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Mousenapped: The First Review!

mousenapped coverFrom Diana Donovan, Senior Reviewer at Midwest Book Review.

“Mousenapped comes from a mouse’s perspective on life and opens with the fall of darkness: the perfect time for protagonist mouse Roland to embark on his usual insect hunt.

“Middle school readers who love animal protagonists will find Mousenapped offers a unique series of encounters between a grasshopper mouse, a house mouse, a devout Christian mother, a relative who’s an herbalist, and a child (Sara) who views her world through the lens of both human and mouse experience.

“The stage is set for a read which offers many unexpected moments that will engross middle school kids with some surprising descriptions, as with encounters between two very different mice: “Roland bit the head off his cockroach and savored the crunch. “Did I mention there’s a smallsized human just outside my mom’s nest?” He always talks with his mouth full. I don’t know whether it’s bad manners or just the way grasshopper mice are. “This makes twelve times tonight. It’s not like I can do anything about it.” I never eat while Roland does; it spoils my appetite. Cheese and cracker crumbs are more my style. “I thought maybe your human could do something about it,” he said, taking another hearty bite. Fluids oozed out.”

“From a child who sees too much and defies the perceptions and anticipations of adults in her world to mice who have a vested interest in preserving their unusual friendship against all odds, Mousenapped is anything but predictable with its vivid story of protagonists who hold special abilities and form special bonds.

“One thing to note about Mousenapped is that it doesn’t ‘talk down’ to young readers. There are some challenging concepts here which aren’t sugar-coated for preteen minds: the snap and crunch of insects, quoted above, is just one of these unexpected moments.

“Notions of choice and new age thinking also weave into the story: “Maybe it would help if you could think of your mom as a choice you made before you were born. And she chose you too. You chose each other for the lessons you could learn from each other.” Sara tilted her head to one side as though thinking. “Do people really do that?” “I believe we do, yes. But we forget on purpose.”

“So those looking for your usual light adventure story will find far more here, in a format that challenges young minds to think about different worldviews.

“Sometimes the changing perspectives (between mouse and human) are confusing with alternating chapters that move back and forth between the two; but any confusion is usually momentary and once the reader absorbs the chapter switch-offs between protagonists (and begins to watch for this device), the reading flows and becomes relatively smooth.

“So if it’s something different you’re looking for in middle school reading – something that incorporates new age philosophy and different perceptions into its story – then Mousenapped is the item of choice. It’s highly recommended for its more complex, bigger picture of the world and the beliefs of those who inhabit it … whether they be mouse or woman.”

 

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