Sarah's Stars

Bryan Talbot. The Tale of One Bad Rat
Dark Horse Books  $29.95  ISBN 1-55971-077-5  130 pg.
Reviewed by Sarah, Age 15

Helen is a young homeless girl in the English Lake District, alone and scared with only a small rat as a companion.  Trying desperately to find enough food to get by and forget the horrors of her past, she struggles with everyday life.

As Helen learns to deal with her newly started street life, she must face many dangers and difficult decisions.  Invited to join prostitution to make a living and pushed around by drunken men, it is a horrendous existence for any girl to attempt.  Along with that she has visions, not only of her own past but of another's as well...

I thought that The Tale of One Bad Rat was an excellent graphic novel.  It was not the first one I have read, but the only colour one.  I especially liked that aspect of this book.  It did, however, have fairly mature content so I think that anyone under 14 should have their parents look over it first.  It really brought to my attention the horrors of child abuse and the pains it causes even years later.  I enjoyed reading the last few pages that explained the story and how it was written, along with the devastating things that happen to girls who have to live through such abuse.

I think that The Tale of One Bad Rat  definitely deserves five stars, as a graphic novel and as an abuse awareness read.

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