Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Review: Mouseheart by Lisa Fiedler

18668473From Goodreads: "The Warriors series meets Redwall in this first book in an epic animal adventure series set in the subway tunnels of Brooklyn.

Hopper is just an ordinary pet shop mouse before he escapes. Soon he finds himself below the bustling streets of Brooklyn, deep within the untamed tangles of transit tunnels, and in Atlantia, a glorious utopian rat civilization.

But all is not what it seems. Though Hopper is treated as a royal guest, he misses his siblings that he lost in the escape attempt. That, and Atlantia is constantly threatened by the rebels who wish to bring the city to its knees. And there are cats everywhere in Atlantia, cats that leave the citizens unharmed; and no one can seem to answer why.

Soon, Hopper is caught in the crosshairs of a colossal battle, one that crosses generations and species. As the clashes rage, Hopper learns terrible, extraordinary secrets: Deadly secrets about Atlantia. Painful secrets about his friends.

And one powerful secret about his destiny."  

Mouseheart has a lot of action and Fiedler doesn't hold back on some squirmy moments. There is one scene early on where prince Zucker crashes a gate down on a mean cat named Cyclone causing him to lose an eye. There is also lots of tense moments when Hopper, Pinkie and Pup are about to be sold to a boy as food for his pet snake.  It really grabs your attention.  I really liked the earlier parts of the story that took place underground in Brooklyn, it gave me the feel of city life with the eminent dangers of trains coming speeding at you down the tracks. When the story moved to Atlantia (still below the tracks), it was like stepping through a time portal into a city with an Emperor and royal guards.  Yet, there was also this dystopian piece that consisted of camps with mice refugees.  It made for an interesting world to navigate through.   

The story centers around Hopper's search for his siblings and his brotherly feelings of responsibility toward them.  There are also messages of faith and trust in others and being brave despite being afraid. I especially enjoyed this quote "Bravery isn't measured by size. It's measured by heart."   Hopper's sister, Pinkie was something entirely else, she seemed to be motivated by wanting to have power and comes off as very resentful of her brother's involvement in the prophecy as the "chosen one".  Her actions were some of the most disheartening throughout the whole story.  Prince Zucker, on the other hand was one of the more likable characters in the story to me, I got the feeling that he looked at Hopper in a brotherly fashion, wanting to protect him and help him.  And that cover, I can't seem to get enough of it.  Oh and the illustrations, love love loved them.   And then I went to the website http://www.mouseheart.com/  very eye catching and there are mice running around the page.  I had a lot of fun browsing the Curriculum Guide too.  I am curious as to how much schools use these for newer books or even at all.  So much of what I've seen sent home seems to be lists of spelling and vocabulary words taken from a specific story and then there is a quiz based on those lists.  I would love to sit in on some of the class discussions to hear if they go as in depth as the discussion guide does for Mouseheart.  Although, I do know that the teachers and librarian spend time reading stories aloud in class as well, so perhaps that is where all the discussions happen.  Overall, I thought Mouseheart was a fun adventure story and things were wrapped up pretty good. Even though there were a few loose ends, they will probably be addressed in book 2, so there is that to look forward to.   
My review copy was purchased.      


  1. This sounds good. And that cover! It would be interesting to see what the classroom discussions are like...the ones that happen (on other books) at our school do go into some depth.

    1. I would so enjoy the discussions. The last book I heard the kids talking about was The False Prince and it was mostly making predictions about the plot. I think it's great that a lot of these books are coming with discussion guides and activities, I would have loved these as a kid.

  2. I have this on my shelf and I thought it might be good for a read aloud. I'm not sure if it might be too much for my 5 year old but I guess if I feel like it might be too much for him I'll skim over those bits or something.

    1. There are some scenes that you might want to skip entirely, like when a rat gouges out a cat's eye and there are some with rat's, mice and cat's in battles. I think it is rated for 10 and up, so there is that to consider.