The Black Paw

The Black Paw

by Heather Vogel Frederick


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781442467019
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Publication date: 04/02/2013
Series: Spy Mice Series , #1
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 196
Sales rank: 699,091
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.60(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range: 8 - 11 Years

About the Author

Heather Vogel Frederick is the award-winning author of the Mother-Daughter Book Club series, Absolutely Truly, the Patience Goodspeed books, the Spy Mice series, and Once Upon a Toad. An avid fan of all things maple, Heather and her husband have recently been transplanted from Portland, Oregon, back to New England, close to where Heather grew up. You can learn more about the author and her books at

Read an Excerpt

The Black Paw


    Oz Levinson crouched down behind the gleaming gray sports car. He prodded his glasses up the perspiring slope of his nose and squeezed his eyes tightly shut, wishing he were invisible.


    Oz covered his ears, but the chant pushed past his hands. It was the sharks again, same as at his old school. Different faces, different names, but the voices were the same. Taunting, teasing voices. Voices out for blood. Or tears, at the very least. And even though the sharks weren’t after him this time, Oz’s stomach still cramped in familiar knots of panic at the sound.


    The sharks were drawing closer now. It wouldn’t be long before they discovered his hiding place. Oz opened one eye and looked around in desperation for a better place to conceal himself. Running was pointless. He was fat; he was slow; they’d catch him for sure—even though he wasn’t the “Dogbones” they were after. One prey was as good as another when the sharks caught the sour scent of fear.

    Oz’s gaze settled on the sports car beside him. The James Bond Aston Martin DB5 was the International Spy Museum’s most popular exhibit, and he’d spent most of the morning’s school field trip glued to its side. Its elegant lines and impressive array of modifications drew him like a magnet. Dual ram bumpers. Bulletproof glass. Armored panels. Gun ports. Tear gas. It was sleek. It was dangerous. Just like he, Oz Levinson, would be someday when he was a secret agent.


    The sharks were almost on top of him. Oz huddled lower and drew a shaky breath. The Aston Martin had an emergency oxygen system. He could use a little bit of that right about now. Either that or the DB5’s smoke screen. A smoke screen would give him the perfect cover he needed to escape. A smoke screen—

    “Hey, whadda we got here?”

    Oz flinched as the bubble of his daydream burst. He looked up and poked nervously at his glasses again. Over him loomed Jordan Scott and Sherman “Tank” Wilson. Unlike his last school in San Francisco, where sixth grade thugs like Jordan and Tank were shipped off to middle school, Chester B. Arthur Elementary in Washington, D.C., kept them around one more year. One more year to torture the younger kids and make lives like his miserable.

    Reluctantly, Oz rose to his feet. Jordan stepped forward and jabbed him in the belly. “Seen Dogbones around anywhere, Fatboy?”

    “Uh,” said Oz, stalling for time. They were after his fifth grade classmate Delilah Bean, better known as “Dogbones” thanks to a pair of exceedingly skinny legs and what passed for wit amongst the sharks.

    He swallowed nervously and stared at Jordan. The older boy was lumbering right up the food chain toward adolescence. A thatch of shaggy dark hair partially obscured his narrow face, which sprouted a scattering of whiskers and acne. Oz studied the constellation of pimples on his tormentor’s chin and wondered what to say. In fact, he knew exactly where Delilah Bean was hiding—in the museum’s secret passageway through the ductwork overhead—but he had no intention of ratting her out. Not to the likes of Jordan and Tank.

    On the other hand, if he told them where Delilah Bean was hiding, maybe they’d let him off easy. Maybe they’d leave him alone.

    Or maybe they’d even let him become one of them. A shark.

    The thought was enormously tempting. Oz was so tired of always wishing he were invisible. Of always trying to stay off the radar screen. Maybe this was finally his chance. He didn’t even have to say anything. All he had to do was point.

    “C’mon, Blubberbutt, you know who I’m talking about.” Jordan was growing impatient. “Skinny legs, skinny little braids. I’ll bet you’ve seen her.”

    Oz started to raise his finger toward the ceiling, then hesitated. What would James Bond do if he were here? James Bond was Oz’s hero. He’d watched all the 007 movies at least a zillion times. Nothing ever rattled the world’s most famous spy. He never caved in to pressure, never lost his cool. The sharks wouldn’t stand a chance around James Bond. The British secret agent would make mincemeat out of a pimpleton like Jordan Scott.

    “Are you deaf as well as blind?” Tank, a beefy redhead, glared at him. “What are you doing back here anyway?” He swiveled his thick neck toward the DB5 and grunted. “Cool car.”

    Jordan grinned maliciously. “Bet Fatboy’s pretending he’s James Bond,” he said. Behind him, a knot of students snickered.

    Oz froze. Was it that obvious? Were his innermost secrets not so secret?

    “That’s a good one!” hooted Tank. “Who ever heard of a supersize superspy?”

    “Double-O-LARD!” jeered Jordan, and the sharks and sharks-in-training clustered around him exploded with glee.

    Shame rippled through Oz. Shame and humiliation. Tears started in his eyes, and he struggled to blink them back. He scanned the crowd, desperately searching for a friendly face. All he saw were sharks. And with the sound of their laughter ringing in his ears, he turned and fled.

  • Customer Reviews

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    Black Paw (Spy Mice Series #1) 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
    InTheBookcase More than 1 year ago
    Fun adventure story, filled with the cutest of mice, bravest of kids, and most evil of rats. The whole plot beamed with intrigue. The spy agent theme made the story come alive! The author really included some fun ideas for what mice would do if they lived as we do -- it is these details that truly made the story charming and fun.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    This book is awesome. It is like a James Bond for littler kids. Plus, it is all about mice with a hint of romance. This deserves 100000000000 stars
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I am goin to need a little more info on her so i can track her on my computer
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    This is a really good book.
    John Grau More than 1 year ago
    Guest More than 1 year ago
    Oz¿s class is on a field trip at Washington D.C., the spy museum where oz¿s dad works. Here comes the sharks thought oz ¿ good there not here to harass me thought oz. ¿hey fatboy do you know where DOGBONES IS?¿ What would 007 do 'he was oz¿s hero' ¿No¿ okay good. While walking over to a car Jordan blurts out ¿hey I know fatboy¿s secret he likes 00-o-LARD!¿ While under them a nose sticks out yes morning Glory the spy not the muffin goes out to retrieve a folder goes `yikes ` she almost was seen by the human. Therefore, the human shrieks but unfortunately her collage fumble saw her. Then reports it to Julius STRIKETWO says Julius rembered what happen a few weeks ago. Discouraged glory is in that condition by the kidnapping of her father by dunpont a rat who is very viscous. Who issues the black paw on glory saying he¿s going to kill her. While oz is trying to fight off the sharks by hiding in an exhibits, he meets a little mouse named glory, both explaining their problems making that their dead spot. While oz is getting free cookies from the café because his father works there, as usable teased by Jordan and tank. While back at command, central glory is given a job of delivering the kiss of death 'a gun inside a lipstick tube'. Then of course loses it because of Dunpont. So Julius fires her right on the spot in his office . So when glory leaves she stays with oz and decides to go back into dunpont¿s lair to retrive the kiss of death. She gets ready in her little trjan horse 'a can with punced hole in it '. While going into Dunpont¿s lair she sees a mouse in a cage. Yes it¿s glorys father while tring to retrive him she gets caught by dunpont and kept prisioner with her father but dunpont has other plans of lanching P.E.S.T Put an End to Short Tails by raiding the gala their having the night for Halloween. While glory¿s helpers Bunsen, b-nut, and the steal acorns tell Julius and fumble is nearly fired. On the human side oz is still having troble with the sharks . on the night of the gala the rats raid it but, the spy mice have different plans. In the musem oz and db dress up like the trjian horse and capture Dunpont and fight with the sharks . In the end glory is promoted to her sliver skate board the end