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Ratburger is a children's book written by David Walliams and illustrated by Tony Ross. It is the fifth book by Walliams, a television comedian who is best known for Little Britain and Come Fly with Me.
The story follows a young girl called Zoe, whose mother died when she was a baby. Now she lives in a council flat with her Dad and lazy stepmother, Sheila. Zoe has a lot of things to be unhappy about, including the school bully Tina Trotts, her dead hamster Gingernut and the dastardly Burger Man Burt.
One day, after her hamster Gingernut's death, she adopts a rat from her bedroom, and sneaks him into the toilets at her school. The rat, whom Zoe has named Armitage, walks onto Zoe's head (in class!) and the history teacher Miss Midge suspends her immediately. Zoe goes to see Raj, telling him everything. Raj is shocked to learn of Zoe's suspension and is scared of Armitage, advising Zoe to set him free, telling her "it is the right thing to do for Armitage". Zoe does so, but Armitage comes back, convincing her that he wants to live with her.
Sheila learns of Zoe's suspension and tries to force her to give Armitage to the blind burger seller Burt(who at which point is pretending to be a pest-control man). Zoe denies having a rat, but Burt snifs him out, and Zoe is sent to her room. Trying to escape, she ends up sharing her room with Tina Trotts.
Zoe gets out of her room and spies on Burt, discovering that his burgers are made out of rats, in her shock giving herself in. Burt finds out and eventually tells her why he hates rats: when he worked at a laboratory, he was bitten by a rat. The rat gave him such a shock that he spills some very strong acid onto his eyes, burning them out. Zoe runs to get her dad who visits a pub called The Executioner & Axe. Zoe's dad comes with Zoe, and they both run to the warehouse where Burt keeps his rats and burger-making machine. However, not recognizing Armitage in all of the trapped rats, Zoe and her dad free every rat, but Burt and Sheila arrive with Armitage. Burt and Dad fight, while Sheila arrives to help Burt finish Dad off. Both lose balance and fall in the machine, and Burt inadvertently throws Armitage in the air, permitting Dad to catch him. Zoe helps Dad up while the rats eat the Burt and Sheila burgers, and take Burt's van, replacing it by an ice cream van named Armitage's Ices. Going back in her room, Zoe finds Tina Trotts being yelled at by her father, and apologizes to Zoe for bullying her. The children in the building eat the ice cream Dad made.
The next day, Zoe's suspension is lifted and she appears at the school talent show with Tina Trotts.
Key points with others David Walliams novels
- Ratburger shares numerous key points with Billionaire Boy: such as the canteen food being disgusting and the History teacher being an antagonist.
- Ratburger also shares a key point with Mr Stink: just like Chloe Crumb, Zoe's only allies are Raj and her father.