Posted on March 1st, 2014 by pajamapress
“Gr 2-5–Rory Stowaway comes from a long line of adventuring mice. He does not understand why his own papa is so against going out into the world beyond their cozy little home on Biggle’s farm. It’s true that his Grampa disappeared on one of his journeys, but even Gran thinks Papa has gone too far in squashing the family’s exploring ways. Rory can’t help but keep hoping that Grampa is alive, and when some clues come to light regarding his whereabouts, Rory and Gran jump at the chance to find him. The rescue takes them further afield than they imagine, and Rory’s twin, Morgan, has to fight his own less-adventurous nature if he is going to see his brother and Gran again. Themes of courage, family, friendship, and accepting differences permeate the story. Intermittent and well-placed black-and-white illustrations lend a vintage feel to the overall design of the book. A fine debut that deserves a place alongside Cynthia Voigt’s Young Fredle (Knopf) and Richard Peck’s Secrets at Sea (Dial, both 2011).”
—Stacy Dillon, LREI, New York City
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Posted on February 20th, 2014 by pajamapress
“Rory Stowaway is a young mouse yearning for adventure. He wants to explore the World Beyond like his ancestors but, ever since Grampa disappeared during one such expedition, his family feels differently. Papa believes his father was eaten by a cat and Gran insists that her travelling days are over. Rory is not so easilydisuaded and soon enough the entire Stowaway family finds itself embroiled in a mouse-sized fantasy bigger than even Rory could have imagined.
Like Arrietty of The Borrowers or Stuart Little, Rory Stowaway is a pocket-sized hero set against rather large odds…When Rory discovers evidence that his Grampa may still be alive, plenty of action ensues. Young readers will delight in Rory’s miniature mouse world and cheer on Rory, Gran and the rest of the Stowaway family as they battle against cats, escape scientists and survive a hurricane.
Meghan Marentette’s debut story is nicely paced and hearkens back to a simpler time—Rory and the ‘Weedle’ mice live in a world without Google, Xbox or iPhones. The Stowaways are thoroughly human despite being mice and young readers will easily relate to the sibling rivalry, family conflicts and Rory’s frustration with his parents as he tries to become the mouse he wants to be. The book itself will appeal to youngsters with its glossy hardcover, a red ribbon bookmark and lively illustrations by Dean Griffiths.
The Stowaways is an engaging story which would also be a wonderful read-aloud book for younger children at home or in the classroom. The book’s endearing characters, exciting plot and the central themes of family and growing up would be fertile ground for classroom discussion.”—Tracey Schindler
Posted on January 29th, 2014 by pajamapress
“An adventure-seeking mouse leaves the safety of home to search for his missing grandfather in the terrifying World Beyond, with perilous consequences.
Rory Stowaway has grown up in the protected Weedle Mouse community, but he knows “his own life [is] meant for adventure.” Unlike the Weedle mice who scorn them, the Stowaways have “always been known as great explorers.” But ever since Grampa Stowaway disappeared on a caper into the World Beyond, Papa has refused to take Rory and his twin brother, Morgan, exploring, as Terrible Things could happen. However, their Gran’s determined to search for Grampa, and Rory knows he must help her. With remarkable finesse and guts, they begin an incredible odyssey that carries them into a zoological museum and a scientific lab, where they are captured and barely escape through the mail. Meanwhile, Morgan initiates a search for his missing twin, and soon, the whole family’s involved, but not before a flood threatens their lives and home. Although the World Beyond proves as dangerous as Papa predicted, the diminutive but feisty Stowaways are up to the challenge. Black-and-white pencil illustrations capture the Stowaways in action.
In the tradition of memorable mouse heroes, the Stowaways deliver page-turning, cliffhanging, heartwarming, first-rate adventure. (map) (Animal fantasy. 8-12)”
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