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Author: Avi

Reserve at the Library

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers, 2006

Material: hard cover

Summary: A young mouse named Ragweed leaves his home in Dimwood Forest to arrive in a city run by cats. The cats in charge are a large Persian named Silversides and her partner-in-crime Graybar. Ragweed meets and befriends a crew of city mice: Clutch, Diptsick, Lugnut, and Blinker. They band together to rid the city of its feline curse. After vanquishing the enemy and helping his friends gain the freedom to express themselves through art and music, Ragweed moves on to explore the wider world. This is the first book in Avi's Dimwood Forest series.

Type of Reading: bedtime story, independent reading, read aloud book

Recommended Age: read together: 8 to 12; read yourself: 9 and up

Interest Level: 8 and Up

Reading Level: 4.4

Age of Child: Teen STAR Review Team, Be the Star You Are!™

Young Reader Reaction: Avi makes the mouse world come alive. There is Clutch’s spunky attitude,her earring, and skateboard skills. I also liked her parents’ love of art and the freedom they gave the daughter. I especially loved the club scene. I also felt for Blinker and loved that he got “adopted” in the end. There wasn’t much to dislike. I was hoping for a romantic connection between Ragweed and Clutch, but I admit she was much more mature than him. It was better to let Ragweed move on.

Adult Reader Reaction: Review pending.

Pros: Avi makes it easy for kids to immerse themselves and feel part of the feline-rodent world of Dimwood Forest.

Cons: None.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow, at least. This is a great book to get from the library, but you could easily buy the whole set because you'll get hooked on the characters. The cover pictures are beautiful and would make the book a great gift just for the imagery alone.

If You Liked This Book, Try: THE NINE LIVES OF ROMEO CRUMB (Life One)   THE TELL-TALE BRAIN; A Neuroscientist's Quest for What Makes Us Human   THE FAMILIARS

Educational Themes: Even though the characters are animals, there are very real human experiences that lend themselves to discussion with young readers.

Notes: A Reading Tub® volunteer submitted this review. She borrowed the book from the local library.

Literary Categories: Fiction - animal fantasy, adventure, middle grade series, adventure

Date(s) Reviewed: March 2012

Other Reviews: See Critics' Reviews and reader feedback at and ');


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