Reviewed by: Erica
Who says that dogs are a man’s best friend? How about a raccoon? On the Spring day in 1918 that Sterling North, from the novel Rascal by Sterling North, finds a young raccoon without its mother, his whole life changes. Sterling has lots of pets: woodchucks, crows, and skunks; but his raccoon, whom he calls Rascal, proves himself to be something special. The two do everything together; they swim, fish, explore, and cuddle together. All Sterling wants is for their lives to continue on like that, so who would’ve thought it would be him to decide that things must change? He realizes that his raccoon would be happier in his natural home in the outdoors, than as a pet. Can Sterling and Rascal overcome the problems and dangers this world has to offer, or will the unlikely friendship come to an end? To find out, they must trust their instincts, show patience, maturity, and mostly love.
Let me just say that this book nearly moved me to tears. It was so beautifully written and the setting and characters were very well described. One reason I was so amazed by Rascal was because I can relate to Sterling’s love for animals and being outdoors. We both love every single kind of animal, and I will say, I’m a real softy when it comes to lovable, cuddly, furry, creatures like Rascal. I really enjoyed reading about Sterling and Rascal’s adventures together and I could just feel their love for each other. I honestly think that their friendship was my favorite part of this book. During hard times, they were always there for each other no matter what. Even if one of them was a raccoon and the other a human, I thought that they had a better relationship than many people do. Rascal was amazing, and I think animal lovers everywhere will agree with me.
I recommend this novel to readers in fifth grade and older, due to some of the large vocabulary words. I also, of course, recommend this book to people who adore animals. I definitely think others will agree with me that Rascal is very moving.