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Mouseheart (Mouseheart Series #1)

Mouseheart (Mouseheart Series #1)

4.4 8
by Lisa Fiedler

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The Warriors series meets Redwall in this first book in an epic animal adventure series set in the subway tunnels of Brooklyn and for “fans of Erin Hunter, Brian Jaques, and Kathryn Lasky” (School Library Journal).

Hopper is just an ordinary pet shop mouse before he escapes. Soon he finds himself below the bustling streets of Brooklyn, deep


The Warriors series meets Redwall in this first book in an epic animal adventure series set in the subway tunnels of Brooklyn and for “fans of Erin Hunter, Brian Jaques, and Kathryn Lasky” (School Library Journal).

Hopper is just an ordinary pet shop mouse before he escapes. Soon he finds himself below the bustling streets of Brooklyn, deep within the untamed tangles of transit tunnels, and in Atlantia, a glorious utopian rat civilization.

But all is not what it seems. Though Hopper is treated as a royal guest, he misses his siblings that he lost in the escape attempt. That, and Atlantia is constantly threatened by the rebels who wish to bring the city to its knees. And there are cats everywhere in Atlantia, cats that leave the citizens unharmed… and no one can seem to answer why.

Soon, Hopper is caught in the crosshairs of a colossal battle, one that crosses generations and species. As the clashes rage, Hopper learns terrible, extraordinary secrets: Deadly secrets about Atlantia. Painful secrets about his friends.

And one powerful secret about his destiny…

Learn more at Mouseheart.com!

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 4–8—Fiedler reinvigorates the "small but courageous mouse" literary trope with this captivating animal fantasy set in the subway tunnels of modern-day Brooklyn, NY. Hopper escapes from a pet shop and tumbles into the subterranean rat empire of Romanus. Aided by his new friend Zucker, rascal prince of the rat empire, he longs to find his missing siblings and understand his role in a war between Romanus and the mysterious Mus tribe. Good and evil are not as they seem, and through careful structure and rounded characterizations, Fiedler keeps readers engaged, revealing important plot details at just the right moment and using varying sentence lengths to great dramatic effect. Rich vocabulary and sly references to New York sports history (Dodger, Ebbets, Rangers) add depth. Older readers may pick up on hints about government control and the dangers of trading freedom for safety. In the end, the stage is amply set for book two as Hopper seeks to reunite with his found-yet-lost-again siblings and explore his destiny as the rodent world's "Promised One." Mouseheart will please fans of novels by Erin Hunter, Brian Jacques, and Kathryn Lasky.—Marybeth Kozikowski, Sachem Public Library, Holbrook, NY
Publishers Weekly
Sword-wielding rats, feline palace guards, and rebel mice fill this adventure with imagination and heart. Hopper, his daring sister, and timid brother are pet store mice. After nearly becoming reptile fodder, the siblings are separated, and Hopper lands in the scary subterranean world of New York City’s subway system. A streetwise rat named Zucker—who turns out to be prince of an empire called Atlantia—saves Hopper from getting clocked by a train. Mouse and rat team up and are soon entangled in a war between the Romanus (who Zucker’s father rules) and the rebellious, mysterious Mus. Hopper is an entertainingly unlikely hero, and Fiedler’s (Romeo’s Ex) villains are suitably nasty, though minor inconsistencies might bother some readers: sheltered Hopper is clueless and alarmed when he meets his first cricket yet has no trouble identifying swords and quickly masters the “metal monsters” of the subway. For those who love an underdog and some romping good battles, Fiedler thoroughly entertains. Art not seen by PW. Ages 8–12. Author’s agents: Susan Cohen, Writers House, and Madeleine Morel, 2M Communications. Illustrator’s agent: Shannon Associates. (May)
"Captivating and cunning, Mouseheart is the next great adventure. Mouseheart is the first in the series which promises to deliver grand adventure and great storytelling. Hopper is one little mouse who roars! Readers who loved Jacques' Redwall series and Hunter's Warrior series will love this new series."
"The underground world and mix of intrigue, prophecy, and betrayal bring to mind Suzanne Collins’ Gregor the Overlander series....Fans of Brian Jacques’ Redwall Abbey series may enjoy this modern adaptation of rodent politics and warfare."
Children's Literature - Elizabeth Fronk
How can Hopper, a small and timid mouse, be the Chosen One? He escapes from a pet store with his bolder sister, Pinkie but loses his smaller brother, Pup. Hopper has memories of his mother telling him to find the “mews.” Pinkie and Hopper get lost in New York and fall into a sewer. Hopper awakens alone but meets Zucker, a worldly rat. They encounter Firren, a female rat and her fellow warrior rats. As Zucker and Hopper continue on their journey, they see a carving that bears a striking resemblance to Hopper—a mouse with a white circle around the right eye along with the inscription, “MUS.” Is this what Hopper must find? Upon arriving in Atalantia, Hopper meets Lord Titus and learns the MUS is evil and an enemy, which confuses Hopper. Hopper remains confused until Firren takes him to the Mus and opens Hopper’s eyes. Hopper learns that Zucker is a close friend of Dodger, Hopper’s father. Hopper’s tale has echoes of Brian Jacques’ “Redwall” series with its small hero, questions about allegiance and discovering one’s heritage. This galley copy shows only some of the illustrations; more detailed illustrations can only add more appeal. Readers may be slightly disappointed with loose ends; these might be answered in the future volumes about Zucker and Hopper. Reviewer: Elizabeth Fronk; Ages 9 to 13.
Kirkus Reviews
A naïve mouse discovers his true mettle when he's accidentally plunged into a world of warring rats, mice and feral cats in Brooklyn's underground transit tunnels. An avowed coward, Hopper lives in a pet-shop cage with his sister and brother. After a dramatic escape, Hopper's separated from his siblings and finds himself alone and terrified in dark tunnels, from which a wily rat named Zucker rescues him. Sympathetic and engaging, Zucker takes Hopper to the sprawling rat metropolis of Atlantia, where Zucker's father, Titus, rules. Treated like royalty and initially impressed, Hopper gradually discovers that Atlantia hides dark secrets. When he's captured by a band of rebel rats who deliver him to a tribe of mice called the Mus, Hopper learns he may be the son of Mus' legendary leader and could indeed be their Chosen One, destined to lead them against their archenemy, Titus. Unsure if he should trust his friend Zucker or the Mus, a confused Hopper resolutely overcomes his fear to discover the real meaning of courage. Riddled with surprises, the fast-paced, complex plot features a host of vivid, memorable rodent and feline characters. Black-and-white illustrations capture key events. Another stalwart mouse with a brave heart will win fans in this captivating underground adventure. (Animal fantasy. 8-12)

Product Details

Margaret K. McElderry Books
Publication date:
Mouseheart Series , #1
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Sales rank:
800L (what's this?)
File size:
14 MB
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Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt


chapter one

THE CAGE LID CLOSED with a hollow clang.

It was followed by the metallic zip of the lock sliding into place.

Hopper pressed his soft muzzle to the bars. The shopkeeper had just filled their bowl with a meal of pellets and lined the cage with a fresh sprinkle of aspen shavings and a handful of shredded paper; now the space was clean and almost cozy. Hopper listened as his brother, Pup, burrowed happily into the crisp, new wood curls. Pinkie, their sister, found no such comfort as she clawed at the shiny metal clasp that held the cage lid in place.

Pinkie clawed whenever she could. Pinkie was like that.

“Closing time,” Keep muttered, humming off-key as he went about his chores. Hopper watched sleepily as beyond the big window, Brooklyn had begun to fade into twilight and shadows.

The other mice who shared their cage were already piled into a white-and-brown heap in the corner. Young, and new to the shop, they tired easily. In seconds Hopper could hear the gentle snuffles and sighs of their collective slumber.

Keep’s gravelly voice rumbled from the back of the shop. “Birds . . . check. Felines . . . check. Reptiles and amphibians . . . check, check.”

This was Keep’s end-of-the-day litany—checks and reminders and grumbled complaints about ill-smelling feed and dirty cage bottoms. Hopper knew the routine by heart, but he took little joy in the familiarity of it. He hated the darkling hours.

Their mother had disappeared at dusk.

Now Keep returned to the mouse cage. He gave the clasp a tug to see that it was secure.

“Rodents . . . check.”

Lucky for Keep, he pulled his chubby thumb away just before Pinkie could sink her teeth into it.

And that was the last of it. Hopper knew all that remained was for Keep to turn the sign from OPEN to CLOSED. This would inform the patrons on the other side of the big window that there would be no more adoptions today; it was time for the animals to rest. Keep would take his leave, sweeping a chill blast of air into the shop as he opened the door. The bell on the handle would jangle fitfully as the door swung wide; then it would close with a loud, metallic clack as Keep locked it with his key. After that, the shop would fall silent but for the bubbling of the aquariums and the sleepy chirping sounds of animals dreaming of a far-off future in a place called home.

But not Hopper. He only ever dreamed one dream. And it was not so much a dream but a memory of his mother on the last day he had ever seen her. It was vague and hazy, but buried deep inside it was the image of her lovely brown face and her twinkling eyes, filled with love.

In the memory Hopper and Pinkie and Pup had been no larger than pebbles, pressed against their mother’s warm, silken fur. The sun outside the big window had been setting when Keep had approached the cage. And something in Hopper’s mother’s eyes had turned to ice.

She knew. Somehow she knew.

“What’s wrong, Mama?” Hopper had asked.

Pinkie had been curled around Pup, sound asleep.

A creaking sound . . . The cage lid being lifted . . .

His mother’s heartbeat against him, her eyes glittering with tears as they’d darted back and forth between Hopper and Keep. “Find the Mews,” she’d whispered. Her voice, ordinarily sweet and calm and wise, had been frantic. “Find the Mews, Hopper. You must.”

But Keep had had her by the tail, and in the next moment Hopper’s mother had been dangling above him, her arms stretching out to him desperately.

Hopper had heard her utter a word that might have been “below.” But he had been too terrified to comprehend. Then she was gone.

He had watched from sun to sun, seeing the light change the sky outside the big glass, but his mother had not come back.

When at last Pinkie had been certain that their mother was lost to them forever, she had turned on him.

“You didn’t do anything to stop it!” she had seethed.

“What could I have done?” he’d asked in a small voice.

“Woken me, for starters! I would have known what to do. I would have fought for her.”

The disdain in her eyes, the scorn in her voice, had caused Hopper to burrow into the aspen shavings in shame.

Pup had come and cuddled beside him. Pup had been even tinier then . . . so delicate and fragile. His ears had been smaller and pinker than Hopper’s, nearly transparent.

“Maybe Mama went home,” he’d said in his hopeful way. “Maybe that’s what happened, Hopper.”

Hopper had nodded, but there was a lump in his throat. “Yes, Pup. That’s probably it.”

“So we should be happy for her, then.”

Hopper had smiled at his brother but hadn’t replied. He had seen his mother’s eyes when Keep pinched her tail and jerked her out of their cage. She had not been adopted, brought to a better life. She had been violently stolen. Hopper knew it in his gut. Find the Mews. The phrase haunted him as much as the image did. He still couldn’t be certain that’s what she’d said as she’d bobbed above him, her paws reaching for her babies even as the hand pulled her from their lives. But he would never forget the tone of her voice. It was a promise, a warning, a plea . . .

Find the Mews.

Sometimes in the memory Hopper could almost feel the warmth she’d left behind in the nest of paper and wood. She was there and she was gone. And in the dream he could do nothing but watch her go.

And always Hopper would awaken with his eyes damp and his heart aching.

Hopper closed his eyes and listened, first for the whine of the money machine being put to bed, then for the bell on the door that would signal Keep’s departure.

But the sounds didn’t come.

Hopper waited.

Still no machine. Still no bell.

He opened his eyes, his pink nose twitching with awareness. What was Keep waiting for?

Suddenly Keep’s booted feet stomped across the shop to the counter, and he angrily muttered something under his breath.

Curious, Hopper peered through the bars, but all he saw was his own reflection in the glass tank next to his cage.

Same old Hopper: small and brown, with a white ring around his right eye; slender paws and long, smooth tail, tapered to a point at the end like a whip. Bright black eyes, and dainty, oval ears, flickering now as he listened to Keep’s movements.

Coins rattled as the money drawer banged open, then closed again. The machine let out one last long beep and the shop went still.

But then the door flung wide—the bell jingled madly as the shop was assaulted with a rush of cold wind. A lanky boy wearing a snug woolen cap and a black jacket stood in the doorway. His face was thin and pale, and his eyes narrowed as he locked his gaze on Keep.

Worst of all was the long, slithering horrible thing he carried, draped around his neck.

Hopper’s heart thudded and his blood went cold as one word and one word only trembled on his tongue.


Meet the Author

Lisa Fiedler is the author of many novels for children and young adults. She divides her time between Connecticut and the Rhode Island seashore, where she lives happily with her very patient husband, her brilliant and beloved daughter, and their two incredibly spoiled golden retrievers. Visit Mouseheart.com for more information.
Vivienne To has illustrated several books, including The Underland Chronicles by Suzanne Collins and the Randi Rhodes, Ninja Detective series by Octavia Spencer. As a child, she had two pet mice escape. She currently lives in Sydney, Australia, with her partner and her ginger cat. Visit her at VivienneTo.com.

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Mouseheart 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a good book. A little confusing, but very interesting and good details. I can't wait for the second one to come out!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent book! I bought this book for my nephew this past summer to take a break from his video games. Some kids prefer other activities than reading during the summer. He finally picked up the book after a couple of weeks and could not put it down. He loves it and was so excited to tell me about it. Of all the characters and their adventures he described to me, heck! As a n adult I feel like reading it myself now. He suggested to his teacher if they can write a book report for a class assignment (what kid asks for more work?). He is just excited to share his experience on this book and cant wait to gets his hands on the next book in this series which will be out in March 2015.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is the best book ever
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hate this book worst book ever
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It came"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Like 123,456,789,123,456,789 yaers ago
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