notorious jerks as coaches. I never stopped because of that, because I love the sport. When you love something, you don't just abandon it at the first difficulty you run into. There was also Rick, short for Roderick, constantly bullied in school, who was apparently completely psycho? If I wasn't told he was, I would've guessed he was a sad little angel. Bottom line : the way the characters act in the book and the way we are told they are are radically different. I could probably rant on about the characters for hours, but I'll keep it at that. I was also very surprised by all the developpments that took place. But I don't mean surprised in a good way. In fact, the developments made no sense. Since the main object of the book (at least, until page 150) seemed to be the relationship between Rick and Maxie, it was an unpleasant surprise when it turned out Rick actually wanted to blow up the school, got kicked out by his dad, turned out to NOT be gay, and was taken in by Maxie's gay uncles, all within about 40 pages. Honestly, I was lost. This development didn't make any sense at all to me. Which bring on the next reason why I was disappointed : everything was so poorly explained! I didn't understand how Rick turned out to be the psycho. I don't understand how Tay and Maxie would ever be friends in the first place, I don't understand why Maxie pushed her best friend away in sixth grade, and what was the big secret, and in what grade are the characters, and who, what, where, when, why? Whaaaaaaaaat is going on!? I found it excessively odd, though, that although Rick is called a faggot at every possible occasion, and picked on, and singled out, and attacked, Sean, Maxie's gay cousin raised by her gay uncles, was relatively unscathed. Come on. If a straight kid is being picked on for looking gay, how can a real gay kid, raised by two gay men, be pretty much left alone? Logically, this would not happen. There was one little thing I really did like: the relationship between Rick and Maxie when they were still little kids, and the whole mousetrap company they invented. I thought it was an adorable concept, and it made the ending even more dramatic when you saw the relation between the childish games and all the traps Rick set up to ensure the school would blow up. But then he took everything down because... Actually, I don't know why. All these things led to me greatly disliking this book, and it left me kind of mad. I did not like it. But it did entertain me for a few hours, just the time I needed to get my brain off school. It could have been good, if it was better explained. The concept wasn't really innovative, but there were a few elements that could've been exploited to make this much better, and many, many things that could've easily been corrected in order to keep my attention longer. Overall, not so good a read. You can find something better to read, I'm sure you can.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Molly

    This was ok, but I think it tried to deal with too many issues: LGBT, bullying, school shootings, drugs, domestic violence, suicide, teen romance etc. It seemed a little too obviously or conveniently to target all of these "teenage issues". Dialog was for the most part pretty good, and inclusion of cartoons drawn by the narrator worked really well. This was ok, but I think it tried to deal with too many issues: LGBT, bullying, school shootings, drugs, domestic violence, suicide, teen romance etc. It seemed a little too obviously or conveniently to target all of these "teenage issues". Dialog was for the most part pretty good, and inclusion of cartoons drawn by the narrator worked really well.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Niffer

    Meh. Okay, so the book wasn't terrible. I'll admit that. And the actual "deal with the major crisis" bit was pretty well written. But this book really suffered from the "let's include every issue possible" syndrome that I have begun to encounter in a lot of YA books. There's the secret gay romance (and of course one of the members is the star of the football team), and there's the race/white privilege issue, and the whole bullying thing, and the "mystery from the past," and the argument between b Meh. Okay, so the book wasn't terrible. I'll admit that. And the actual "deal with the major crisis" bit was pretty well written. But this book really suffered from the "let's include every issue possible" syndrome that I have begun to encounter in a lot of YA books. There's the secret gay romance (and of course one of the members is the star of the football team), and there's the race/white privilege issue, and the whole bullying thing, and the "mystery from the past," and the argument between besties that leaves the MC wondering if their friendship is over, and parental abuse, and and and.... And it's all crammed into a fairly short book, which means there's really not enough time to delve deeply into any of the issues. There's even a digression into the evils of snowblowers and how we should all be shoveling our walks. On top of all that, the author was so sparse in her descriptions that it was a good 40 pages before I was sure that Maxie was a girl, and the whole race thing totally blindsided me because I don't think she mentioned the race of any of the characters until suddenly it was an "issue." And while we know something major happened years ago to Roddie (now Rick), we never really find out what happened after, where he went, what happened in his life between then and his sudden return, etc. I suspect that a lot of people will find this book really accessible, and that fact combined with the serious issues it addresses makes it a decent little book. But I was left wanting a little bit more.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Felix

    This book really showed me how much words and feelings mattered, in a really realistic and almost scary way.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Aaron

    This book tended to be totally different than I was expecting. Maxie Hawke is reaching a point in her life when things are full of changes. She and her best friend seem to be growing apart when Tay gets involved with a group of snowboarders. In part the hole is filled when her old friend Roddy returns to school. He left in middle school after a horrible homophobic, locker room attack. He is now back, and he prefers to be called Rick instead of Roddy. Their friendship starts as they become lab par This book tended to be totally different than I was expecting. Maxie Hawke is reaching a point in her life when things are full of changes. She and her best friend seem to be growing apart when Tay gets involved with a group of snowboarders. In part the hole is filled when her old friend Roddy returns to school. He left in middle school after a horrible homophobic, locker room attack. He is now back, and he prefers to be called Rick instead of Roddy. Their friendship starts as they become lab partners and chemistry, but it grows as a flirtation grows from two friends hanging out to their possibly being feelings for each other. Unfortunately, old troubles resurface as Rick is still treated as an outsider. Maxie herself has a strong outlet in her cartooning. Not only is it something to keep her busy, but it also seems to allow her to process her thoughts when she is dealing with something difficult. The novel itself is illustrated with "her" work. She also fortunate in the fact that she also has the strong support of her gay cousin Sean, who seems to have avoided being too much of a target even though he is out and was raised by her two Unks, her gay Uncle Max and his boyfriend Greg. I do have to say that I really appreciated that the matter-of-fact presentation of Sean and his dads is nice, though it is offset by the fact that homophobia is so rife in the school as part of the horrible bullying climate. The characters are generally likable, but they read as if they are much younger. Most of them sound like they belong in middle school, particularly when you read their reactions to events and in how they respond. The issues they face are clearly high school in level, as Schmatz does nothing to hide just about every horror that can be faced by high schoolers: biracial couples, closeted teens, school violence, parental abuse, drugs, skipping school. I kept waiting for someone to have anorexia or start cutting themselves because those seem to be the only issues not touched upon. It is not a bad book, but it is definitely not a strong book, either. I did feel fully engaged in the characters and the (many) plots and subplots.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen Hagen

    Mousetraps, by Pat Schmatz, Published by Carolrhoda Books, 2008. The protagonist here is Maxie Hawke, who has just entered highschool, along with her best friend, Tay, her cousin Sean McGinnis, his lover Dexter, and a friend from Maxie’s past with whom she parted under very sad circumstances at the end of grade school, Rick Nash. This is a young adult novel dealing with the cruelty of kids to each other when they don’t understand what is happening, and when they come from families who don’t share Mousetraps, by Pat Schmatz, Published by Carolrhoda Books, 2008. The protagonist here is Maxie Hawke, who has just entered highschool, along with her best friend, Tay, her cousin Sean McGinnis, his lover Dexter, and a friend from Maxie’s past with whom she parted under very sad circumstances at the end of grade school, Rick Nash. This is a young adult novel dealing with the cruelty of kids to each other when they don’t understand what is happening, and when they come from families who don’t share the kind of love that Maxie’s family shares. Rick and his family left town after sixth grade when something terrible happened to Rick, but then his family moved back when it was time for him to attend highschool. He entered the highschool with dread knowing he would meet some of the same kids who tormented him in the past. Maxie was uncomfortable with Rick’s return because she felt guilty about distancing herself from him in sixth grade when the kids started teasing him about being gay-which he actually wasn’t. Now that he was back, he seemed friendly in some ways, and extremely angry in others. She didn’t know what to think. Then Maxie’s cousin, Sean, who has always known he was gay, becomes involved with a starring highschool football player who is gay, and who is definitely in the closet at least until football is over. This tense situation comes to a head when Rick sees another boy tormented as he was. This is a coming of age novel with all the kids reaching an adult understanding of human nature. Pat Schmatz has a talent for portraying the highschool years and the tension of kids in highschool. As Maxie’s mother said at one point: “Oh Maxie, you make me glad I’m not sixteen again.”

  8. 4 out of 5

    Tasha

    Maxie is a person who looks at the world through her cartoon lens as she draws pictures of everything around her. Her family is large, boisterous and close and little has happened to challenge her security. Except that incident with Roddy her friend in grade school whom she abandoned when things got tough. Now Roddy, who calls himself Rick, has returned to the community, high school and Maxie’s life. Maxie is confronted on many fronts by how her own choices and her familial security have kept he Maxie is a person who looks at the world through her cartoon lens as she draws pictures of everything around her. Her family is large, boisterous and close and little has happened to challenge her security. Except that incident with Roddy her friend in grade school whom she abandoned when things got tough. Now Roddy, who calls himself Rick, has returned to the community, high school and Maxie’s life. Maxie is confronted on many fronts by how her own choices and her familial security have kept her blind to many complex situations right in front of her. It is a joy to watch Maxie make realizations and change in believable and interesting ways without losing what makes her herself. Schmatz writes with an intriguing mixture of forthright plot-based writing and occasional glimpses of poetry and musing. Maxie is an intriguing character who is neither pretty nor ugly, girly or tomboyish, lonely or popular. She is what most teens are: somewhere in the middle but also very special and talented in her own way. The book is also very timely in its subject matter. Readers will get to explore the issues of being gay, bullying and violence in a book that takes each of them seriously and offers hope and solutions. The homosexual characters in the book are far from stereotypical and offer a look at how modern families have adapted and grown to not just accept but embrace all family members. This is done very believably and lacks any heavy-handedness. The tone is perfection. Appropriate for ages 14-16, this is a clever, interesting and often surprising novel.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Brooke

    I'm coming out of "I never update anything on Goodreads" mode in order to sing the praises of this really remarkable little book. What, for all intents and purposes, should read like an issue-bomb Lifetime Original Movie bursts out of the mold. Schmatz has managed to incorporate school bullying, homophobia, an intelligent discussion about white privilege, and the defining of an adolescent self into a compulsively readable, suspenseful short novel with a healthy dose of earnestness that (Dare I s I'm coming out of "I never update anything on Goodreads" mode in order to sing the praises of this really remarkable little book. What, for all intents and purposes, should read like an issue-bomb Lifetime Original Movie bursts out of the mold. Schmatz has managed to incorporate school bullying, homophobia, an intelligent discussion about white privilege, and the defining of an adolescent self into a compulsively readable, suspenseful short novel with a healthy dose of earnestness that (Dare I say it and sound like a total cheese? I'll just say it, damn it.) can only be described as having a lot of what could commonly be considered "heart." I was startled to read some other reviews that charge that it fails to tie up loose ends (In particularly, one from Children's Literature in which the reviewer writes that it is unsuccessful in its address of school bullying. WTF? How much more successfully could it be addressed? Bullying sucks, and in its suckiness destroys the lives of lots of kids, which is exactly how it is described in Schmatz's story, vividly and in all its messy forms.) Schmatz traverses honest territory here, at times it is scary and sad. She does it with an understated style and some lovely turns of phrase and while it's certainly not impossible that I'm letting my emotional response to this story get the best of me, I can't believe that I'm so foggy with it that I'm completely missing the mark. This is a good one. And illustrated really well. Really.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Steven R. McEvoy

    Mousetraps revolves around the theme of friendship, but also someone who was harassed at school who seeks revenge. That is a controversial topic to approach, with all of the school attacks that have taken place. And yet Pat Schmatz not only tackles it but does so with a sensitivity and insight few would have. She examines the complex issues around harassment and bullying at school, and the aftermath of it. It follows a young man who returns to the High School where he had been attacked as a chil Mousetraps revolves around the theme of friendship, but also someone who was harassed at school who seeks revenge. That is a controversial topic to approach, with all of the school attacks that have taken place. And yet Pat Schmatz not only tackles it but does so with a sensitivity and insight few would have. She examines the complex issues around harassment and bullying at school, and the aftermath of it. It follows a young man who returns to the High School where he had been attacked as a child by a group of other boys. Pat has stated; "The day Columbine happened, Rick began to talk in my head and I felt as if I knew him. The specifics of the story developed from there, but Rick was fully formed from the beginning. Knowing him the way I did, I couldn't possibly present him in any other way." And in doing so she presents a wounded young man who is working to seek his revenge but in the process starts his own true healing. ... Read the rest of the review and with links to other reviews of books by the authors on my blog Book Reviews and More. And also an author profile and interview with Pat Schmatz.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    Ooh, middle school and high school, such difficult waters to tread. In this book we see life through the eyes of Maxie, a talented cartoonist who is weighing her relationship with a boy named Rick (formally Rod). How did she treat him in middle school? How is she treating him in high school? What defines friendship? What defines love? Rick, unfortunately, is a victim of bullying and more than one horrific act of violence. Maxie comes from a nuclear and extended family that is very loving and incl Ooh, middle school and high school, such difficult waters to tread. In this book we see life through the eyes of Maxie, a talented cartoonist who is weighing her relationship with a boy named Rick (formally Rod). How did she treat him in middle school? How is she treating him in high school? What defines friendship? What defines love? Rick, unfortunately, is a victim of bullying and more than one horrific act of violence. Maxie comes from a nuclear and extended family that is very loving and inclusive. It is hard for her to fathom anything less and she is well insulated from some of the hate around her. How Rick and Maxie work on their relationship makes for a good story. Secondly, we see the evolution of Maxie's relationship with her best friend Tay who is also making changes (some not so positive). Maxie would like to change Tay/Tay would like to change Maxie/Maxie would like to change Rick/Rick would like to change Maxie. You get the drift! I appreciate the realistic and hopeful writing.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Mateo

    This book is about a girl named Maxie in highschool and trying to get a better relation ship with a bullied kid named Rick. She is having hard times getting friendships because she only has like four friends in the school. Tay, her girlfriend, gets too involved in drugs and snowboarding and has enough fun without her. I can relate to Maxie because she has hard times in school and its hard to go through school. We both like to draw cartoons. She has a passion for art but doesn't know that her ca This book is about a girl named Maxie in highschool and trying to get a better relation ship with a bullied kid named Rick. She is having hard times getting friendships because she only has like four friends in the school. Tay, her girlfriend, gets too involved in drugs and snowboarding and has enough fun without her. I can relate to Maxie because she has hard times in school and its hard to go through school. We both like to draw cartoons. She has a passion for art but doesn't know that her cartoons mean more than she thinks. She's good at them. I gave this book 4.5 stars because it was really good and it wasn't difficult to read. It matched my life too. I think that there were some missing pieces in it though. I recommend this to anyone that has problems like suicide. (NOTE: DO NOT READ THIS BOOK IF YOU ARE HOMOPHOBIC THERE IS GAYS IN THIS BOOK)

  13. 5 out of 5

    Lucia

    Maxie meets back up with her old friend Roddy from elementary school. Except he no longer goes by Roddy, he is Rick. He is much taller, quieter, and has some acne issues. However, he still has those ears that turn red hot when he is embarrassed or angry. Becoming lab partners causes them to rekindle their old friendship, but Maxie realizes that there is more going on with Rick than she would have ever suspected. Rick is teetering on the edge, but Maxie isn't sure of which edge. Who knows if anyo Maxie meets back up with her old friend Roddy from elementary school. Except he no longer goes by Roddy, he is Rick. He is much taller, quieter, and has some acne issues. However, he still has those ears that turn red hot when he is embarrassed or angry. Becoming lab partners causes them to rekindle their old friendship, but Maxie realizes that there is more going on with Rick than she would have ever suspected. Rick is teetering on the edge, but Maxie isn't sure of which edge. Who knows if anyone can save him. This is a great title to read for discussion on bullying, family relationships, gay/lesbian teens, and/or teen drug use. Without getting too heavy on any of these subjects it covers many and touches on issues so as to be used as a springboard into deeper discussions.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Abby Johnson

    Max used to be friends with Roddy Nash before something terrible happened to him in middle school and Roddy disappeared. Now they're in high school and Roddy is back, taller and calling himself Rick. Can Max pick up where she left off with him? Max is a cartoonist and an artist and some of Max's cartoons are included in the book, which was a nice way to break up the text a little bit. Max is dealing with a LOT here... her cousin is gay and having issues with his closeted star football player boyf Max used to be friends with Roddy Nash before something terrible happened to him in middle school and Roddy disappeared. Now they're in high school and Roddy is back, taller and calling himself Rick. Can Max pick up where she left off with him? Max is a cartoonist and an artist and some of Max's cartoons are included in the book, which was a nice way to break up the text a little bit. Max is dealing with a LOT here... her cousin is gay and having issues with his closeted star football player boyfriend. Her best friend would rather get high than hang out with her (so she thinks). And now Roddy's back in the picture and Max has to figure things out with him. There's a lot going on in this novel. Max was a likeable character and she grew and changed by the end of the book.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Nance

    What a neat book. I loved the mix of illustration and text. Maxie is a very strong character. I love how she sticks to who she is and doesn't just go off and follow Tay. She is a good friend to Rick. The acceptance of people for who they are is an important theme throughout the text. What a neat book. I loved the mix of illustration and text. Maxie is a very strong character. I love how she sticks to who she is and doesn't just go off and follow Tay. She is a good friend to Rick. The acceptance of people for who they are is an important theme throughout the text.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Clickety

    It took me awhile to pick the book up... and then I did. Finished it in one go. It was believable without being boring, and examined tough issues without being melodramatic or preachy. It just felt REAL.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Dodie

    Alarming look at "the quiet kid" who has a secret hobby - revenge. A recommended read for all teens, particularly those that may have a friend that seems to be harboring angry thoughts that may turn into action. Alarming look at "the quiet kid" who has a secret hobby - revenge. A recommended read for all teens, particularly those that may have a friend that seems to be harboring angry thoughts that may turn into action.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Brenda

    A friend of mine wrote this book and I have to say that it's one that should be read over and over. The subject matter is dead on with what high school students are dealing with today and the way Pat writes it makes me laugh out loud and cry real tears. Love this book A friend of mine wrote this book and I have to say that it's one that should be read over and over. The subject matter is dead on with what high school students are dealing with today and the way Pat writes it makes me laugh out loud and cry real tears. Love this book

  19. 4 out of 5

    Annetta

  20. 5 out of 5

    H

  21. 5 out of 5

    Thanh

  22. 5 out of 5

    Emma

  23. 4 out of 5

    Noah

  24. 5 out of 5

    Damire Harris

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lucianna Wolfstone

  26. 4 out of 5

    Erin Boyington

  27. 4 out of 5

    Drew Ferguson

  28. 4 out of 5

    Lexi C.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kaleb

  30. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.