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>I blame Kate DiCamillo

>for the fact that her fellow Newbery Medalists Lois Lowry, Cynthia Voigt, and Richard Peck all have new middle-grade novels about talking mice.

P.S. Now I’m remembering Susan Dove Lempke’s story about this snooty mom coming in after Kate’s Newbery was announced, and requesting “The Tale of Day-Pehrr-Rehhrrr.” (I know my phonetic fake French is bad but so was hers.)

Roger Sutton About Roger Sutton

Roger Sutton has been the editor in chief of The Horn Book, Inc, since 1996. He was previously editor of The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books and a children's and young adult librarian. He received his M.A. in library science from the University of Chicago in 1982 and a B.A. from Pitzer College in 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @RogerReads.



  1. >I noticed the same thing yesterday at TLA.

  2. >Cheese it! Co-author and I have talking mouse in ms right now! Find and replace with kinkajou?

  3. Streaming consciousness says:

    >It's nice to have more in the canon, along with Ben and Me, Stuart Little, Abel's Island, and Basil of Baker Street, among those predating Despereaux. And that, of course, is not even allowing thoughts to stray to picture books and folklore.

    There's nothing like the seemingly defenseless underdog mice who succeed against the odds–Brer Rabbit's kinder, gentler cousins?

  4. Kristin Cashore says:

    >My fave = Russell Hoban's The Mouse and His Child.

  5. Anonymous says:

    >And another Newbery winning mouse, Mrs. Frisby.

  6. Shoshana says:

    >I blame Beverly Cleary a little, too.

  7. >and I love "The Great American Mousical" by Julie Andrews and Emma Walton Hamilton..I can take more mice.

  8. >What about Margery Sharp and all her Rescuers books (so much better than the films).

  9. >And what of Avi's Poppy? I think there is a very long heritage of mice stories that Kate joined.

  10. Lois Lowry says:

    >Cut off their tails with a carving knife, that's what I say!

  11. >LOL! I forgot about that. Now I recall how much I wanted to hiss back "Dessss-purr-oh."

  12. >Terry Pratchett's Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents? Also, didn't the mice in Coraline talk?

  13. Elizabeth says:

    >I think Roger was just saying that it's an odd little trendlette when 3 of our best-known authors, all with large bodies of work about humans, suddenly come out with books featuring talking mice. It does seem to be in the Zeitgeist–I also recently had an agent pitch a well-known British actor's first foray into fiction,and you guess it, it's a middle grade novel about mice. Who speak.

    The other trend I'm noticing (besides the much remarked on popularity of dystopian fiction) is characters named Callum and Xander.

  14. anatidaeling says:

    >Best middle grade anthropomorhic mouse book ever?

    The Mouse of Amherst by Elizabeth Spires

  15. Streaming consciousness says:

    >It's conservative action time in the publishing houses, no? Fantasy's been a bit overdone, so what is next? We go with the tried and true. Talking mice! Maybe next will be quaintly old fashioned slightly historical fiction…

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