The Stowaways aren't like the other Weedle mice. They are inventive and curious, they go on adventures, and they are much too clever for their own good. In fact, everyone knows that Grampa Stowaway was killed in a trap on one of his adventures. So, who would want to associate with a family like that? There's something else about the Stowaways. They keep secrets. Rory has made friends with a bird, their natural enemy; and his twin brother Morgan dreams of sailing away. But Gran has the biggest secret of all - and Rory has discovered what it is. If Rory and Gran act on their suspicions, will they be heading for disaster? Or will it be the greatest Stowaway adventure of all?
Debut author Meghan Marentette has crafted a charming adventure tale with a plucky protagonist.
Like Arrietty of The Borrowers or Stuart Little, Rory Stowaway is a pocket-sized hero set against rather large odds . . . 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.
Marentette has created a lovely world that combines animals and fantasy with humans and reality in an original and lively story. Her writing style is elegant yet conversational.
. . . charmingly illustrated by Dean Griffiths . . . exciting, interesting, and really good fun. I hesitate to compare it to The Wind in the Willows, but it is in the same league; so read and enjoy. . . **Highly Recommended**
In her first novel, Marentette shows promise as a storyteller, creating distinctive characters, building tension, and grounding the fantasy with realistic settings and details . . . this appealing book will quickly find its audience, fans of mouse adventure tales from George Selden's The Cricket in Times Square (1960) to Robert C. O'Brien's Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH (1971) to Kate DiCamillo's The Tale of Despereaux (2003).
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 Voight's Young Fredle (Knopf) and Richard Peck's Secrets at Sea (Dial, both 2011).
Not since Stuart Little has the heart of a valiant mouse beat quite so fiercely as that of Rory Stowaway in Meghan Marentette's first novel, The Stowaways. It meets and exceeds all the expectations of a good mouse story, with a well-constructed and self-sufficient mouse world, a teeny-tiny hero set against impossible odds, and an adventure brimming with mystery that scampers from chapter to chapter.
In the tradition of memorable mouse heroes, the Stowaways deliver page-turning, cliffhanging, heartwarming, first-rate adventure.