Ratchet - Review

— feeling panda face
This Journal Belongs to Ratchet - Nancy J. Cavanaugh


If only getting a new life were as easy as getting a new notebook. But it's not.

--page 1


Everything in my life is old and recycled.

--page 2


Dad's motto: "If the Good Lord wanted us to throw everything away, he would've put a Dumpster right outside the Garden of Eden.

--page 3


Ratchet is 11 and she has always been homeschooled. Her mother died years ago and her father has been raising her alone. Since she was six, she has been helping her father with his job - he fixes cars in the garage. Her real name is Rachel, but no one calls her that. Her dad gave her the nickname because she reminds him of a ratchet, the way she helps make all his jobs easier. Ratchet doesn't like being different. She doesn't like that her father doesn't have a job where he wears a suit and goes to an office. She doesn't like being homeschooled. And she doesn't like never having any friends. This year, Ratchet has decided her life is going to change. She is going to make a friend.


This is a enjoyable story about a young girl trying to find her way. The story is told via entries in Ratchet's homeschool writing journal. Ratchet's voice is believable and quite relatable. She worries constantly that she is different and her father is different. She wonders about her mother. She wants to know more about her mother to maybe find out more about herself. And most of all she wants to find a friend. Since she doesn't go to school, making friends is harder than usual, but she is determined. I enjoyed reading Ratchet's story and I was rooting for her all the way. I wanted her to realize that people will like her for who she is and that she doesn't need to change for others.


Recommended to:

Middle grade girls (5th-8th). This is a fun story that I think young girls will relate to and enjoy. A quick, fun read with a positive female character.