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Thursday, April 17, 2008

Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents

by Terry Pratchett

The American cover is not the least bit cute or enticing, so I'm showing the English version even though that's not the one I was able to hold in my hands.

Some books I've read recently are based on fairy tales; this book takes the Pied Piper tale and "turns it right on it's head" according to the front cover. I think that's an apt description. Maurice is a talking cat who has teamed up with a "stupid-looking boy" and some talking mice in a Pied Piper-like scam.

Pratchett's characteristic humor defuses the ick factor allowing me to actually like the rats and tolerate their environment. In fact, I found myself cheering for the rats, which is to be expected since they are the heroes along with Maurice, the boy and a town girl.

I found myself thinking this was the perfect book to engage the interest of young boys. Although, I need to add a word of caution: the book gets quite terrifying in the last half. I didn't have any nightmares, but I could imagine that some children might. I think this book should be categorized as YA, not children's. The scary part ends and the book finishes on a lighter note. I really liked this book and highly recommend it to adults and cautiously recommend it to young adults.

The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents was awarded the Carnegie Awards in 2001. This award is given for outstanding children's or YA literature.

8 comments:

Framed said...

This books looks so good and I love the cover. Don't you hate having a book with a lesser cover? That happens to me quite often when I mooch something. I guess the story is still the same, but even so . . .

Lisa said...

I've yet to read anything by Pratchett, and this sounds like a good place to start. I like books with just enough creepiness without giving me nightmares. Thanks for the suggestion.

Rhinoa said...

I have this on my list to read at some point soon. It sounds like a lovely book and not to make you jealous but I have that cover as I live in England!

SuziQoregon said...

Great list - glad you're in this challenge with me :-)

Anil P said...

A fairy tale is in place here, now I'm curious to know how the Pied Piper was adapted.

As a kid I played the role of the Pied Piper in a play.

Cath said...

I read this recently too and agree with what you say about it being scary and its suitablility for young children. Apparently it's for children aged 9 to 12 and, imo, that's far too young. Very good read though... for adults and older teens.

jenclair said...

I loved this one. The cover on the copy from the library was different, and I liked it better. It did get a little scary, and I wonder about it, but think of Grimm's Fairy Tales! I'm not sure if anything could be more frightening than the old fairy tales. Or sadder than some of them... I found The Amazing Maurice deliciously witty, though. Clever, clever Pratchett!

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