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Cynthia Voigt crafts a novel about discovery, perspective, and the meaning of home—all through the eyes of an affable and worried little mouse. Fredle is an earnest young fellow suddenly cast out of his cozy home behind the kitchen cabinets—into the outside. It's a new world of color and texture and grass and sky. But with all that comes snakes and rain and lawnmowers and raccoons and a different sort of mouse (field mice, they're called) not entirely trustworthy. Do the dangers outweigh the thrill of discovery? Fredle's quest to get back inside soon becomes a wild adventure of predators and allies, of color and sound, of discovery and nostalgia. And, as Fredle himself will come to understand, of freedom.
From the Hardcover edition.
That face withdrew and another, identical to the first, took its place. “Tell me it’s not a mouse,” a different voice said. “You caught us a mouse, Cap’n. Rimble, you ever seen a mouse close to? You wanna take a look? You ever tasted fresh mouse?” What was probably a third face appeared, although it could have been either of the first two. Fredle couldn’t tell them apart. “Good work, Cap’n,” it said. “That’s why I’m the boss,” said the first voice, Cap’n. “Pity I’m not hungry,” said the
the stream, like you do?” “It’s too late now. Besides, I don’t know why I do. A little dirt never hurt anyone, but if there’s water and I’ve got something to eat, I wash it. Go figure. Finished with that one? Good, have one more and I will, too, and the rest I’ll take back to the boys. I like to surprise them every now and then. It’s one of the things a good captain does, if he wants to stay on top.” “But won’t they be off foraging by now?” “Maybe. Could be. Depending. But I bet we find them
the board their nests rested on, digging his nails deep into the soft, prickly insulation so as not to fall. High above the nests, they found an opening that led them through the wall again and out onto a high pantry shelf. There the smell was stronger. It was no surprise that at the very end, behind stacks of bowls and plates, hidden just as Fredle’s nest was hidden away, lay the source of the smell. Fredle had never smelled anything like it before, but anything that smelled like that had to be
them, “I’m pretty thirsty.” “Come with me, then.” Tarnu stepped forward. “I’ll bring him straight back,” he promised, and led Fredle off across the broad dirt floor to two large white metal boxes. “That’s the washer, that’s the dryer. It’s the washer that has water. On that pipe.” Fredle remembered pipes. They were under the kitchen sink, in the cupboard. He knew how to lick the drops of water off of pipes, so he climbed up the wall to where he could reach the pipe while Tarnu waited patiently
rules.” “I know,” Fredle said, first remembering how glad he’d been to see Bardo and then almost wishing he could see Neldo and her brother again. “But not always, not all bad.” Axle continued. “Something was bound to happen, sooner or later. We were heading for trouble. I was sorry to hear you got pushed out.” Fredle waited for her to ask him about what had happened to him, how he had managed, where he had gone and what he had seen, but she didn’t have a single question. Instead, she told