Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
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) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by Kirkus Book Review
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 continually asked, "Are you not yet full-grown, or just short?"). This mouse-sized identity quest sparkles. (Animal fantasy. 8-12)]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
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