Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Tale of Despereaux

Written by: Kate DiCamillo

First line: This story begins within the walls of a castle, with the birth of a mouse.

Why you should read this book: A fairy tale with an implicit discussion of dark versus light and dogma versus inspiration, not to mention examinations of bravery, cowardice, class structure, dreams rational and irrational, and effective ways to handle grief. An unusual mouse, an unusual rat, an unusual scullery maid, and an almost run-of-the-mill princess find their lives converge as each seeks to realize dreams that the world tells them they should not have. Clever without being overly complex, this book creates a believable world with sympathetic characters whose flaws and strengths are lovingly illustrated to turn stereotypical portraits of good and evil on their head and instead inject a dose of reality in characterization into what is otherwise a world of pure fantasy.

Why you shouldn't read this book: You don't talk to bugs. Or mice. Or your enemy's distant cousin, even if the cousins are enemies of each other.

1 comment:

Red Tash said...

The only reason you shouldn't read this book is if your life is already too darn exciting, adventurous, and you couldn't possibly become more brave in the face of adversity. GREAT book.