June 21, 2011

We Can't All Be Rattlesnakes - by Patrick Jennings

CRUSHER!  What a name for a snake, and perfect for a gopher snake (a non-poisonous rattler look-alike) that kills its prey by strangulation.  The only thing is, this particular snake is a girl, and the doofus who captured her and is holding her prisoner in his bedroom doesn't know the first thing about taking care of creatures.  Crusher's life is suddenly in danger, along with those of her new friends, which include a lizard, a tortoise, and a cute little white mouse, who she decides makes a better friend than snack.  Can Crusher find a way to outsmart the humans and save herself and her friends before it's too late?  It's a nail-biting battle of wits, and I'm not about to give away the surprising ending.

I didn't know what to expect from this book, but it ended up being a sweet but funny fictional memoir told from the snake's point of view.  The author told the story with warmth and humor, but did not shy away from the gruesome reality of a snake's life, making this a very interesting book to read.  The true-to-life descriptions of Gunnar, the teenage video game addict who captured Crusher and his hopeless family will make you laugh, but also cringe.  If you've ever wondered what it would be like to be a reptile, this is the closest you'll come to getting a ground-eye view of a snake's life.

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