Mousenet by Prudence Breitrose, Stephanie Yue | | Hardcover | Barnes & Noble


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by Prudence Breitrose, Stephanie Yue

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Ten-year-old Megan helps her uncle invent the Thumbtop, the world’s smallest computer. And mice are overjoyed. For years, they’ve been looking for a computer that fits in the average mouse hole—and here it is, in the hands of a young human.

The order comes from the Big Cheese, leader of the Mouse Nation: follow that girl, even though it means


Ten-year-old Megan helps her uncle invent the Thumbtop, the world’s smallest computer. And mice are overjoyed. For years, they’ve been looking for a computer that fits in the average mouse hole—and here it is, in the hands of a young human.

The order comes from the Big Cheese, leader of the Mouse Nation: follow that girl, even though it means trailing her clear across the country. That’s because while Megan’s mom is off doing research on climate change, she’s been sent to live with a dad she hardly knows. And it’s not easy. Her step-mother thinks she’s uncivilized, the kids at school gang up on her, and even her step-cousin Joey wants nothing to do with her.

Then comes a mouse in the night to be her friend, and to tell her the biggest secret in the history of the world: that mice have evolved, and they need her help in getting a Thumbtop for all. In return, she will become the most powerful girl alive because with the Mouse Nation behind her there’s no limit to what she can do—for her family, and for the planet.

Brought to life with whimsical illustrations, this modern tale with a classic sensibility is full of wonder and charm.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
First-time novelist Breitrose takes the familiar “mouse story” genre into the 21st century with this lighthearted tale of 10-year-old Megan and her collaboration with the Mouse Nation, a network of highly intelligent mice who make regular use of human technology. The author envisions a humorous parallel world of mice who could “e-mail each other... post news about themselves on MouseBook, blog, and check facts in Whiskerpedia.” After Megan’s uncle invents a tiny Thumbtop computer, the perfect size for a mouse, Megan becomes the target of the tech-savvy mice, led by the Big Cheese, and is assigned a talking mouse called TM3 (later renamed Trey), who attempts to persuade Megan to deliver this technology. The relationship between Megan and Trey is strong, though other characters are less developed and the story can be convoluted, with multiple cross-country trips, Megan signing a treaty with the mice on behalf of humanity, and an environmental undercurrent to boot. But the strong-willed heroine and enthusiastically imagined world of computer-literate mice result in an amusing adventure. Final art not seen by PW. Ages 8–12. (Nov.)
Children's Literature - Amy S. Hansen
Mice are ready to take over the world and this is not a bad thing. The mice in this book are cheerful, smart, and working for the powers of good. The problem is they need the right equipment. When an inventor and his niece Megan create the smallest computer ever—a machine described as a "thumbtop" for humans—the mice are ready. This machine is their size, and with it, they can reach their potential. So how do they convince the humans to build more? Mousenet is an adventure following 10-year-old Megan's interaction with kids in her life and the mice who find a way to communicate. The story has a strong underlying message about conservation and global climate change, but the message is well embedded in the book and does not become preachy. Computer inclined kids will enjoy the images of building better and smaller—much, much smaller—machines. Mostly this is a fun and unusual romp. Highly recommended. Reviewer: Amy S. Hansen
School Library Journal
Gr 3–5—After two years on a wilderness island with her scientist mother, Megan Miller, 10, returns to Cleveland a bit wild and unkempt. She receives a welcome-home gift of the world's smallest computer from her Uncle Fred, its inventor. Although the Thumbtop is a little small for human fingers, the Mouse Nation is determined to get one for each of its members. When Megan's mother must work in Australia, she sends Megan to Oregon to live with her busy father and her new stepmom (who thinks she needs a makeover). Adding to Megan's stress are the kids at her new school, who shun her because she is different. Megan finds a friend in Trey, the mouse team leader who can speak English. He contacts her at night and, using a computer presentation, shares the secret of how the Mouse Nation evolved in Silicon Valley and set up its own version of the Internet. In return for her getting them Thumbtops, the mice promise to help Megan, her family, and even the planet. Breitrose spins an enjoyable tale as she explores the nature of friendship, highlighting the timeless themes of individuality and respect for those who are different, and introduces a good mix of memorable characters and contemporary problems. Yue's illustrations throughout are suitably charming. Although the tale is not as complex or allegorical as Kate DiCamillo's Tale of Despereaux (Candlewick, 2003), Avi's "Poppy" series (HarperCollins), or Robert C. O'Brien's "Mrs. Frisby" books (Atheneum), the novel offers mouse lovers action and suspense, and its readability makes it a good choice for those moving up from formulaic series like Geronimo Stilton's books (Scholastic) to more complex stories.—Carole Phillips, Greenacres Elementary School, Scarsdale, NY
Kirkus Reviews
What if computer mice meant something more exciting than tech accessories—something that could change the world? Ten-year-old Megan, returning from a two-year trip, learns that her uncle's invented a miniscule computer. It's delightful but impractical, so Uncle Fred lets Megan take it to her dad's house. Stowing away in Megan's suitcase, tracking that invaluable Thumbtop computer, are three mice. Unbeknownst to people, mice worldwide are "right up there with humans, give or take a few things like thumbs and bank accounts." They post on MouseBook, peruse Whiskerpedia and speak sophisticated Mouse Sign Language. But snatching computer time from humans is unwieldy, requiring elevated mice to dangle others from ropes so they can hit chosen keys without stepping on the whole keyboard. Needed, per decree of Mouse Nation's leader: a Thumbtop in every mousehole! Breitrose gently sprinkles her clean, funny prose with literary references (The Tale of Despereaux; Robert Burns, when plans gang a-gley) and adapted sayings (WWAWMD: What Would A Wild Mouse Do?). Yue's black-and-white illustrations hold an unassuming sweetness. A specially-trained talking mouse approaches Megan to orchestrate an unprecedented two-species treaty. What does Megan want? Nothing less than help reversing climate change. The way these mice get around, they just might pull it off. Genuine goodwill, humor and impressive believability will have readers longing for mice as friends—not to mention political allies. (Animal fantasy. 8-12)

Product Details

Publication date:
A Mousenet Book Series
Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 8.60(h) x 1.31(d)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Prudence Breitrose grew up in the part of England where Winnie the Pooh once roamed, but now lives in California. She worked as a health education writer until she had a dream that confused computer mice with the real thing. That got her started on this novel, which is her first. Visit her and Mouse Clan 1578 at

Stephanie Yue is a transplant from Atlanta, Beijing, and Hong Kong. She studied illustration in New York City, and currently shares a home with a hamster in Providence, RI. When she's not drawing, you may find her zipping around on a scooter, training in martial arts, and pretending to be a superhero. More of her work can be found at

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