Every once in awhile I run across a reference to a children’s or young adult book that attracts me. You see, I was once a junior high librarian before I went on to bigger (but possibly not better) things. I check to see if the library has a copy and put a hold on it. Thus the wonderful short book Walter, the Story of a Rat by Barbara Wersba with illustrations by Donna Diamond. The book is only 70 pages long and can easily be read in one or two sittings. Walter is an elderly rat who was born with the ability to read. He’s read an amazing array of books; The Way of All Flesh, Franny and Zooey, The Little Foxes, This Raging Desire. He has moved into the house of a reclusive lady, Miss Pomeroy, who writes adventure thrillers for children. The only trouble is that they feature a mouse, a secret agent mouse named Bromberg who works for the government. Walter wonders why all these writers think mice are so cute and never write a story with a rat as protagonist. He finally decides to reveal himself and leaves the woman a note. "I’m a rat and I’ve been living in your house for sometime." Her reply is short: "I know." Thus begins a correspondence between the writer and the rat. I found the story and the illustration absolutely charming and would recommend it to anyone, child or adult. The half hour or so spent in reading this book will not be time wasted.