Three Cheers for Errol by Babette Cole
I received this book as a present many, many (many!) years ago when I was young. I still like it to this day, and I’m glad I have the chance to share it with Water Boy.
Errol the Rat is not a straight A student, and he comes from an inner-city school that isn’t too great. He’s barely a C student most of the time, and people make fun of him and call him dumb. But the one thing he is good at, is Sports! When the annual Ratatholon comes around, Errol is chosen to represent his school, facing off against the best student rat-athletes in the city. Of course, those athletes have other plans for Errol, leading him to hurt himself. But Errol finds a way to use his mind to overcome his physical setbacks and show them all!
I love books about sports, first of all. I think kids today need that extra push to get outside and play, and if it’s through a book about rat athletes, so be it. This book has some serious themes (the opponent rats really do physically injure Errol) but it’s also about being physically as well as mentally smart. There can not be enough books out there about finding new ways to appreciate and use your body, and to think in new and different ways when trying to solve difficult problems.
This book has simple sentences and is a quick read. The pictures are brightly colored and the rat characters are fun to look at. I would recommend it for any age reader, although older children might find it too quick a read.