We Can't All Be Rattlesnakes
A story told from the animal's point of view, a female gopher snake is captured by a "filthy, fleshy human child" named Gunnar. The boy calls the snake "Crusher," and puts his new "pet" in a terrarium in his bedroom, next to cages occupied by wild animals that Gunnar has captured but since lost interest in. While looking for her chance to escape, Crusher observes Gunnar and his habits, his family, friends, and his love of video games. She also finds she can communicate with the other captive animals through telepathy, and even befriends a mouse which Gunnar calls "Breakfast." Her plan to escape becomes more complicated when she realizes that she's begun to care about her fellow creatures, including Gunnar. Will she ever regain her freedom? Or is she turning into a true pet? Crusher's commentary on human nature is full of wry humor and food for thought, and facts about snakes are woven well into the plot.
Recommended for Grades 4-6 (ages 9-12).
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