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Bless this Mouse

Bless this Mouse

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Bless this Mouse

4/5 (5 valutazioni)
134 pagine
1 ora
Mar 21, 2011


A resilient and quirky colony of church mice fears another Great X more than they fear cats. Under Mouse Mistress Hildegarde’s leadership, they save themselves from one danger after another—sometimes just by the skin of their tails! Can one ultimate act of bravery during the feast day of St. Francis get Father Murphy to bless these mice and keep them safe forever?Rife with humor and personality, this young middle-grade novel has an old-fashioned feel with the makings of a modern classic.
Mar 21, 2011

Informazioni sull'autore

LOIS LOWRY, author of over thirty novels and twice winner of the Newbery Medal for The Giver and Number the Stars,was born on the 20th of March 1937 in Hawaii. Her father was an Army dentist and the family lived all over the world. She went to Brown University, but left to get married and a raise a family of four children. She settled in Maine, and returned to college receiving a degree from the University of Southern Maine. She fulfilled a childhood dream when she started writing in the 1970s.

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Bless this Mouse - Lois Lowry


Text copyright © 2011 by Lois Lowry

Illustrations copyright © 2011 by Eric Rohmann

All rights reserved. For information about permission to reproduce selections from this book, write to Permissions, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, 215 Park Avenue South, New York, New York 10003.

The illustrations in this book are inkwash and pencil.

The Library of Congress has cataloged the print edition as follows:

Lowry, Lois.

Bless this mouse / written by Lois Lowry and illustrated by Eric Rohmann.

p. cm.

Summary: Mouse Mistress Hildegarde musters all her ingenuity to keep a large colony of church mice safe from the exterminator and to see that they make it through the dangerous Blessing of the Animals.

[1. Mice—Fiction.] I. Rohmann, Eric, ill. II. Title.

PZ7.L9673Bl 2011



ISBN 978-0-547-39009-3 hardcover

ISBN: 978-0-544-43936-8 paperback

eISBN 978-0-547-57391-5



Margaret Holcombe,

so very close to saintly


A Bad Time for Babies

Hildegarde sighed, a loud, squeaking, outraged sort of sigh, when she was informed that a new litter of mouselets had been born in the sexton’s closet. Such bad timing! Such bad placement!

She scurried from the sacristy, the private room where Father Murphy’s special priestly clothes were stored. She’d been napping there comfortably, until Roderick, whiskers twitching, woke her with the news. Oh, he was a busybody, no question! Always looking for a reaction. Well, he got one this time! She was furious.

Checking carefully to be certain there were no humans around (sometimes the Altar Guild ladies dropped in during the afternoons to rearrange flowers), Hildegarde tiptoed quickly into the large, highceilinged church itself, through the side section known as the transept, and entered the central area called the nave. Audaciously she hurried down the center aisle, ready at any instant to disappear into a pew and under a kneeler if someone entered. But the sanctuary was empty and quiet and she made her way, undisturbed, down its length.

Next she found herself in the narthex. Hildegarde so liked the formal names for the parts of the church. If she were in an ordinary house, she thought, twitching her nose at the idea, this would be known as the front hall. What an ordinary name! Narthex had a ring to it. You knew you were in an important place when you entered a narthex!

There was a tiny opening here, beside the front door, where the floor had settled slightly. Through the opening Hildegarde could enter the wall. The church mice all used this as an entry or exit because stairs were a problem for them. It was easier to ascend or descend inside the wall, where there were tangled wires and frayed insulation to cling to. Carefully, she scurried downward.

Now, having made her way below, she was in the interior wall of the undercroft. Since Hildegarde had lived in Saint Bartholemew’s all her life, she knew the route by heart, especially where to scramble over the copper pipes and how to avoid the places where drifting insulation made her sneeze. There were many exits here in the undercroft: one, she recalled, amused as she passed it, into the nursery, a noisy place on Sunday mornings and best avoided. Babies in general were best avoided. They spent time on the floor, could see into crevices, and had graspy hands.

But at least babies couldn’t talk, and report a mouse sighting! The group to be most feared, Hildegard thought, was the Altar Guild. More than one of the ladies had actually shrieked upon happening on a mouse. Oh, dear. Always an uproar when that happened. (Men seemed to be more sensible about such things.)

Finally, after passing countless Sunday School rooms and making her way carefully around the complicated piping of the bathrooms, Hildegarde arrived at the entrance, a small gnawed hole, to the sexton’s closet. She winced when the ragged hole edge grabbed her sleek coat, but wriggled through; then, emerging on the other side within the closet itself, she fastidiously pulled her long, elegant tail through in one swoop.

There they were, curled in a nest made in the sexton’s ropey gray mop: at least seven of them, it appeared, and bright pink, a color Hildegarde had always disliked. Annoyed, she looked around. She knew the mother would be nearby. No self-respecting mouse mother would leave infants this young alone. So someone was hiding.

Show yourself! Hildegarde commanded. She didn’t use her commanding voice terribly often, even though she was the matriarch, the chosen Mouse Mistress, and therefore entitled. But she was angry and nervous. The timing of this was so unfortunate.

The mouse mother responded with a timid squeak, peeping out from between the ropey tangles of a moldy-smelling mop.

"I knew it would be you! I just knew it!" Hildegarde said.

Who told? squeaked the mouse, guiltily. She made her way over toward the litter, which was beginning to whimper and wiggle at the sound of her voice. She nudged them back into a tidy pile with her nose and then lay down beside the babies, looking up at Hildegarde.

I simply guessed. It was obvious, Hildegarde said with a sniff. Of course it was Roderick who had told her. That irresponsible little Millicent has reproduced again, he had announced in his arrogant, judgmental way, after he had poked Hildegarde with his nose and completely ruined her afternoon nap.

She peered down at the young mother. How many litters does this make?

Millicent cringed in embarrassment. Four, she confessed.

Four this year? Or four overall? Hildegarde gave an exasperated sniff. Oh, never mind. It doesn’t matter. The point is, as Mouse Mistress, I am commanding you to stop this incessant reproduction! It’s jeopardizing all of us. And particularly now. Do you realize it’s late September?

Millicent rearranged herself and the mouselets squirmed

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  • (4/5)
    Ds enjoyed the audio of this book. He liked the mix of true facts; exterminator, glue strips, etc. with the make believe of the mice living their lives in a church.
  • (5/5)
    very good story, the audiobook version was a delight to listen to. i really enjoy Lois Lowry's stories.
  • (4/5)
    The church mice at Saint Bartholemew's are not looking forward to the Blessing of the Animals. Charming story with lovely illustrations by Eric Rohmann.
  • (5/5)
    I received an advanced reader's copy of Bless This Mouse by Lois Lowry back in early January. I am appalled at how long it has taken me to get to this wonderful book, but shortly after receiving the galley, I had two surgeries. The galley got pushed aside in all the recovery and follow up.Summary: Bless This Mouse tells the story of a group of church mice, led by Mouse Mistress Hildegarde and their efforts to avoid The Big X. Hildegarde is responsible for keeping all 200 plus mice who live at St. Bartholemew's safe and hidden. Not an easy job when new litters are being born and her nemesis Lucretia is constantly looking for ways to undermine Hildegarde so she can become Mouse Mistress. To make matters even more challenging, the mice are discovered and must seek refuge outside the church while Father Murphy calls in The Big X to get rid of them. After a few days the mice are able to return to the church, but they are not out of danger yet. The Blessing of the Animals is any day and you know what that means - Cats! Lots and lots of cats! Will Hildegarde be able to keep everyone safe?Lois Lowery is perhaps best known for her serious novels: The Giver and Number the Stars - for which she won Newbery Awards. However, she makes the transition to animal stories with ease. This is a delightful story about overcoming dangers and appreciating all animals great and small.. While there is a significant religious connection, it is not overpowering and will not put off those of a more secular nature. Lowry has created likable characters that will delight readers. These mice are more like Laura Numeroff's popular school attending picture book mouse than the rodents that generally make humans squeal with disgust. Hildegarde is a clever and hardworking character and will have readers rooting for her success against the Great X. Illustrator Eric Rohmann's wonderful pencil drawings help make the mice even more charming..Amazon lists the reading level as 9 - 12, which sounds just right. It was also make a great read aloud for 2nd grade classrooms.This a must read for fans of Lois Lowry and animals stories in general.Mrs. Archer's Rating: 5 of 5.
  • (3/5)
    this is a nice children's book. The drawings are very cute.
    It bears some similarities to the Redwall stories.
  • (3/5)
    Really more a two-and-a-half. Cute story, but just no oomph-- not even quiet oomph-- which is surprising coming from Lois Lowry. It's unclear who the intended audience is-- initially thought grades 2-4, but the references to AA and X-rated DVDs make it questionable read-aloud material in a classroom or family setting. I listened to it, and the narrator did a good job with what she had. Maybe the pictures in the book version would have bumped it up more-- Eric Rohmann is quite awesome.
  • (5/5)
    This is a beautifully told tale of a community of church mice. Their Mouse Mistress, Hidegarde, keeps their lives in order from making sure babies are nested in the proper places, to conducting prayer services for all of the mice. This book has lots going on in it, The Great X, rescues, meeting new friends, and exploring the unknown. The Mouse Mistress reminds me of a nun that I had as a teacher when I was in Catholic school. She is very firm, expects order and for the children to obey. She comes across very gruff at time, but she really has a soft spot for her community and will do anything for each and everyone of the members. The illustrations I did get to see in this uncorrected proof were just adorable. I can not wait to see the book in it finalized glory. I would recommend to the young and old alike!
  • (3/5)
    Let me begin by saying that my favorite part of the story were the illustrations. The writing is good, as one expects from Lois Lowry, but the pictures were just so charming. I love looking at them, and they were a large part of why I requested this title from NetGalley, even though children's fiction is not my particular niche.

    The story is cute and simple, teaching children some big words, like narthex ans sacristy, without feeling at all like a lesson. In fact, although the mice live in the church and worship themselves, it does not feel at all like Lois Lowry is trying to indoctrinate children. There seems to be no intention of conversion here; this is just where the story happens to be set.

    The mice are definitely humanized, which is cool. The only thing I didn't like about the story was the way that that was done. I didn't mind the mice talking in their own language at all or they're ability to read or listen in on conversations. What bothered me is that they are depicted wearing clothing, which is cute, but I don't think is even accurate to the story so far as I can tell. Nor did I like that a mouse was able to converse with a human at the end. If that were so easy, then they would have done so long ago. In a fantasy, I would not mind at all (for example, the mice in The 10th Kingdom), but this seems to be set in the real world. That just seemed a bit jumbled to me, and to weaken the plot up to that point.

    Despite those slight weaknesses, though, this was an exceedingly cute story. Fans of children's literature about animals should love it and I would definitely recommend it as a present to children who are reading chapter books and expanding their vocabularies. Today's song comes from the Ratatouille soundtrack, because they both have cute mice; I don't care that these mice are not remotely French. :-)
  • (4/5)
    Grades 2-5. Cute story about church mice and the big X. Hildegarde the Mouse Mistress of Saint Bartholemew's has her paws full keeping over 200 church mice under control and out of the way of humans. A quick feel good read.
  • (4/5)
    What a charming and adorable little adventure! I love Lois Lowry and all her works. There are so few worthwhile books aimed for this particular age group that I know this will be quite popular. I'm not sure that the very religious slant of the book will be appreciated by all but there is a large group of young Christian readers who will love this book. As a public library with a Catholic school right across the street, it will be greatly appreciated to finally have a book that will be extremely easy to recommend to all these children. One regret: the small bit about the Father drinking wine and Roderick licking up all the spills (and getting tipsy in the process) might upset a few Christian parents.
  • (4/5)
    This book could be used to teach children the importance of working together and listening to their leader or teacher. As the head mouse tries to keep her pack safe from extermination and cats.
  • (4/5)
    Very cute story,heart warming and touching and some lessons to learn.I can see why this book is popular with kids and adults!
  • (5/5)
    I have always enjoyed the books of Lois Lowry. This was probably one of the best. The little mice felt so human. In this story, Hildegarde is one of many mice who live in the church. She makes it clear the difference between the different mice. She see church mice as being more blessed than field mice. She tries to keep the other mice safe. On one occasion several mice are seen. The priest now knows it is not just one mouse but several mice. He calls for the exterminator. It is up to Hildegarde to prepare the for the the exodus like they had in the Bible days. She knows all about the Bible as she leads the mice in singing the Sunday hymns and learning the scripture. She manages to save them from the Great-X but what will she do to be sure they will always be safe? Read the book and see how "The Feast of Saint Francis" figures in to this wonderful story.
  • (4/5)
    Two-time Newbery medal winner Lois Lowry is one of my favorite authors. Number the Stars, The Silent Boy and The Giver tend to be serious books, Bless This Mouse is different from her other writings. It is whimsical, delightful, humorous and down right fun.A large group of 200 plus mice live in St. Bartholemew's parish church. When the congregation and the rector discover that the population is growing, fearfully the consequence is possible extermination. In charge of the group of mice is older, wiser Hildegarde who must find a solution to save her flock.While lighter than previous books, this lovely tale happens to sneak in a philosophical message regarding the respect for all creatures great and small.This is a book with wonderful illustrations by the Caldecott Medalist Eric Rohmann. It is a quick, breezy read for a hot summer day!Recommended.
  • (5/5)
    This is a review of a digital advance copy via netGalley.Lowry, Lois. Bless This Mouse. Illustrated by Eric Rohmann. Houghton, Mifflin, Harcourt, 2011. 160 pages. $15.99.Bless This Mouse by Lois Lowry is the heartwarming chronicle of the mice of St. Bartholomew’s church. This community of church mice, led by Mouse Mistress Hildegarde, tries to live quietly, avoiding the notice of the Father Murphy, the Altar Guild and other people of the parish. But as they consider preparations for the annual Blessing of the Animals on the Feast of St. Francis, which means cats in the church, they face an even bigger danger. They’ve been spotted. That means, the Great X, something they fear even more than cats. Hildegarde shepherds her charges on an adventure into the outdoors with the help of her friend and supporter Roderick and a former college library mouse named Ignatius. The characters are lively and well-developed from the ditzy mouse mother having her litters in the most inappropriate places to jealous Lucretia who envies HIldegarde her position as Mouse Mistress. Rohmann’s charming and whimsical illustrations bring the characters to life. This book will appeal to young middle grade students. While it includes some challenging vocabulary, the chapters are not long, giving young readers a break. Bless This Mouse also would make an excellent choice to read aloud for second or third graders. Children will eagerly wait to see if the mice can survive the dangerous outdoors, avoid the Great X and the pet cats. Then, can one further act of personal bravery win the mice of St. Bartholomew’s church a blessing of a safe haven? Lois Lowry has again written a wonderful book, one that will delight readers young and old.
  • (4/5)
    Hildegarde is the leader of a tribe of church mice. The mice lead a fairly peaceful life in Saint Bartholomew’s, with plenty of food and warm hiding places. However, with multiple parishioners spotting mice in the church, the birth of a new litter of baby mice, the dreaded Great X, and the quickly approaching Blessing of the Animals Sunday, Hildegarde has her hands full keeping her mice safe. Eventually she will have to risk everything to ensure that they can maintain residence in the church.Although the concept of religious mice is slightly strange, overall Lois Lowery’s story in cute and funny. Hildegarde is a little hard to like and relate to as a main character because she is so strict and bossy. However, this does not take away too much from the interesting and original plot. Eric Rohmann’s illustrations are very cute and occasionally funny. They add to the story without providing too much distraction. Bless This Mouse is a great book for children in second through fifth grade, although younger children may enjoy it if it is read aloud to them. It is recommended for the children’s section of public libraries and for elementary school libraries.