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The Mouse with the Question Mark Tail
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The Mouse with the Question Mark Tail

3.53  ·  Rating details ·  1,458 Ratings  ·  328 Reviews
Newbery Award-winning author Richard Peck is at his very best in this fast-paced mystery adventure. Fans of The Tale of Desperaux, A Little Princess, and Stuart Little will all be captivated by this memorable story of a lovable orphan mouse on an amazing quest.

The smallest mouse in London’s Royal Mews is such a little mystery that he hasn't even a name. And who were his pa
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published July 2nd 2013 by Dial Books (first published January 1st 2013)
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Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all) No, because within the context of the story, bullying is expected at those kinds of schools. How you stand up to it is more important than actually…moreNo, because within the context of the story, bullying is expected at those kinds of schools. How you stand up to it is more important than actually getting bullied. He's being watched to see how he reacts.(less)

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Mari Anne
Aug 31, 2013 rated it did not like it
I should have known better than to pick this one up as I didn't particularly enjoy Peck's last one "Secrets at Sea". I was drawn in though, by the cute title and the adorable cover. After that, it was all down hill. Peck writes in a very stilted and old fashioned manner, which doesn't lend itself well to children's lit. I am not sure why his books are so highly acclaimed as I find them slow and dry. I only got about 30 pages into this one, so maybe it improves later on but I just wasn't willing ...more
Jun 02, 2016 added it
Ok, that was interesting. Could be read straight, as an especially well-written mouse adventure, a sort of a companion to The Mouse and the Motorcycle. Could also be read with special attention to the extra element of fantasy and political metaphor, as it seems to resemble what I understand of Redwall.

I do recommend the book for folks who like that sort of thing.

It's a quick read, with just enough full-page illustrations to show off Kelly Murphy's graceful talent but not enough to make a child
Jul 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Charming little story from one of my favorite children's authors, Richard Peck. If you enjoyed "Stewart Little" and " The Cheshire Cheese Cat" you will certainly want to read about Mouse Minor and his quest to discover his true identity.

"For every job a human holds, there is a mouse with the same job, and doing it better." This is the Great Truth and the central secret of the British Empire. But there is more to this secret than even Mouse Minor suspects.
I gave up on this story. The hero didn't have any qualities I liked and was often a pugilistic jerk, so I abandoned ship. I didn't buy some of the story elements, anyway. For example, the mice in the story wear clothing, but they don't want humans to know, so they take off their clothes if they might be seen by a human. Wearing clothing suggests either a need for protection from the elements or a desire for modesty. A mouse has a fur coat to protect it from the weather, and clearly they're not c ...more
Liana Kirkey
Dec 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic! This was a delightful story (I'll spare you the plot re-cap as it's already repeated numerous times on this page), and I loved the relaxing pace of this story, one adults and children alike will find a pleasure to read or have read to them. It doesn't feature high-tech intrigue, smash-'em up car chases, or moral conflict - all of the things that seem to characterize other current writings, but rather, it is a gentle story that I would class as truly family-friendly. Written with enoug ...more
Great Books
Jan 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ages-9-11
A tiny, nameless mouse flees his cozy home in London's Royal Mews after causing trouble and finds himself in Buckingham Palace where humans and mice alike are abuzz with plans for Queen Victoria's Jubilation ceremony. Here, he discovers secrets about his past on a voyage of self-discovery that will most certainly change the way his fellow mice view him. Fans of A Tale of Despereaux, animal fiction and fairy tales will enjoy this sweet tale from Newbery award-winning author, Richard Peck. Reviewe ...more
Sep 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
One Sentence Review: A nice little discovering-who-you-are story with a twist (no pun intended) at the end.
Barb Middleton
Rowan Samuel Ward. My grandson was born today! I'd swing this computer around my head like a lasso I'm so excited, but instead I'll rein in and control myself (particularly since it is not even my computer.) Rowan Samuel Ward. A strong name. "Blimey, 'e is a 'andsome baby, dat 'e is." Names are chain-linked to the theme of self-identity with deep roots in children's literature and common to coming-of-age stories. Richard Peck's tale involves a mouse narrator in search of his identity that goes o ...more
Carol Royce Owen
Aug 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee is days away, and a little mouse is caught up in the buzz and preparations for the great event. What the reader, obviously humans, don't know is that for every human doing their job, there is a mouse nearby doing it better. So every mouse in the Royal Mews is pressed into activity to prepare for the big event. This little mouse, though, has only one job, and that is to go to school, a task which he hates, as he is the victim of bullying not only from huge classma ...more
Dec 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens-books
I thoroughly enjoyed Peck’s first mouse characters in Secrets at Sea, so I looked forward to meeting more whiskered characters in this new book. The two books are unrelated except for Peck’s elaborate mouse society which has the same charm as The Borrowers or The Littles. In this book, we meet a little mouse who really doesn’t even have a name. He has no idea where he came from, but he is now cared for by his Aunt Marigold who is the Head Needlemouse in the Royal Mews in London. He is sent to sc ...more
A nameless and orphaned young mouse living in the mews of Queen Victoria's palace has a tail in the form of a question mark, and lots of questions about where he came from. When he accidentally embarks on a wild adventure through the palace and its grounds--fleeing school bullies who've sworn to kill him (he's tiny but mouthy and usually fights back), he meets many animals he doesn't expect, and gets his answers in ways he certainly doesn't expect.

What I enjoyed most about this was the wonderful
Sherry Philippus
On a personal level, I just loved this book and it totally deserves five stars for literary merit. I always have been a sucker for mouse stories and animal fiction, and that, combined with Richard Peck's absolute mastery of prose, made this a superbly enjoyable read! I laughed outright so many times -- at little jokes between author and reader, at the perfectly depicted dialects of the different animal characters (I had great fun reading these aloud to myself - yes, I'm a dork...), at so many li ...more
Apr 26, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I found the beginning of the story a little slow going what with describing The Royal Mews (next door to Buckingham Palace) where "Mouse Minor," the guy with the question mark tail lives and explaining why he has no name. However, the story moves along more quickly when Mouse Minor commits the worst two crimes a mouse can make and then flees to try and find the Queen to see if she can tell him who he is and what his future has in store. I'm just not sure if most readers will wait til the middle ...more
Feb 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Author Richard Peck continues his winning streak of engaging kid's fiction with this adventure filled romp through the undiscovered back halls and basements of Queen Victoria's castle. A misfit mouse bent on self-discovery bounds from stable to kitchen, including a rare visit with the human queen herself. An upper elementary student with a fondness for history would be delighted with this tale featuring a mouse's unusual tail.
Feb 14, 2013 rated it liked it
Perfectly competent animal-historical fiction, with more emphasis on the animal and less on the history.

Our hero is at times "Nameless", "Runt" or "Mouse Minor", a small mouse of unknown parentage raised in the Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace. He has an ordinary mouse life, albeit one filled with beatings by larger mice (in part because while small of stature, he's large of mouth). One day it gets to be too much and he runs away and there the fun begins. He's seen by a Princess of the Realm, is
Kim McGee
Jul 06, 2013 rated it liked it
Sweet read about a little mouse without a name who has very strong ties to Queen Victoria. I don't want to be a spoiler but you will enjoy this jaunt around jolly old London aboard a bat, horse's ear, owl and many other means of transportation not usually offered to humans. Like all of Richard Peck's books for kids, the characters are lovable and quirky. This would be the perfect companion to The Cheshire Cheese Cat and a great way for kids to get a feel for Queen Victoria's London in all its gl ...more
Jun 15, 2013 rated it liked it
I like Richard Peck and I love children's books about mice, so I was excited to see this one. The story is cute and the illustrations are great, and I liked how he used language and especially alliteration to give the mouse's voice some character and charm. It's not my favorite book about a mouse (sorry--but I read The Mouse and the Motorcycle over and over as a kid), but it's still a nice little book to share.
Jul 31, 2014 rated it did not like it
I did not care for this book. I felt like it was trying to be like the Tale of Despereaux but fell flat. I could not connect with the main character and found myself not caring what happened to him. In fact, he came across a little cocky. Occasionally something interesting happened in the book, but would quickly go back to losing my interest.
Apr 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Alice, Librariansteph, Marti, Elissa, Nadine
Recommended to Martha by: my students
This is a delightfully adventurous romp through Buckingham Palace and the Mews with Minor Mouse, an orphan mouse with a question mark tail, who wonders where he came from. Readers who enjoyed The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo, or The Mr. and Mrs. Bunny series by Polly Horvath, will love this beautifully illustrated tale, full of tidbits of British history.
Melanie Kilsby
Mar 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Oh, how I loved this book!
Some of the sentence structures were hard to understand but, the overall story line was great!
My kids absolutely loved this book as well. However, one down fall was the mention of smoking/drinking slightly...

Still...would read it again :D
Mar 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
One of the most adorable books I've read in awhile. Great for both children and children-at-heart, especially those who love anything to do with England and/or mice. Lots of great wordplay and a creatively imagined hidden world. The story and storytelling have a really classic feel.
May 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed this story, I love tales about mice.
Feb 07, 2013 rated it liked it
Another sweet stand-alone mouse chapter book by Richard Peck (not a sequel to Secrets at Sea). A young mouse orphan without a name grows up in the stables at the palace and searches for who he is.
Apr 15, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviews
If you have or can fake a good British accent this makes a great read-aloud.
A sweet, droll quest of a little mouse in the Queen's court seeking to find himself. Totally enjoyable read : would make a very fine read-aloud. Grades 3-6.
Jul 06, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: children-s, 2013
nice children's read-aloud chapter book (2nd-5th grades?); very straight-forward story, some rarer vocabulary thrown in.
May 16, 2017 rated it liked it
An imaginative enough little story, if not terrifically compelling. We listened to an audio version, and the reader tended towards a very low-key, understated style. While I believe this was defensible given the text, it wasn't very exciting to listen to for my 4 year old. My 6 year old loved it and my 8 year old liked it.
While there were minor elements of humor, they were hardly laugh-out-loud. It also tended towards the irreverent, but not so much in a humorous way as a brutal and mean. (i.e.
Nov 11, 2017 rated it liked it
All of the elements that *should* make this a great reading experience are here. The story's cute, the characters quirky, and the setting undeniably enjoyable (I miss London). And yet somehow, this book never drew me in. In fact, I kept putting it down and forgetting about it. Richard Peck has hit the mark for me pretty consistently in the past, so I'm disappointed this wasn't a clear win; still, I'm not sorry I read it. (And the last sentence was quite clever!)
Nov 16, 2016 rated it it was ok
At first, I thought Peck had done nothing more than completely rip off "The Tale of Despereaux", which would have been terrible in its self, but then it took a turn for the worse. This book had an uneventful, slow moving plot line. None of the characters matter and the ending held nothing important. It was all around a giant let down written by an author with a lot of credibility. Everyone has a clunker and this is Peck's.
Jul 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is such a fun story...I really enjoyed it! Set in London, in a royal setting, with lots of British flair, detail and humor. Mouse Minor, Ian, and Aunt Marigold are charming characters, to name a few. The occasional illustrations are wonderful and help you visualize the setting and characters. This is my first Richard Peck book, but it will not be the last!
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Richard Peck is an American novelist known for his prolific contributions to modern young adult literature. He was awarded the Newbery Medal in 2001 for his novel A Year Down Yonder.

Richard Peck was born in 1934 in Decatur, Illinois, a town he describes as quiet and safe. His mother, Virginia, was a dietitian and his father, Wayne, was a merchant who often rode his Harley Davidson to work.

More about Richard Peck...
“Yes, I think you'll find that all the best teachers are old bats.” 1 likes
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