Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Mouse With The Question Mark Tail

The Mouse with The Question Mark Tail  by Richard Peck

What is it with Queen Victoria and mice?  I remember as a kid, loving a book, not so much because it was that great, but because the author was my age when she wrote it.  It was a book by the actress Ally Sheedy, written and published when she was a little kid. It was called She Was Nice to Mice and it was about Queen Victoria.  I don't recall from any history lesson that Queen Victoria was pals with the rodents in Buckingham Palace.  But, it is possible that fact wouldn't seem all that terribly important to the majority of people recording or teaching history.

The Mouse With the Question Mark Tail is an orphan living around the palace stables.  The queen's jubilee is in the works and if you think the people are busy readying for the celebration, the mice are working twice as hard.  Our little orphan hero does not remember his mother. He was told that she died when he was born and he was taken in by Aunt Marigold, who is the head needle worker mouse.   She sends him to school with the admonition to avoid fighting.  But, he gets picked on a lot because of his small size and he often winds up picking fights just to prevent it. Of course, he doesn't have a prayer, because he is so small and he takes a lot of beatings.

One day after a particularly bad row, he goes up into the stable area, frightens a princess and starts on an unforgettable adventure.  Along the way, he makes some friends, discovers his name and place in the world and even gets to talk to some queens.  

This is a cute middle grade book.  I like that the mouse, although bullied, always stands up for himself and never loses sight of who he is and what he wants.  There are plenty of kids these days who need to be reminded of that, especially when things get bad.

And, since I haven't posted one in a while, here's a book trailer for Mouse.


Lisa said...

I don't think I've come across many tales with authors that were my age when they wrote the stories when I a child.

I have read a couple of tales with mice and castles too. I'm sure it was more common to hang out with mice when they didn't live the most hygienic lives, but probably not important enough to record for the history books as you said.

JoanneMarie Faust said...

I think that's why I remember it so well. I was obsessed with books and here was a girl my age, getting published.