Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group

Rotten Ralph Rotten Readers

Rotten Ralph is Sarah’s rotten red cat, and in this appealing series of early chapter books, he makes reading fun for children.

Books in this Series

Rotten Ralph's Rotten Family
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Rotten Ralph's Rotten Family

Rotten Ralph Rotten Readers (Volume 6)
Jack Gantos; pictures by Nicole Rubel
FSG Books for Young Readers

Rotten Ralph's owner, Sarah, is fed up with her red rascal's behavior. Ralph is tired of Sarah trying to change him. He misses his cat family, which never made him alter a thing about himself. But...

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Three Strikes for Rotten Ralph
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Three Strikes for Rotten Ralph

Rotten Ralph Rotten Readers (Volume 5)
Jack Gantos; pictures by Nicole Rubel
FSG Books for Young Readers

On the Flying Squirrels baseball team, Rotten Ralph dreams of becoming a superstar but ignores Sarah's example of working hard to learn the fundamentals.

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Best in Show for Rotten Ralph
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Best in Show for Rotten Ralph

Rotten Ralph Rotten Readers (Volume 4)
Jack Gantos; Pictures by Nicole Rubel
FSG Books for Young Readers

"To thine own self be true."


The cat show is coming to town and Rotten Ralph is hungry for glory – and desperate to defeat his perfect cousin Percy, whatever it takes. According...

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Rotten Ralph Feels Rotten
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Rotten Ralph Feels Rotten

Rotten Ralph Rotten Readers (Volume 3)
Jack Gantos; Pictures by Nicole Rubel
FSG Books for Young Readers

Rotten to the core!

When Sarah serves up a healthy, home-cooked meal chock-full of fruits and vegetables, Rotten Ralph turns up his nose and refuses to eat. With those overflowing, back-alley...

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Practice Makes Perfect for Rotten Ralph
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Practice Makes Perfect for Rotten Ralph

Rotten Ralph Rotten Readers (Volume 2)
Jack Gantos; Pictures by Nicole Rubel
Square Fish

"Themes of jealousy, boasting, cheating, and getting one's comeuppance are all touched on ij this second book in the easy-reader series." --School Library Journal

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Rotten Ralph Helps Out
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Rotten Ralph Helps Out

Rotten Ralph Rotten Readers (Volume 1)
Jack Gantos; Illustrated by Nicole Rubel
Square Fish

Rotten Ralph's attempts to help Sarah with her school project on ancient Egypt are now repackaged in a brand-new format for beginning readers.

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About the author

Jack Gantos

Jack Gantos has written books for people of all ages, from picture books and middle-grade fiction to novels for young adults and adults. His works include Hole in My Life, a memoir that won the Michael L. Printz and Robert F. Sibert Honors, Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key, a National Book Award Finalist, and Joey Pigza Loses Control, a Newbery Honor book. Jack was born in Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania, and when he was seven, his family moved to Barbados. He attended British schools, where there was much emphasis on reading and writing, and teachers made learning a lot of fun. When the family moved to south Florida, he found his new classmates uninterested in their studies, and his teachers spent most of their time disciplining students. Jack retreated to an abandoned bookmobile (three flat tires and empty of books) parked out behind the sandy ball field, and read for most of the day. The seeds for Jack’s writing career were planted in sixth grade, when he read his sister’s diary and decided he could write better than she could. He begged his mother for a diary and began to collect anecdotes he overheard at school, mostly from standing outside the teachers’ lounge and listening to their lunchtime conversations. Later, he incorporated many of these anecdotes into stories.  While in college, he and an illustrator friend, Nicole Rubel, began working on picture books. After a series of well-deserved rejections, they published their first book, Rotten Ralph, in 1976. It was a success and the beginning of Jack’s career as a professional writer. Jack continued to write children’s books and began to teach courses in children’s book writing and children’s literature. He developed the master’s degree program in children’s book writing at Emerson College and the Vermont College M.F.A. program for children’s book writers. He now devotes his time to writing books and educational speaking. He lives with his family in Boston, Massachusetts.

Nicole Rubel

Jack Gantos and Nicole Rubel have created the Rotten Ralph Rotten Readers, which launched in 2001 with Rotten Ralph Helps Out. Ms. Rubel lives in Aurora, Oregon.