Synopsis: Mike Costas has lived his whole life in the Strip, Pittsburgh's warehouse district. His father and uncles run Costa Brothers Fine Foods, and Mike is proud to lend a hand in the family business, which helps feed the city. But it's 1933, and the Depression is bringing tough times to everyone. Even worse, Mike's beloved grandfather has been growing forgetful and confused. Things at school are going downhill, too. Mike is being tormented by a bully named Andy Simms, who calls him Macaroni Boy. When dead rats start appearing on the streets, that name changes to Rat Boy. Mike isn't afraid to use his fists, but first he's got to watch out for Grandpap. Now the old man isn't just forgetting things - he's getting physically sick. Can whatever is killing the rats be hurting Grandpap?
Review: Macaroni Boy is one of those books which does have a storyline, but spends most of its time covering day-to-day occurrences, and whose storyline is a pretty small instance in somebody's life. A lot of this book talks about Mike's school troubles, his family's financial troubles (which is a theme that cannot be ignored in a Great Depression-era novel), and other such things. The storyline itself takes a little while to appear, and when it finally comes around, you are not certain if it's the storyline or just some other unlucky incident in Mike's life.
However, as far as these types of books go, Macaroni Boy is good, due to the time period, the writing style, and the fact that the Author chooses an interesting topic to build her plot around, so once the Reader gets to it, they'll be interested enough to finish it. The Author does a good job of covering the gross parts without so much detail that it will put Readers off of their breakfast (unless the Reader happens to be eating bananas). And she gives the family members personalities that don't grate on your nerves, like most family-member characters do.
All in all, Macaroni Boy is a book that a lot of younger Readers would enjoy.
Overall Rating: JJJ