The Stowaways aren’t like the other Weedle mice. They are inventive and curious, they go on adventures, and they are much too clever for their own good. In fact, everyone knows that Grampa Stowaway was killed in a trap on one of his adventures. So, who would want to associate with a family like that?
There’s something else about the Stowaways. They keep secrets. Rory has made friends with a bird, their natural enemy; and his twin brother Morgan dreams of sailing away. But Gran has the biggest secret of all—and Rory has discovered what it is. If Rory and Gran act on their suspicions, will they be heading for disaster? Or will it be the greatest Stowaway adventure of all?
Meghan Marentette has always loved tiny things. Nicknamed "Meghan Mouse" as a child, she spent hours collecting bits and pieces to build miniature worlds for her toys. Later, having graduated from Dalhousie University Costume Studies Programme, she became a costumer for film and television. Her favourite assignment came in 2004 when she was hired to make tiny costumes for stop-motion animation puppets. The job reignited Meghan’s childhood passion, and she was soon busy conceiving the miniature world of mice for The Stowaways. Meghan lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
In 2014, The Stowaways was a finalist for the Ann Connor Brimer award for children's literature, the Canadian Library Association's Book of the Year for Children Award, and the Monica Hughes Science Fiction and Fantasy Award, one of seven national awards administered by the Canadian Children's Book Centre Awards.
I love everything about The Stowaways -- from the beautiful Dean Griffiths painting on the cover to the bright red ribbon bookmark and the way that the book fits cozily in my hands. Even before opening it, I knew that it would take me back to a simpler time, and of classic children's stories.
On one level, this is a straight adventure, about Rory, the younger twin brother, needing to prove to his family that he's all grown up and dependable and that he will find their lost grandfather. There is sibling rivalry, bullying at school -- all the things you'd expect in a book about kids, be they mouse kids or human.
But Marentette does some interesting things about stereotypes. The old people don't sit on rocking chairs and snooze. They are action heroes. I also like how Marentette shows the baby sister also as having her own set of special talents. What a nice chance for kids, to see that people (be they mouse or human) are active and vital regardless of their age.
Marentette also does interesting things with context. Just the thought of these little wee mice talking and thinking and going to school, making juneberry paste -- makes you want to stop and think and consider every little thing. It's also neat to think of the Stowaways' entire world is the size of a city block. I loved small details of a thimble falling on the father's head and getting stuck, a button becoming a bicycle wheel, escape by mail truck. All these instances of common things seen in different context is utterly neat to read.
And of course, what makes this book so enjoyable is that it is a page turner. We care about Rory and his family. We want them to find Grandfather. We want them to survive.
As I read this, I couldn't help thinking what a fabulous movie this would be.
Full of exciting adventure. Sure to delight kids and adults alike. My kids and I read one chapter a night and they could not wait to continue the adventure each evening. Well written, without "big confusing words", that most children would comprehend what was happening. Descriptive and delightful! A Canadian version of "American Tail" or "The Rescuers".
Wonderful new children's series. Sweet, engaging, and beautifully illustrated, with plenty of mystery and adventure, and at least one scene that will probably have me getting all teary-eyed when I read it to my niece. I'm glad I found this.
The Stowaways is an exciting first novel by Meghan Marentette. The main character, a little mouse by the name of Rory Stowaway, has been compared to Stuart Little, and he does have that gutsy and daring personality.
Rory lives with his twin brother, his little sister, his parents, and his grandmother. Since Rory’s grandfather failed to return from a daring adventure to the World Beyond, his father won’t let anyone go very far. He is anxious and has put a stop to exploring, but Rory is restless and wants to go searching for his grandfather and bring him home. His father is firmly against such an idea and will not hear of it.
The neighbours all believe Rory’s grandfather was killed in a trap, so they are standoffish with the family. They all are Weedle mice, and Weedle mice are normally not adventurous – the Stowaways being the exception for generations. Rory’s brother, Morgan, is a dreamer and wants to go on a sailing adventure, but when Rory learns his grandmother’s secret he is all the more determined to go on what he plans to be a rescue mission.
Life for the Stowaway family gets turned upside down by a series of unexpected events, scary and dangerous situations including a hurricane, a girl who likes to catch and cage mice, a cranky cat who wants to do worse than that, and more adventure than even Rory imagined.
The Stowaways by Meghan Marentette is a fast-paced tale consisting of eighteen chapters, lots of page-turning action, and Dean Griffiths’ wonderful illustrations that include maps on the end pages. It is not only young readers who will enjoy this book.
This children's novel focuses on a family of long-tailed mice, the Stowaways. Twins Morgan and Rory exemplify the family's history of innovation and adventurousness. Morgan likes gadgets, learning how things work, and making things. Rory hungers for a life beyond their little corner of the river and loves to hear stories of his grandfather's adventures. But Grandpa disappeared when Rory was just a baby, caught in a trap, and Rory and Morgan's dad is sure that he didn't survive. Gran thinks he might still be out there though, and when Great Aunt Hazel turns up alive, she is bent on finding out the truth about Grandpa. This is a nice little family, with Mama and Papa making daily treks to the nearby farm to cart home objects and tidbits of food, Gran berry picking for the family larder, and little sister Bimble eager to start school next fall. Rory becomes an assistant in his grandmother's quest to find Grandpa, and Morgan puts his mind to creating a bicycle like he saw in town and learning how to man a boat. Both young mice find success in their endeavors and prove to their father that they are mature enough to assist the family in meaningful ways. This is an interesting tale that will captivate young readers.
Sweet story of a little mouse who craves adventure ends up helping Grandma find out what really happened to Grandpa and getting more adventure than he knows what to do with. Being part of the Stowaway family used to mean high adventure but since the bad thing that happened to Grandpa it seems that nothing exciting will ever happen to them again. It is up to Rory and Gran to solve the mystery of Grandpa's disappearance and unlike Stuart Little, find out that not all humans are friends. They will meet many animal friend and foe before their journey comes to an end. Delightful illustrations are a bonus for fans of curious adventurous mice like "Stuart Little" and "The Mouse and the Motorcycle".
This beautifully designed and artfully written book is sure to become a modern classic. It tells the tale of travelling mice on a quest to find a missing grandpa. The minute you step into the world of these charismatic mice you're transported to a miniature realm every bit as endearing as Narnia and with an equally charming assortment of intriguing characters. Kids of all ages will love this book, and it will be especially appealing to parents who want something wholesome and refreshing to read to kids at bedtime.
Filled with lovely illustrations, this book is a delight from end to end. The storm climax is executed masterfully, creating a sense of chaos and mounting danger with admirable clarity and vividness. The characters and world are charming and lend the story the feel of a well loved classic. A book that practically begs to be read aloud! I eagerly await the further adventures of Morgan, Rory, and Bimble.