There’s a Rat in My Soup

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Title: There's a Rat in My Soup: Could You Survive Medieval Food?
Published by: Enslow Publishers
ISBN13: 978-0-7660-3785-4

Grades: 3-5

Author’s Note

This book is one of the grossest in “Ye Yucky Middles Ages” series . . . and one of the most fun to write! From roasted peacocks with their colorful feathers glued on to their skin to slimy eel pie, I dug up some of the yuckiest fare the Middle Ages had to offer. Of course, in medieval times, these were considered delicious delights. Many other juicy details include medieval table manners, fabulous (or freaky) feasts, and yes, rodents roaming the castle! Many recipes and tales were gleaned from medieval manuscripts. Gerald Kelley’s side-splitting illustrations will keep your tummy in knots.


“Enjoy reading about mouth-watering “delicacies” like roast swan, pottage (think gruel), blackbird-filled pies and more in this delightful romp through medieval cooking. In 48 pages, Stiefel covers royal food and feasts, as well as the peasants’ plight. [Stiefel] also looks at the constant threat of starvation that plagued the people of the Middle Ages. This gross-out book is gobs of fun. Stiefel’s prose is delightfully descriptive. Her conversational and humorous voice truly put the “story” in this history. Yet, at the same time, it’s clear this is a well-researched text. Stiefel includes quotes from people who lived in the Middle Ages, as well as other tidbits, like the shopping list for a 6,000-person feast. Gerald Kelley’s lively illustrations are a perfect match for the text, keeping the book fun and engaging for young readers. You’ll find it hard to put down.”

—Kirsten Larson,