2me2, October 16, 2008 (view all comments by 2me2)
My son read this book last year for a book report (4th grade). He enjoyed the book so much, we purchased it for him for Christmas. He pulled the book back out again yesterday to re-read the story. He says that it is the best book he's ever read. It was a very good read and it is broken down into four separate "books" which made it that much easier to write the book report. I would recommend (and have) this book to anyone with children. It definitely stimulated the reading!
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johnsongini, September 4, 2008 (view all comments by johnsongini)
I purchased this book for a child, but what struck me as I read it was the brilliant symbolism that could connect to our social studies curriculum in middle school. For me, it was a flash of realization like the light the rat saw as Gregory the jailor lit the match with the nail of his thumb.
Even though, for Roscuro the rat, the flame was extinguished in a second, the light continued to dance inside him. The idea was born that "light was the only thing that gave life meaning." Once he had seen it, nothing was ever the same again. No longer was he content to be confined to the darkness of the dungeon. He was willing to brave anything to find the light. There are other threads and other lessons as well in this story. All one has to do is look for them.
As a curriculum specialist, I am recommending that teachers in our district use this wonderful book with all of its symbolism about light and darkness and people being kept "in their place" to connect literature to the issues of slavery and human rights in social studies. The glimmer of light, the hope of freedom -- and all is changed forever!
I highly recommend the book for middle school language arts and social studies as a collaborative piece.
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Lisa Combs, July 16, 2008 (view all comments by Lisa Combs)
Rarely authors make the reader part of the story but in Despereaux it is a quintessential element. Reading this tale is a journey into universal themes of forgiveness, love, the delight of fairy tales and the symbolism is beautiful. DiCamillo exposes young readers to literary elements and wonderful words. This is a treasure for readers of all ages to read, read aloud, share and revisit again. Make memories and read The Tale of Despereaux with someone special.
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maddymonk27, April 19, 2008 (view all comments by maddymonk27)
well i have been reading this book every year sence 4th grade and im now in 7th i think this book is a very good book and its not like others so it is so different in a good way...i love this book its in my top 5
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mumintrollet, January 30, 2008 (view all comments by mumintrollet)
I read this book with my 6-year-old. I'm sorry to say, dear reader, that it is simply mawkish. Talk about overrated. Not much goes on but a lot of ugly imagery of child abuse and torture dressed up to seem deep and wise. A little red thread around the throat of a condemned mouse--ooooh!!!!! How sophomoric. The fact that it's won awards is a case of the Emperor's New Clothes.
Dear reader, lest the reference is not clear, in the Emperor's New Clothes, the crowd applauds and compliments the emperor for his fine clothes. The crowd does this because they believe they're looking at something very grand, which only grand people can see, and that if they don't acknowledge its greatness, they will be revealed for the dolts they are. In fact, the emperor is NOT wearing finery. He's completely naked.
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by Booklist (Starred Review),
"Forgiveness, light, love, and soup. These essential ingredients combine into a tale that is as soul-stirring as it is delicious."
by Publishers Weekly (Starred Review),
"Reader, I will let you imagine, for now, how these witticisms of our omniscient narrator come into play; but I must tell you, you are in for a treat."
by Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review),
"[E]ntirely pleasing....[A] tale with twists and turns, full of forbidden soup and ladles, rats lusting for mouse blood...and all the ingredients of an old-fashioned drama."
by School Library Journal (Starred Review),
"This expanded fairy tale is entertaining, heartening, and, above all, great fun."
The Tiger Rising, 4 copies,
"Forgiveness, light, love, and soup. These essential ingredients combine into a tale that is as soul-stirring as it is delicious." — BOOKLIST (starred review)
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 the story of Miggery Sow, a slow-witted serving girl who harbors a simple, impossible wish. These three characters are about to embark on a journey that will lead them down into a horrible dungeon, up into a glittering castle, and, ultimately, into each other's lives. What happens then? As Kate DiCamillo would say: Reader, it is your destiny to find out.
From the master storyteller who brought us BECAUSE OF WINN-DIXIE comes another classic, a fairy tale full of quirky, unforgettable characters, with twenty-four stunning black-and-white illustrations by Timothy Basil Ering. This paperback edition pays tribute to the book's classicdesign, featuring a rough front and elegant gold stamping.
Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.