The Mouse with the Question Mark Tail

The Mouse with the Question Mark Tail

3.6 5
by Richard Peck, Russ Bain
     
 

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Newbery Award-winning author Richard Peck is at his very best in this fast-paced mystery adventure. Fans of The Tale of Desperaux, A Little Princess, and Stuart Little will all be captivated by this memorable story of a lovable orphan mouse on an amazing quest.

The smallest mouse in London’s Royal Mews is such a little mystery that he hasn't even

Overview

Newbery Award-winning author Richard Peck is at his very best in this fast-paced mystery adventure. Fans of The Tale of Desperaux, A Little Princess, and Stuart Little will all be captivated by this memorable story of a lovable orphan mouse on an amazing quest.

The smallest mouse in London’s Royal Mews is such a little mystery that he hasn't even a name. And who were his parents? His Aunt Marigold, Head Needlemouse, sews him a uniform and sends him off to be educated at the Royal Mews Mouse Academy. There he's called "Mouse Minor" (though it's not quite a name), and he doesn't make a success of school. Soon he's running for his life, looking high and low through the grand precincts of Buckingham Palace to find out who he is and who he might become.

Queen Victoria ought to be able to help him, if she can communicate with mice. She is all-seeing, after all, and her powers are unexplainable. But from her, Mouse Minor learns only that you do not get all your answers from the first asking. And so his voyage of self-discovery takes him onward, to strange and wonderful places.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
As endearing as Peck’s Secrets at Sea, this companion novel, also set during the Victorian era and accompanied by Murphy’s carefully detailed pencil illustrations, introduces a new cast of memorable mice born and bred in London. At center stage is narrator Mouse Minor, an undersize orphan with a question mark–shaped tail, who is uncertain of his heritage. Raised in the Royal Mews next to Buckingham Palace by skilled needlemice, Mouse Minor attends a prestigious school but is tormented by his classmates. When Mouse Minor learns that two bullies “meant to pound me into a jelly,” he flees beyond familiar territory and ends up in the palace, where the staff is frantically preparing for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. All the while, Mouse Minor is unaware that spies are tracking his every move. The small hero’s brushes with danger and run-ins with royalty (both human and rodent) unfold with Peck’s characteristic wit and flair for adventure. Readers will gleefully suspend disbelief as they trace Mouse Minor’s exciting journey, which draws him to a life-altering revelation and surprise reunions with friends and foes. Ages 8–12. (July)
Booklist
"You can’t help but make comparisons to some other very famous books about mice, namely DiCamillo’s The Tale of Despereaux (2003) and White’s Stuart Little, but the parallel world of mice and humans also echoes The Borrowers. Peck (A Year Down Yonder, 2000) is terrific in relaying small details, like the intricacy of mouse uniforms, and this clever yarn should delight fans of animal adventure stories. (Starred Review)
Horn Book
“[Children will] enjoy the twists and turns of this old-fashioned rags-to-riches story. It’s written in an easy, unlabored style but still reflects Peck’s relish for the perfect word and phrase; readers and listeners (it makes a great read-aloud) will savor every one.”
From the Publisher
"You can’t help but make comparisons to some other very famous books about mice, namely DiCamillo’s The Tale of Despereaux (2003) and White’s Stuart Little, but the parallel world of mice and humans also echoes The Borrowers. Peck (A Year Down Yonder, 2000) is terrific in relaying small details, like the intricacy of mouse uniforms, and this clever yarn should delight fans of animal adventure stories. (Starred Review) — Booklist

“The small hero’s brushes with danger and run-ins with royalty (both human and rodent) unfold with Peck’s characteristic wit and flair for adventure.” (Starred Review)
  — Publishers Weekly

“[Children will] enjoy the twists and turns of this old-fashioned rags-to-riches story. It’s written in an easy, unlabored style but still reflects Peck’s relish for the perfect word and phrase; readers and listeners (it makes a great read-aloud) will savor every one.” — Horn Book

"A plucky hero, exciting plot, and a [satisfying] resolution, Peck's latest is a gentle homage to old-school adventure tales." (Starred Review) — School Library Journal

“Peck's writing is so rich, so laugh-out-loud funny, that the picture of the mysterious mousedom, complete with proper clothing, food, and life lessons reels us into a truly original, imaginative world. . . . A more-than-perfect book to share aloud with young readers.” — The Christian Science Monitor

"Peck creates a pleasantly detailed, cozy Victorian mouse world. There's some of Stuart Little's appeal to Mouse Minor's exploits." — BCCB

“Witty and precise prose… will enchant lovers of animal fantasy. This mouse-sized identity quest sparkles.”—KirkusKirkus Reviews

“Perfect for reading aloud to intermediate grade students or for recommending to readers who enjoy a mystery or a good adventure story. Recommend to fans of The Tale of Despereaux.”—Library Media ConnectionLibrary Media Connection

SLJ

""A plucky hero, exciting plot, and a [satisfying] resolution, Peck's latest is a gentle homage to old-school adventure tales."—Starred Review
The Christian Science Monitor
“Peck's writing is so rich, so laugh-out-loud funny, that the picture of the mysterious mousedom, complete with proper clothing, food, and life lessons reels us into a truly original, imaginative world. . . . A more-than-perfect book to share aloud with young readers.”
BCCB
"Peck creates a pleasantly detailed, cozy Victorian mouse world. There's some of Stuart Little's appeal to Mouse Minor's exploits."
Library Media Connection
“Perfect for reading aloud to intermediate grade students or for recommending to readers who enjoy a mystery or a good adventure story. Recommend to fans of The Tale of Despereaux.”—Library Media Connection
School Library Journal
Gr 4–6—Mouse Minor is the smallest mouse in the Royal Mews of Queen Victoria's Buckingham Palace. Raised by kindly Aunt Marigold, he has no real family. He doesn't even have a proper name-just a nickname. All he knows is that his mother was not a Mews mouse and that his oddly twisted tail marks him as different from his classmates at the Royal Mews Mouse Academy. Mouse Minor violates a cardinal rule of mouse society by accidentally allowing a human to see him dressed in his school uniform. Disgraced, he runs away, hoping to find some clues about who he is and where he came from. His quest takes him from the stables to the palace parade grounds to Victoria's private chambers, but even the great Queen herself can't give him all the answers he seeks. Set against the background of the 1897 Diamond Jubilee, the story portrays a secret animal society existing in the shadows of the human world. Mice, cats, horses, and other creatures have schools, armies, titles, and industries. Cultural attitudes and social ranks parallel the human ones, although because of the difference in life spans, the animal society moves a bit faster. Attractive mouse's-eye-view drawings help establish the relationship between these two halves of Victorian society. With a plucky hero, exciting plot, and a satisfying, if somewhat predictable resolution, Peck's latest is a gentle homage to old-school adventure tales.—Elaine E. Knight, Lincoln Elementary Schools, IL
Kirkus Reviews
Peck returns to the parallel mouse society he introduced in the effervescent Secrets at Sea (2011) for a rodent's-eye view of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee. Readers first meet the titular mouse, the book's narrator, in the Royal Mews. A foundling, he's been brought up by his "aunt" Marigold, who is fond of aphorisms. "Nameless is Blameless" is one of her favorites, used whenever her young charge asks who he is. Blameless he may be, but that doesn't keep him out of scrapes. On the run from a couple of school bullies, he finds himself exposed, in his school uniform, on the floor of the royal riding school, where he is noticed by a human--most definitely not the done thing. In short order, he goes from this disgrace to refuge in a horse's manger to a daylong stint as a Yeomouse of the Guard to the private chambers of Queen Victoria, where he blunders into secret upon secret, including, at the end, his identity. Peck binds this unlikely romp together with his characteristically witty and precise prose, flavored by an endearing blend of humility and superiority that only a British foundling mouse can muster. Details of the mouse world that bustles around and under the human world will enchant lovers of animal fantasy, and clever running jokes provide both humor and continuity (our poor hero is repeatedly asked, "Are you not yet full-grown, or just short?"). This mouse-sized identity quest sparkles. (Animal fantasy. 8-12)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780804123754
Publisher:
Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
Publication date:
07/09/2013
Edition description:
Unabridged
Pages:
3
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 5.80(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
Rave Reviews for The Mouse with the Question Mark Tail

“This clever yarn should delight fans of animal adventure stories.” —Booklist, starred review

“Readers will gleefully suspend disbelief as they trace Mouse Minor’s exciting journey.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

“With a plucky hero, exciting plot...Peck’s latest is a gentle homage to old-school adventure tales.” —School Library Journal, starred review

“Peck’s whimsical and tongue-in-cheek storytelling makes The Mouse with the Question Mark Tail a must for reading aloud.” —The Deseret News

“Children love the idea of tiny, hidden worlds—of pixie, fairy or animal societies that exist alongside our own. Richard Peck taps into this affection with The Mouse with the Question Mark Tail . . . a lively tale.” —The Wall Street Journal

“This change of pace from Peck’s quintessentially American stories will delight readers with its British pageantry seen through the eyes of a feisty, insightful narrator.” —Horn Book
“This mouse-sized identity quest sparkles.”—Kirkus Reviews “A more-than-perfect book to share aloud with young readers.” —Christian Science Monitor

"Peck creates a pleasantly detailed, cozy Victorian mouse world. There's some of Stuart Little's appeal to Mouse Minor's exploits." —BCCB

“Perfect for reading aloud to intermediate grade students or for recommending to readers who enjoy a mystery or a good adventure story. Recommend to fans of The Tale of Despereaux.”—Library Media Connection

Meet the Author

Richard Peck, author of more than thirty novels, is one of the most celebrated children's book writers in the country. He has won the Newbery Medal, the Edgar Award, the Margaret A. Edwards Award, a National Humanities Medal, and twice been a National Book Award finalist, among many other honors. He lives in New York City.

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The Mouse with the Question Mark Tail: A Novel 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Oooo
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am reading this book in school and I want to read ahead!!!!!! (I just got to ask my parents if I had enough money!!!!) Thanks!!!! Lyric girl#3 P.S. Please give me a quest FOR FROZEN MUSIC ONLY!!!!!
ArtistsView More than 1 year ago
I bought this book along with some others one night, so I haven't read much of it yet. What I have read though is an ok story, but with the sample I read and the cover art I was expecting something much different than what it is. To me, it seems a bit slow paced, I just can't seem to separate who's speaking sometimes, and there still doesn't seem to be any real direction to the story. So ... I kept reading hoping it would get more interesting, but not so far. I wouldn't really recommend this book unless it was to someone who simply liked most any story about most any type of animal.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not what i expected do not read it.