Macaroni Boy by Katherine Ayres

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Mike Costa has lived his whole life in The Strip, Pittsburgh’s warehouse and factory district. His father’s large Italian family runs a food wholesale business, and Mike is used to the sounds and smells of men working all night to unload the trains that feed the city. But it’s 1933, and the Depression is bringing tough times to everyone. Money problems only add to Mike’s worries about his beloved grandfather, who is getting forgetful and confused.

Mike is being tormented at school by a loud-mouth named Andy Simms, who calls Mike “Macaroni Boy.” But when dead rats start appearing in the streets, that name changes to “Rat Boy.” Around the same time Mike notices that his grandfather is also physically sick. Can whatever is killing the rats be hurting Mike’s grandfather? It’s a mystery Mike urgently needs to solve in this atmospheric, fast-paced story filled with vibrant period detail.

From the Hardcover edition.

About Katherine Ayres

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Katherine Ayres is the author of A LONG WAYand MATTHEW'STRUCK. She says, "For me as a child, strawberries equaled summer. The best dinners were those with sweet corn and tomatoes fresh from my grandfather's garden." She lives in Pittsburgh. Nadine Bernard Westcott has illustrated more than one hundred books for children. UP, DOWN, AND AROUND reminds her of her husband's garden: "By the end of summer, the squash, ornamental gourds, and pumpkins have taken over!" She lives in Nantucket, Massachusetts.
Published September 4, 2009 by Yearling. 194 pages
Genres: Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Pinning her narrative to a few key historical details, Ayres makes the Pittsburgh Strip during the Depression the setting for Mike Costa’s need to find out why his grandfather is so sick.

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Publishers Weekly

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Ayres (Voices at Whisper Bend) takes to the gritty streets of the Strip, the warehouse district in Pittsburgh, for a Depression-era tale steeped in mystery and exploring family ties.

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