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Mahalia Mouse Goes to College: Book and CD
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Mahalia Mouse Goes to College: Book and CD

3.82  ·  Rating Details ·  124 Ratings  ·  28 Reviews

Mahalia Mouse and her family live underneath Dunster House, an old Harvard dormitory. Foraging for food for her younger brothers and sisters, Mahalia gets trapped in a backpack and then finds herself inside a classroom far from home. Mahalia, intrigued by the lecture, starts attending classes and soon becomes a full-time student -- all the while wondering about the fate of
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published March 27th 2007 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
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Lucy Hall

Title: Mahalia Mouse Goes to College
Author: Lithgow, John
Illustrator: (Oleynikov, Igor)
Genre: Online Book
Theme(s): education, adventure, success.
Opening line/sentence: (The skies of September were bursting with rain, pelting the old dormitory. It filled every gutter and choked every drain. Chapter 1 of Mahalia's story.)
Brief Book Summary: (The story of a mouse forced to leave her family to seek for help for her sick mother. She finds something more valuable than food or money: an education. She
Mar 20, 2012 Tami rated it it was ok
Perhaps better known to adults for his stage and screen work, actor John Lithgow has an amazing body of work for children. His picture books are some of my (and my children’s) absolute favorites!

Topping the list for me is The Remarkable Farkle McBride. The story centers around a young boy who is a musical prodigy. He is able to master instrument after instrument with ease, but throws each one away as he becomes bored with it. Through an unfortunate illness on the part of the orchestra conductor
Shannon Jacob
Oct 15, 2014 Shannon Jacob rated it it was amazing
Shelves: libs-642
Lithgow, J., & Oleynikov, I. (2007). Mahalia Mouse Goes to College. New York: Simon & Schuster: Books for Young Readers.

Picture Book Soak

This book is about a mouse that secretly starts attending a college after she is unexpectantly separated from her family. Mahalia attends the college until she becomes a full time student, however she is caught by a professor of one of her classes. When the professor realizes how brilliant the mouse is he decides to make her an official student of the c
Mar 18, 2016 Kristen rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids-books
I had read another book written by John Lithgow, so when I saw this at the library I figured, "what the heck?" I was pleasantly surprised with this one. I wasn't sure what to expect, but I definitely didn't expect really big words.

While this is not a book a child could read themselves, I like it when books have big words in them. It encourages children to ask what words mean and gain a larger vocabulary. I don't think that childrens books should be full of these large words because it will reall
Eva Leger
Jul 29, 2011 Eva Leger rated it really liked it
Shelves: julias-books
Julia and I loved this as much as we loved Micawber. We're both excited to get more books by Lithgow in the near future.
I think the best part of these books for me is that they actually speak to adults as well as the children, their intended audience. And I don't mean that adults can simply read and enjoy them too. I mean they really put something through to the reader, no matter the age. I don't think I can name any other children's book(s) or author(s) who can do this so perfectly.
We listened
Alan Q
Oct 15, 2015 Alan Q rated it really liked it
Mahalia Mouse is a mouse who lives with her mouse family in the sewer that on a rainy day, her mother ask her to get some food for the family and she went straight to the dorm cafeteria. When she was getting food, she couldn't help but notice that she was trap in the backpack that is all dark. While he backpack was moving, it came to a stop and then the zipper open which Mahalia found herself filled with people in a lecture classroom. She realize that it is a Human Psychology class. She then dec ...more
Dec 09, 2015 Kassandra added it
Shelves: k-4
This book can be used with younger children because it shares the story of a mouse encountering the human world. She attends college and after scaring all of the students, she proves herself worthy of a scholarship. This is a great story that shows the struggles of a mouse who lacked money and parental support but still managed to obtain a college degree. There are many ways children can relate to the mouse, especially low income students that will also deal with similar circumstances. There is ...more
Nicole Blanar
Oct 16, 2015 Nicole Blanar rated it liked it
I used the TumbleBooks website to read the ebook version of this story. I like the TumbleBooks website because the text is read to you while the animated picture takes up the other half of the screen. The audio is able to be paced to the child's reading ability and the child can pause or skip to the next page if they wanted to do so. The animations of the pictures are helpful by giving the characters and the story some action and could help a reader to better comprehend the story, however could ...more
Stephanie Hirsch
Mar 04, 2012 Stephanie Hirsch rated it liked it
This was a cute book, the words are a little difficult for the age range it was meant for. My kids didn't understand a few things, but were able to recognize the gist of the story. The rhyming is always fun with a children's book, I liked the story, but I also think that some things could have been worked on. Perhaps instead of trying to save the family, Mahalia Mouse could have just been exploring. My kids were asking about whether or not some of the babies died as told in the story. The author ...more
Mar 16, 2010 Dolly rated it liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
We are huge John Lithgow fans and read all of his children's books as soon as we can get our hands on them. We found this on on Tumblebooks and just had to listen to it right away. It's a nice, somber tale that speaks to hard work, sacrifice and dedication. Perhaps a nice tale to give to high school seniors as they are about to embark on their college journey? Our girls enjoyed watching this book read aloud on the "Tumblebooks" online audiobook site (
Jessica Vandewarker
Apr 17, 2012 Jessica Vandewarker rated it it was amazing
Shelves: modern-fantasy
This book encourages students to reach for their dreams. Mahalia is a small mouse that finds herself at college and loves to learn. It takes perseverance, yet she graduates with a degree! Though student may find this funny, they will also see the importance of perseverance to acquire their dreams. This may not be a completely relatable book to students, but with discussion about their dreams, they will understand it in a different light.
Mahalia is sent out to get food for their starving family and gets locked in a backpack by accidental and taken to college. Unable to find her way home, she stays at the college and learns until she's discovered. She's smart and given a place at the college to continue her studies. When she graduates her picture is in the paper and her family sees her for the first time in years when they show up at the graduation.
Sep 24, 2015 Nancy rated it it was amazing
This book has nice illustrations. A little mouse wants to learn, and one day she ends up in a college students school bag. She loves the classes, but one day people start screaming, that there is a mouse in the class. The teacher comes to the aid of the mouse, and tells the class that the mouse wants to learn, and is intelligent. Mahahlia goes to school for four years, and graduates, her family members hear about it, and they come to see. Nice little story.
Trisha Hope
Jan 29, 2016 Trisha Hope rated it really liked it
Until I found this book I had no idea that John Lithgow had written book let alone children's books. I liked that he incorporated his speech to the Harvard graduates of 2005 into this book. It captured the life of most college students to a "T". I also liked Mahalia she was a cute little mouse with such a big appetite for learning. I wish I never loose that appetite like Mahalia.
Apr 10, 2011 Rebecca rated it liked it
This book is fun to read about how the little mouse goes to a college. This is another book where it is written from the animal's point of view. It talks about the hardship and the difficult times. I have used this book to talk about term that relates to college. It will be good to read to those who have older siblings that go to college, so that they can have a personal connection with the book.
Apr 22, 2009 Marie rated it really liked it
I like this book! In classic Lithgow tradition, the rhythm, rhyme and vocabulary are strong. More than that, though, is the story of someone small and with few prospects working really hard, at great risk, to learn and to graduate from college. Mahalia is a mouse to look up to!
May 15, 2013 Emily rated it really liked it
Shelves: 3rd-5th
Higher level vocabulary (maybe high/EOY 2nd graders).

Great cute story about college, introduces college terms (professor, dormitory, etc.)
Aug 27, 2015 Mariah rated it liked it
I personally like this book, but it is a bit text-heavy for its target audience. The illustrations are great. Excellent audio, too, of course.
Nichelle Hayes
Nichelle Hayes rated it really liked it
Aug 05, 2015
Alice Gold
Jul 16, 2014 Alice Gold rated it liked it
Shelves: children-k-2nd
this is probably my second favorite of Lithgow's after I got two dogs
Nickole rated it liked it
Mar 19, 2015
Abdul rated it it was amazing
Jun 28, 2015
Bonnie A Goldberg
Bonnie A Goldberg rated it liked it
Jan 21, 2014
Paul Warner
Paul Warner rated it really liked it
Aug 08, 2013
Bridget R. Wilson
Bridget R. Wilson rated it liked it
Aug 31, 2009
Mrs. Peura
Mrs. Peura rated it really liked it
Feb 04, 2015
Manal Ramadan
Nov 16, 2015 Manal Ramadan rated it it was amazing
The poetry and vocabulary in this book make it a fun book to read to children.
marco rated it it was amazing
Sep 28, 2014
Ben rated it liked it
Jul 09, 2014
Laramort rated it it was amazing
Nov 06, 2014
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