We Can’t All Be Rattlesnakes by Patrick Jennings. Unfortunately one day, a wild female gopher snake is captured by a preteen boy named Gunnar, who mistakes her for a male rattlesnake. He adds her to the “zoo” in his room which also includes a tortoise, a lizard, and a tarantula. “Crusher”, as Gunnar calls her , quickly learns two things: one, that she can mentally communicate with the other animals and two, that she is going to have to think of a way to escape as soon as possible! As the days go on, as much as she thinks that Gunnar is a horrible boy who is mean to animals, she then sees the way his parents treat him and actually begins to feel a little sorry for him. At least he feeds her, which isn’t always the case with the other “pets”, but she can’t bring herself to eat the live mouse he drops in her terrarium since she didn’t have to catch him herself. Soon, she even sort of befriends the mouse by playing with him and calling him “Breakfast”. Will Crusher ever escape? And if so, what will happen to Breakfast and the other “pets”? You’ll have to read the book to find out!
Book reviewed by Julie D., Elementary School Liaison