- Simon & Schuster UK |
- 320 pages |
- ISBN 9781471121869 |
- June 2014 |
I am an unashamed devotee of books with mouse characters – Mrs Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, The Tale of Desperaux, Mouse Mansion, Stuart Little, The Churchmice and of course the Redwall series – so this newly discovered title was a complete delight to me.
Mouseheart is the first in an ongoing series by Lisa Fiedler, who has written several children’s novels.
Set under Brooklyn in a subterranean labyrinth of tunnels and forgotten human debris, an explosive and epic battle rages between species.
Hopper is an ordinary pet shop mouse or so it seems. When he and his siblings are faced by becoming a pet python’s breakfast they mount an escape which leads to them all separately finding their way underground to the scene of this conflict.
Along the way, Hopper is caught up in the schemes and subterfuges of the ruling Romanus rats who themselves are dominated by cats who outwardly appear to be ‘tamed’ and then snared in the crossfire between these and the Müs led by the mysterious La Rocha. There is a very eerie parallel to the Holocaust in the actions of the despotic Titus, Emperor of Romanus which is compelling and awful.
Far from being just an ordinary rodent, Hopper discovers both his heritage and his destiny and is transformed from a nervous and naive youngster into a clever and capable warrior.
This strongly appeals to me with its glorious characters and intricate backstory and plot so reminiscent of the epic Redwall series.
Proving that courage is worth more than deceit, Hopper is a hero worth sharing with your readers of middle school age. As Gandalf would say “I’ve found it is the small things, everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keeps the darkness at bay.”
Read more about the series and listen to an audio excerpt at Fiedler’s website.
Highly recommended for your lovers of stirring adventures and the quest to best the doers of evil.