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The Tale of Despereaux

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4.03  ·  Rating details ·  143,539 ratings  ·  9,322 reviews
A brave mouse, a covetous rat, a wishful serving girl, and a princess named Pea come together in Kate DiCamillo's Newbery Medal–winning tale.

Welcome to the story of Despereaux Tilling, a mouse who is in love with music, stories, and a princess named Pea. It is also the story of a rat called Roscuro, who lives in the darkness and covets a world filled with light. And it is
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Paperback, 267 pages
Published September 9th 2008 by Candlewick Press (first published August 25th 2003)
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Popular Answered Questions
Vi i have been i'm just n eleven year old but this book completely changed my way of life with the darkness and the lightness
Amariah Dixon You may have already read it, but, yeah. It has a sweet ending.

Community Reviews

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4.03  · 
Rating details
 ·  143,539 ratings  ·  9,322 reviews


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Mischenko
Nov 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
From the moment Despereaux the mouse was born, everyone knew he was different. Born extremely small with strange ears and the only survivor of the litter, his parents weren't sure if he could stay alive. As time goes on, Despereaux becomes quite a curious little critter and begins to question the world around him. He discovers a love for music and falls in love with a lovely princess named Pea. The issue is that Despereaux has gone against the rules put forth by the mouse council by showing hims ...more
Claire Greene
Apr 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: EVERYONE!!
I picked this book up on a whim in the Barnes & Noble because I liked the look of the cover and the jagged edges of the paper that gave it a "classic" feel. I was looking for a new bedtime book to read to my children - 2 and 6 at the time. We like to read a bigger book, one chapter each night - for bedtime stories. I read the description and thought it sounded like a good idea so I went ahead and bought it (which is REALLY unusual for me - I can be a cheapskate!) It is by far some of the bes ...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
The Tale of Despereaux, Kate DiCamillo
The adventures of a mouse named Despereaux Tilling, as he sets out on his quest to rescue a beautiful human princess from the rats. The novel is divided into four "books" and ends with a coda. Each "book" tells the story from a different character's or group of characters' perspective: Despereaux, Roscuro, Miggery Sow, and finally all of them combined.
عنوانها: موش کوچولو؛ ماجرای دسپرو؛ قصه ی دسپروکس؛ دسپروکس؛ نویسنده: کیت دی کامیلو؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز د
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Camille
Mar 17, 2008 rated it it was ok
OK, so now that I've thought about what I really think about this book, I'm changing my rating from 3 stars to 2 stars. There was more that I didn't like than I liked. After hearing a lot good reports about this book, I think I was expecting something different. I liked the idea of the light versus dark. I liked the unlikely friendship between the mouse and the princess. I liked the forgiveness. And I liked that it ended up "happily ever after", for the most part.

I started out reading this book
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Jason Koivu
Feb 03, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
I remember reading books like this or having them read to me as a kid. It was always a frustrating experience, because I never liked when the author would stop the story in order to go back over something. "Yeah, I got it the first time," I would think to myself. Learning, teaching and making sure the kids get it is important, but so is keeping them engaged.

The story itself is only okay. It's nothing terribly exciting and honestly not a lot happens. There's an unusual mouse and he wishes to sav
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Kelly
Absolutely enchanting. Full of compassion, sweetness and dreamers, with exquisite word choice and delicate rhythms. The narrator's voice is like a comforting but sharply intelligent grandmother, pushing you to both see and feel with the best of yourself. I started to read this this this morning for work purposes, I finished it because I couldn't put it down.
Apokripos
Nov 24, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Kids at heart!
Recommended to Apokripos by: the "Voice"
Seeing the Light
(A Book Review of Kate DiCamillo’s The Tale of Desperaux)


Despereaux Tilling is the most unusual mouse you’lll likely meet. Conspicously small with considerable large ears, he has always been seen as different, an outsider among his own — a mouse drawn to music, fascinated with stories, and breaks the strict rule of their kind by falling in love with a human, the Princess Pea.

Roscuro leads a normal, rotten rat life in the dungeon, his is a world of utter darkness. Until one day, w
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Eryn
Apr 28, 2017 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Children
3 stars

I remember reading this as a child and enjoying it, though I'm sure it wouldn't be as good as when I'd read it at eleven. Therefore, 3 stars seems good enough.
Debbie Zapata
Jan 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: saturdaymx
I never knew this was a book. I saw the movie of it on one of my bus trips north. Or maybe it was on the return trip south. Or even both, because I know I saw it twice. I thought the movie was wonderful, but as I say, I never knew it had been a book first. I just stumbled across the title while browsing at my favorite online used book seller one day and thought 'Oh, I have to get this!'

And the book was every bit as wonderful as the movie. Actually better, because I loved the way DiCamillo would
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Elizabeth
Oct 22, 2011 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: NO ONE
Um, I really disliked this book. I read it aloud with my #3 and feel like a bad parent for doing so. Poor Miggery Sow- named after a pig, motherless, traded for next to nothing, abused, and then later described as lazy and fat. Crikey. And then there was the author's penchant for describing things to the "Reader" as an aside. Despereaux actually has a small part considering the continuous horrors of the story: evil rats, fair-weathered parents/siblings, the Queen's death, and the no soup decree. ...more
Laura
May 01, 2009 rated it really liked it
I've now read this for the third time, every time as an adult. This is a book about the power of love and kindness. It is about how we are more alike than we are different. Important ideas to reinforce, and becoming more important by the day.

Highly recommended to kids of all ages and the audio performance is beautifully and sensitively performed.

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I loved this book. There are so many great lessons for kids about doing the right thing, being brave, forgiving and having emp
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Gloria
Jul 27, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Older children, younger teens
Recommended to Gloria by: Teacher
Shelves: young-adult
This book left me with the feeling that this story may not appeal to all readers. There were several important themes addressed in the story, yet little emotional attachment to the characters. The only character that many might relate to is Despereaux himself. He is ‘different’ both physically and emotionally from his peers which at first mostly works against him, though ultimately these unique qualities eventually save the day.

I did really appreciate the way this author drew in the reader in a
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Truman32
Sep 16, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I had high hopes for Kate DiCamillo’s The Tale of Despereaux. What could I not like? It was about a tiny mouse with big ears, ostracized from the other mice, who fell in love with the human Princess Pea. Armed with only a sewing needle, Despereaux bravely goes to battle with the devious rats in the palace dungeon who have stolen her.

I mean, it’s got to be great, right?!!! So I took it on vacation with my six-year-old son to read to him at bedtimes.

Sadly, the story is slow paced and doesn’t cont
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R.F. Gammon
My little sister just reread this book and it brought back all my traumatizing and terrifying memories of it and holy crap I hate this book Imma go have nightmares now

(seriously the dungeon scared me SO MUCH)

(this is not a children's book)
Dimitris Hall
Aug 18, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: anti-shelf, fiction


I was thinking the other day: what would you do if you had a negative (and I mean really negative) opinion on a book but by chance happened to come across its author? What would you tell them if they asked you what you thought about their book?

Without the luxury of the internet or reviews or all the other ways we have of expressing a negative opinion on things without having to come into direct contact with their creator, we tend to be more insensitive with our criticism. The medium is the mess
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Jon
May 19, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who appreciate overwrought children's books.
Some children's books are wonderfully odd. Others are just odd.

The story of Desperaux (a mouse who doesn't just want to be a mouse) is told through the eyes of several different characters. As the stories weave in an out of each other, they draw closer together until the predictably improbably ending.

Unfortunately, the characters in the world of Desperaux are all two dimensional; we are repeatedly told how bad the bad guys/rats are, and how good the good guys/mice are, and how clumsy a clumsy
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Monique
Mar 12, 2012 rated it really liked it

Two words to describe The Tale of Despereaux : sweet and heartwarming. In fact, if I were to give it another title, I'd call it A Little Mouse in Shining Armor. ;)

The Tale of Despereaux is the combined stories of three unique characters. Despereaux Tilling is born small, but with huge ears. He is, however, no ordinary mouse, for he can read, he loves stories and music, and he eventually falls in love with pretty Princess Pea. Chiaroscuro, or Roscuro, is a rat who lives in the dungeon, but
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Qt
Apr 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I listened to the story on tape--the reading undoubtedly added to my enjoyment and appreciation of it.
nicole
Jun 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing
A perfect combination of sweet and dark. Or light and dark, would be a more fitting description, I suppose. And by that I don't just mean that there were good deeds and bad deeds, right and wrong and everyone learned a lesson. Everyone didn't learn a lesson and some people/rats/mice were bad, cowardly, or just plain stupid. This is nothing like Roald Dahl, but they share a quality that I very much appreciate, particularly in children's lit: they let you dislike the unlikeable. Everyone is not ni ...more
Malbadeen
Aug 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Malbadeen by: Sarah
I love this book! I love, love, love this book! Which is something, because I don't typically love, love, love books and most certainly not books about mice. And I'm not a big reader of fantasy/fairy tales But this book: this book I LOVE!
I read the first few chapters of this book several times before actually reading it. I'd see it in the library (where I work) or at home (waiting to be read) or in a teachers classroom and I always felt compelled to re-read the beginning purely for the enjoyment
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Holly
Nov 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-own, 2017
Reader, you must know that an interesting fate (sometimes involving rats, sometimes not) awaits almost everyone, mouse or man, who does not conform.

This is a cute and entertaining story about an undersized mouse with oversized ears who falls in love with a princess. Although this book is geared toward children, the plot and the writing are sophisticated enough that people of all ages should be able to enjoy it. I thought it was funny and heartwarming, and I loved the message behind it. My only c
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Suzanne
Sep 19, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Roald Dahl fans
Recommended to Suzanne by: Laura Forde
I saw the upcoming movie previews and thought I should read the book. This edition is a slim volume with ragged edged paper and lovely charcoal illlustrations.
It certainly is an original work. Young Despereaux is the youngest mouse, born of a french mouse mother and father. He is the runt, small and undersized with big ears. He was born with his "eyes wide open". These ears allow him to hear things other mice don't hear and his eyes observes things other mice don't see. Thus the adventure beg
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Rina
Sep 24, 2007 rated it it was amazing
A talking mouse falls in love with a beautiful princess, and, armed with only a needle, vows to rescue her from the clutches of an evil rat and a dull servant-girl. Admittedly, it sounds a bit (okay, very) trite. That was my mindset too, even after the librarian had gushed on and on about what a wonderful book it was (did she think I was going to read some LITTLE KIDS' fairytale?).

But two years ago, I was waiting backstage during a piano concert, bored out of my mind, when I found The Tale of De
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Rachel Aranda
This is an absolute treasure of a book. Everyone needs to read this book no matter what their age is because it is absolutely that wonderful of a book. The story seemed so different from what I expected of a fairy tale setting. There was a certain level of darkness to this story that was balanced by the happy moments and feelings Despereaux experiences. This is why I think this book could be read by anyone at any age.

Graeme Malcolm was the perfect choice for this audiobook. It was delightful hea
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Nessa
Jan 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing
A award winning book about a mouse, a love, a rat, and some soup.
C.B. Cook
May 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Not many books make me tear up, but when I got to the end of this one... yeah, I did. Mostly because it's a gorgeous ending, and the author note? Priceless. <3 Always one of my childhood favorites!
Nafiza
Sep 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
If somebody had tried to tell me a month ago that one of my favourite books read in 2012 would have a little mouse as its protagonist, I would have laughed. I am not big on anthropomorphic characters. I mean, except cats that appear as characters. Those I love but mice and other talking things? Yeah, no, not my thing at all. However, Despereaux calls to mind something warm, something soft, defenseless. Like one of those pictures of kittens that are so plentiful on tumblr. How do you resist?

Anywa
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Meagan
Jun 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Just started this two hours ago for the Bibliothon & finished it in one sitting. It's such a cute and entertaining read. I love it just as much this second time than when my mom read it to me years ago.
It is the story of a little brave mouse, a lost rat, a wishful slave girl, and a sweet princess. Their lives all become intertwined. I really liked how the author addressed the reader and told some good ethics to the readers. So when a young reader reads this they are getting a good message t
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Libby May
That was such a weird story I have no clue what genre it qualifies as.
It was sort of cute at first, and then got creepy quickly. And then sort of tangled up in a complicated "happily ever after."

Umm... so yeah.

Check mark?

Beth
Lovely, excellent audio. Beautiful, convincing narration. The ending of the story itself seemed a bit abrupt, but I know I would have loved this as a child.
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Kate DiCamillo, the newly named National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature for 2014–2015, says about stories, “When we read together, we connect. Together, we see the world. Together, we see one another.” Born in Philadelphia, the author lives in Minneapolis, where she faithfully writes two pages a day, five days a week.

Kate DiCamillo's own journey is something of a dream come true. After
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“Stories are light. Light is precious in a world so dark. Begin at the beginning. Tell Gregory a story. Make some light.” 467 likes
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