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The Tale of Despereaux: A Junior Novelization
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The Tale of Despereaux: A Junior Novelization

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  330 ratings  ·  57 reviews
This lively junior novelization of the film The Tale of Despereaux tells the story of several unlikely heroes: Despereaux, a brave mouse banished to the dungeon for speaking with a human; Roscuro, a good-hearted rat who loves light and soup, but is exiled to darkness; Pea, a Princess in a gloomy castle who is prisoner to her father's grief; and Mig, a servant girl who long ...more
Paperback, 218 pages
Published October 14th 2008 by Candlewick Press
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3.93  · 
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 ·  330 ratings  ·  57 reviews

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Kest Schwartzman
May 31, 2017 rated it it was ok
I ought to give it higher stars. It totally succeeds at its goal. This is a great book for reading aloud to a very small person. It isn't just a cutting down of the original- there's also a lot of cinimatic details added; a lot of places to make swashbuckling noises and gasps and other sound effects.

I can't help but think that one might as well just watch the movie, if one is going to cut out all the literary joy and add in sound effects, anyway.
Jun 18, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mark Zedrick
Sep 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book is very interesting because of how a mouse can fall in love with a princess. I recommend this book that like fantasy a lot.
Apr 25, 2018 rated it liked it
I give it a solid 3 stars.
It was written well enough for children to mostly understand, but it was very choppy and didn’t flow very well. I felt like I was reading a retelling of the movie and felt like the movie would be better presented then this novel because this novel lacks descriptive detail. The paragraphs sometimes jump from here to there and back again (like in a movie) without enough explanation and detail to make it flow. Overall, for children, it was fine, but I wouldn’t read for my
Feb 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-alouds-2018
Fun read aloud to the kids. A bit of jumping around so characters and plot needed to be explained a few times, but otherwise we all enjoyed the book.
K Grant
I really struggled to enjoy this, I keep thinking I'd like the actual novel better than this juvenile version. My boys aged 9 & 6 loved it, so it worked for them. It was choppy and confusing for me.
Lisa Mason
Sep 24, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
1. The Tales of Despereaux is a fantasy novel.

2. The book retells the adventures of a mouse and a rat who cross paths through an unfortunate incident with a bowl of soup. They each discover that being a hero and rescuing the Princess is not as easy as they think and will cost more than they expect.

3. In this novel, the theme of loss is stronger than one would expect. A daughter has lost her mother, a mouse has lost his family, a rat has lost his freedom and an entire town has lost their hope all
Feb 19, 2009 added it
This book is about a little young baby mouse that is called Despereaux. He is not like the other mice. For example he has huge ears and he is not scared of a human. Also when they show him a knife everybody but him gets scared or screams. In the beggining he is born with his huge ears. He starts roming the castle where the mice live. There are rules the rats have to follow or else if they dont follow them they might die. One of the first rules to stay alive is never ever talk to a human. Anothe ...more
Connor Bray
May 20, 2015 rated it it was ok
In this Fantasy novel The Tale of Despereaux By Kate DiCamillo is about a small mouse that's born into cold stone walls of a castle. He's the last of the litter even though e he may die, his mother names him Despereaux meaning 'Despair'. Unlike other mice Despereaux is born with unusually large ears and is born with his eyes open also he's uninterested in mice activities and prefers listening to the music that the king makes with his guitar. After breaking mouse rules Despereaux is sent to the ...more
Christina Martin
Apr 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
The Tale of Despereaux Summary by Kate DiCamillo was one of my favorite books growing up. I used to read it over and over again. It is about a mouse, named Despereaux, who lives in a castle with very large ears. Aside from looking different than the other mice, he is interested in different things. One day, he runs into the princess and talks to her, which breaks the mouse rules. He is in big trouble with his family and embarks on an adventure to get himself out of trouble. The book is split up ...more
Jan 10, 2009 rated it liked it
I picked this up on accident. I meant to read the original book. I haven't seen the movie yet, so I can't say how they compare, but going on the way the scenes are cut in this book I'd say they're nearly identical. That said, the author does a good job of making it seem like a well-narrated book instead of a novelization of something with very little narration.

From just starting the original book, I can see why some of the themes wouldn't be appropriate for very young readers, so this might be a
Mrs. Esterl
Nov 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
The Tale of Despereaux is about a mouse that has big floppy ears. This mouse thinks he is the hero so he has a sowing needle for a sword. His favorite game is to get the cheese from the mouse traps.he also loves to meat new people. He is a loving mouse.

This mouse was born the day that the royal soup was getting baked. It was in a has it full with bread. And that's were he was born. The next day he got his friends and went to a mouse trap and he got a string and went down the string and got the
Oct 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
1. Genre- Traditional Literature
2. Awards- None
3. Grade Level- 3-5
4. This was a cute story about a mouse's quest to save a princess. After reading the story, I will have the students get in three groups. I will assign each of the groups one of the main characters. The groups will then come up with a character chart about the character. Then, the students will use these charts to write a paragraph about one of the three character, whichever they chose. I think this is a good activity to use with
Sep 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: rdg-4050
The Tale of Despereaux: A Junior Novelization is a cute story about a mouse and a rat. This book is one that children are sure to enjoy, and it also contained pictures of what the main characters looked like in the movie. I didn't mean to pick up this book I wanted the original book, but I enjoyed reading this book. This book is easy for children to read and one that they will probably enjoy due to having animals in the story. After reading this story I really want to read the original story and ...more
Jan 21, 2009 rated it really liked it
I read this with my daughter. We both thought this was an incredibly cute story and we can't wait to see the movie. I didn't realize that this was not the version of the book written my Kate DiCamillo. The version we read was the novelization of the movie, so it was probably a little bit different from the original book. My daughter is currently reading DiCamillo's book in her classroom with her teacher, so we won't bother reading that one. But I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for ...more
Miguel Jimenez
Nov 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
The book The Tale of Depereaux by Jamie Michalak is about a mouse who is differnt from everyone else who goes on an adventure and meets a princess. He makes some promisess to her but he gets sent down to the dungeon with the rats because he broke the rule of no talking to humans. He ends up having an adventure with some of his friends and saves the day from the rats. I realy enjoyed this book because it has a lot of action and adventure and it is fantasy. I reccomend this book to anyone that lik ...more
Mar 24, 2016 rated it liked it
I was really looking forward to this, my final book for Battle of the Books, but I did not realize it was not the original version. The unabridged audio version of this book is absolutely delightful, but this book lost some of its charm and many of its details. And I imagine since it was based on the movie, there were some very choppy transitions from chapter to chapter with holes in the action. Still enjoyable, but now I am craving the original!
Feb 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classics, 2nd-grade
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 20, 2015 rated it liked it
I have just read the fictional fantasy novel, The Tale Of Despereaux, written by Kate Dicamillo. In the story, a mouse (Despereaux) is an outcast who is sent to the dungeon for falling in love with a human princess (Princess Pea). A rat (Roscuro) then kidnaps the beautiful princess and Despereaux decides he must go on a quest to save her. I rated this book three stars because it was enjoyable, but did not meet up with the age group it was written to represent.
Apr 05, 2009 rated it liked it
This was certainly better than the movie. Some parts weren't mentioned in the movied that were mentioned in the book. That was a little confusing to me, because Ir ead the book first.

I would most like to be like Despereacux. He always told himself to have honesty, courage and honor. He never gave up. He reminds me of Dumbo and Horton from Horton hears a who.

End of review.
Sep 14, 2009 rated it really liked it
A very adventurous book that I think will be great fun to read to my own children. I actually approve of the liberty this author took in adding and changing characters to create this junior novelization. In many respects, I think it will be an easier book to read aloud to children than the original/longer version by Kate DiCamillo.
Zachary Yoo
Sep 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
I think the book was interesting because there was a mouse who was unique and one of a kind.Its text was very descriptive & it had very good details.It also had a good flow of words.I think it was a "just right" book for me.The book had vocabulary at my level.I think it is age appropriate for ages 10-12.I would like to recommend it to my friend because he loves books that have adventurous genres
I'm searching for a book for one of my 6th graders who has been reading Calvin & Hobbes for one month so I found this junior novelization to add to the other books I'll offer him that are easier graphic novels. I'm hopeful this will work. I really hate novelizations, but this one was ok without being too cutesy.
Mar 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Ho Ho! Stealing cheese from mouse traps? Knights in castles? That may sound strange but it's a good book! But before I can tell you that story, I have to tell you this story. But I can't tell you THAT story...I forgot how the book goes. Don't read the real book because that's not the story. Read the junior novelization of the Tale of Despereaux.
Feb 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This book was fantastic! I read the whole thing outloud to the kids and they loved it just as much as I did. I really enjoyed the whole story. I can't wait to see the movie to this! This is an excellent book for any reader that loves fun and adventure. This book is rated for 7-12 year old. I am in my late 30's and I LOVED IT! Happy Reading! Heather
Jul 19, 2009 rated it liked it
This was a fun really quick read. This book is not the original story but is a book written from the movie. My oldest son (8) really loved the book and I would recommend this book for any young readers. I want to read the original story now but that may be a while.
Carol Evans
Apr 21, 2009 rated it really liked it
This is cute, but remember it's the movie version and not actually written by DiCamillo. I haven't rad the orginal so I can't compare them . Amber enjoyed it, which was what mattered. It's a fun story with a daring mouse, a princess in need of rescue and the meaning of true courage.
Dec 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is the story about a really brave and well mannered mouse , some soup and lots of adventures. Throw in some rats, a beautiful princess and the odd tragedy and you have yourself a darn good read.
Jan 04, 2017 rated it did not like it
The original Tale of Despereaux is one of my favorite books of all time. Therefore, I don't understand why someone felt the need to write a different book based off of the movie. Especially since they called it "a junior novelization," meanwhile the original is already for kids.
Mar 09, 2009 rated it it was ok
At first I felt like it was similar to Ratatouille, but was pleasantly surprised. This is the jr. novelization version, but that's good, since I was after the basic storyline. My daughter Megan will probably love it.
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Jamie Michalak is the author of more than thirty children's books, including the highly praised Joe and Sparky series of early readers and SO YOU WANT TO CATCH BIGFOOT?

When not writing, she can be found racing cars, walking planks, or riding in the Millennium Falcon with her two sons. Jamie was born in Springfield, Massachusetts, and grew up in the same neighborhood where Dr. Seuss once lived. Sh