Eleven-year-old Drew Montgomery has not, does not, and will not ever want a stupid old rabbit. All they do is sit in their cages, eat carrots, and poop. Then his annoying little sister blackmails him into hiding a bunny in his closet. She knows what really happened to his “stolen” bike and she’s threatening to tell. Now Drew’s in a real jam. If his “No pets!” parents find the rabbit or, worse, his sister blabs the truth, he’ll be grounded till grade seven for sure.
And if that’s not enough trouble, two girls at school drag him into a prank war that goes from bad to worse–and it’s all the rabbit’s fault. Plus, the weirdest girl in his class wants to be his science partner. If she tells him she wants to be his girlfriend, he just knows he’s gonna die.
Drew must find a way to outwit the mean girls, wiggle out of the blackmail deal, and get rid of the rabbit before it destroys his bedroom and his life.
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
A few elements came together at the right time to inspire this book. I’d wanted to write a middle grade book for a while, but didn’t have any concrete ideas. Then, a few years ago, we rescued an unwanted bunny from a neighbour. Until then, I’d always thought rabbit were dumb and boring (much like my main character, Drew), but it wasn’t long until I began to see exactly how smart, fun, and full of personality rabbits really are. The title came shortly after that. My youngest son was only too happy to let Gus, our bunny, nibble the corners of his homework just so he could tell his teacher, “The rabbit ate my homework.” Once I had a title, the rest of the story came together quickly.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
I knew I wanted the main character to be a boy and I knew I wanted him to have the same attitude towards rabbits that I’d had: rabbits are dumb. But other than that, Drew pretty much came to life fully formed. I also knew he needed a catalyst. So an annoying, but also smart and savvy little sister, was the perfect foil for him. Hence Libby.
Most Sundays, I’d rather sleep in. But today when I open my eyes and see the crooked square of sunlight reflecting on the wall over my head, I practically bounce out of bed. For weeks Dad has been promising to take me mountain biking on the trails in the woods behind our house, but every weekend there’s been something to stop it from happening. Dad’s been too busy. Too tired. Too grumpy. And last week it poured rain all weekend. Always something.
But Friday night, when he got home from work, Dad promised if the weather was good this weekend, we’d go bike riding. Well, taking a look out the window at the bright blue sky, I’d say today is about perfect. The heavy, grey rain clouds have broken up into fluffy cotton puffs and the sun is shining. Actually shining.
I dress quickly and race downstairs to grab some breakfast.
“What is that giant burning orb in the sky?” Mom says when I walk into the kitchen. She squints out the window like she’s never seen the sun before.
“I don’t know.” I laugh, even though I’ve heard the joke too many times. “We better call The Weather Network and ask.”
While Mom empties the dishwasher, I grab a bowl and fill it with Cheerios and milk.
I’m just sitting down to eat when Dad walks into the kitchen and beelines for the coffee maker. He’s dressed in the holey old shorts and tee shirt he wears to do yard work.
“I thought we were going mountain bike riding,” I say, staring at my Cheerios.
“The lawn’s not going to cut itself, Drew.”
I slump down in my chair.
“Look, we’ll go after lunch, okay?”
“Sure.” I tap the Cheerios bobbing in my bowl with my spoon.
“I have an idea,” Mom says. “Why don’t you help your dad? I’m sure there’s something you can do. Rake the yard? Pull some weeds? ‘Many hands make light work.'”
“It’s okay, Jess,” Dad says. “I’ll take care of it.” He slurps his coffee and heads out to the garage.
Mom gives me a reassuring smile. “He shouldn’t be too long, Drew. There’s still lots of time to go bike riding.”
I go into the living room and hunt for the remote control between the couch cushions. I can hear my annoying six-year-old sister, Libby, upstairs singing “Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo” at the top of her lungs. Outside, I hear the lawnmower roar to life. I find the remote and flip on the TV, turning it up loud enough to tune both sounds out.
Rachel Elizabeth Cole writes a mix of genres–from heartfelt literary and women’s fiction, to laugh-out-loud chick-lit, to quirky contemporary middle grade fiction. Her short stories have appeared in literary magazines both online and in print, including Cahoots, Literary Mama, and Flashquake.
When she’s not writing, Rachel works as a graphic designer specializing in book covers. Her favourite season is autumn, she prefers tea to coffee, and she wishes every morning began at ten a.m.
Even though she hates the rain, Rachel lives just outside Vancouver, British Columbia, with her husband, their two sons, and two very spoiled house rabbits.
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