From the Publisher
"...the action is quick, and those pre-Redwall readers who have a yen for animal fantasy will be happy to come along."
--Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books 9/98
"Fans of Brian Jacques' Redwall will hear echoes in this animal fantasy...Avi throws in clever twists..."
--Kirkus Reviews 10/15/98
"...[a] whimsical fantasy..."
--School Library Journal 11/98
"...a[n] animal fanstasy, with theatrical dialogue, good guys (and a girl) to root for, a firm-footed theme, and tons of action."
--The Horn Book, Jan/Feb 1999
"Avi has created a whole new world in his latest novel.... Avi has brought these creatures and their world to life in a fast-paced, compelling read that will keep middle schoolers turning pages. Younger fans of Brian Jacques's Redwall series will especially enjoy this story."
Voice of Youth Advocates 12/98
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Montmers--a combination of jackrabbit, prairie dog and human--feature in a fantasy/adventure; in a starred review, PW called it "exciting, suspenseful and witty." Ages 8-12. (Oct.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature - Judy Silverman
In this fantasy-adventure, Perloo is a rabbit-like Montmer who just wants to be left in his burrow, alone and reading. Jolaine, the Granter (leader) of the Montmer tribe is dying; she summons Perloo and informs him that he will be the new Granter. Of course it's not so simple; Perloo has suddenly developed enemies who will do anything to see him dead, even declare war on their neighbors, the wolf-like Felbart pack. Perloo's reading has made him quite knowledgeable, and he realizes that neither his tribe nor the pack really want war. But his enemies are powerful, and Montmer life is threatened by Felbarts and from within Perloo's own burrow. Perloo proves his courage, of course, but the way he does it is fun to read about. Included on the front page is a charming letter to the readers from the author.
VOYA - Diane Tuccillo
Avi has created a whole new world in his latest novel, a fantasy involving Montmers (part jackrabbit, part prairie dog, part human) and their assumed enemies, the Felbarts (part coyote, part human). Perloo, a Montmer well-versed in history, is disturbed in his cozy burrow one day, much like Bilbo Baggins is disturbed in The Hobbit. As Bilbo was summoned to go on an adventure, so too is Perloo summoned by Lucabara, a fellow Montmer, who demands he accompany her to see their dying leader, Granter Jolaine. Jolaine has decided that Perloo, "learned but modest," shall be the next Granter-and not her pompous, inept son, Berwig, who wishes to start a war. After Jolaine's death, Perloo finds himself tossed into a struggle for power he never wanted. Perloo's fight against Berwig and his cohorts takes him to the very caves of the Felbarts, where he comes to terms with the Felbart leader and finds the fate of both societies in his hands. Perloo manages to save the day through his use of very unorthodox weapons-snowballs! Avi has brought these creatures and their world to life in a fast-paced, compelling read that will keep middle schoolers turning pages. The wise sayings of the Montmer and Felbart guru, Mogwat the Magpie, are effectively integrated into the tale. They reinforce the underlying messages that people are more alike than they are different and that happiness lies in upstanding living. Younger fans of Brian Jacques's Redwall series will especially enjoy this story. VOYA Codes: 4Q 4P M (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses, Broad general YA appeal, Middle School-defined as grades 6 to 8).
Children's Literature - Mary Quattlebaum
In another animal fable, Perloo the Bold, esteemed author Avi tries his hand at an adventure to rival his critically acclaimed Poppy. Perloo is called upon to save his fellow furry Montmers when their burrow is seized by a usurper. Many youngsters will empathize with Perloo, a reader not a warrior, who feels inadequate to the task but struggles to do his best.
The ALAN Review - Nicholas J. Karolides
Perloo, a reclusive scholar, is ensnared in the intrigue of Granter Jolene's death when she names him as her successor. Dubbed "Perloo the Unwilling" when he resists this honor, he is forced by the situation to act despite his fears and trepidation. Berwig, the self-proclaimed granter, jails Perloo while planning a war to gain glory and promote his claim to the succession. Perloo, however, escapes with Lubcabra, Jolene's first assistant; they are captured by the enemy. A satisfactory resolution is achieved many twists, travails, and surprises later, after which Perloo receives his new appellation. Within this adventure among anthropomorphic creatures, issues of greed/power and freedom/personal identity are explored. Interspersed in the text are pithy statements attributed to the great teacher Mogwat, such as, "Of all challenges, the greatest is to be yourself." This engaging fantasy will ensnare young readers immediately; Perloo, atypically devoid of heroics, will captivate them.
School Library Journal
Gr 4-6-In this mildly whimsical fantasy, Avi introduces the Montmers, a race of creatures that are part jackrabbit, part prairie dog, and part human. Jolaine, the elderly chief Granter of the tribe, takes ill and dies, but not before she bestows her leadership on Perloo, a bookish loner who prefers history to reality, instead of on her pompous son, Berwig. Perloo is aghast at this new title and is immediately thrown into conflict with Berwig, who institutes martial law and accuses his rival of murdering Jolaine. Political subterfuge flourishes as Berwig's counselor plots against him. Still trying to resist his responsibility, Perloo is taken captive by the Montmers' archenemies, the Felbarts, part human, part coyote, who are preparing to defend themselves against Berwig's declaration of war. Perloo rises to the occasion in an ending reminiscent of David and Goliath, and learns some valuable lessons about courage. Unfortunately, the action lacks suspense, and the Montmers themselves fail to elicit sympathy. The story is sprinkled with words of wisdom from the creatures' philosopher, Mogwat the Magpie, who preaches peace, unity, courage, truth, and democracy; although these are admirable values, they become burdensome in the thin text. Though this tale is geared for a younger audience, it invites comparison to Brian Jacques's "Redwall" series (Philomel), and there it falls short, lacking the depth of characterization and spirit, and the rich detail of those books. A light read.-Jennifer A. Fakolt, Denver Public Library