Tuesday, 19 October 2010

9+: A Boy Called M. O. U. S. E. - Penny Dolan

Release Date: 04/10/11


'Once upon a time there was a boy, and they called him Mouse'. That is how the story began when I told it to myself in the long darkness. Of course, it wasn't the whole story, but back then I knew nothing, almost nothing at all ...Mouse is unaware of his privileged background: of Epton Towers, the luxurious home in which he was born, and its magnificent surrounding grounds. He barely recalls his loving parents, who are lost at sea. He certainly does not remember the threat posed by his Uncle Scrope, who, penniless and in debt, is driven to threaten Mouse's very life. But Mouse does remember Hanny, the loyal and loving nursemaid who saw the threat and whisked him away to safety. Mouse lives a happy and carefree life with her until the evil Mr Button darkens the door, threatens Hanny and takes Mouse away. Mr Button takes Mouse to grim Murkstone Hall, a school that lives and breathes terror and fear. Can Mouse escape and find his way to his true family again? A brilliantly evoked tale full of memorable characters, including Nick Tick, the tiny but clever clockmaker, Aunt Indigo and Aunt Violet, two strong-minded seamstresses and washerwomen, and Charlie Punch and his amazing dog Toby. These warm-hearted and generous characters see the plight of Mouse and each in their own way help him towards his destiny. But will they be enough to upset the continual scheming of the villainous Mr Button?


When an author writes a tale based on a visit to an old Boarding School you have to hope that the rest of the tale will back up the premise of the original scene without changing flavour or tack. Yet taking that into account, the tale felt that it had dipped into the world of classic literature with hints of Oliver Twist, Great Expectations and Tom Brown’s School days brought together in order to help tell the story of Mouse, the tales hero.

Each brings something to the fore, each when blended together with the characters gives something unique which when added to a whole host of interesting supporting cast members make it something a little different. Finally, with a villain of the Sykes persuasion this could be a tale to help bridge the gaps in your young readers library to the epics.

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