The Black Paw by Heather Vogel Frederick
Illustrator: Sally Wern Comport
Series: Spy Mice #1
Published by Simon & Schuster on October 1st 2006
Genres: Fantasy, Middle Grade, Mystery
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For Oz Levinson, life is always the same. No matter what school he goes to, it's always sharks -- bullies -- versus everyone else. What would Oz's hero, James Bond, aka 007, do? He would make mincemeat of the sharks. But Oz is no 007 -- more like double-o-lard.
Then Oz meets Glory Mouse, a skateboarding private eye trying to take down the evil rat leader, Roquefort Dupont, and Oz is swept into a exciting world of espionage. But this is no make-believe movie. It's real life: mice vs. rats, kids vs. bullies, good vs. evil.
And all the power lies in one paw.
The writing was great. Very fast-paced, appropriate for a spy novel.
This book was really cool. The level of description was awesome- every contraption the mice used was explained so we know what old parts they used to make it. And the several plots rolled up into one- Glory’s job, Oz’s friendlessness and bullying, Glory’s love life, her missing father, and of course Dupont’s scheming. It was very well written. Suspenseful and full of action, but not without those stop-and-smell-the-roses moments. I enjoyed it a lot. The detail in the world of the mice (well, animals in general, really) was incredible- it was like they were living in their own world but layered on top of ours. They had the same kind of agencies and houses and transport systems. They used our computers, but still had devices of their own. It was super cool. I’m looking forward to the rest of the series.
Less than perfect:
- character development (there was a little, but not a lot)
This was a really cool, fast-paced and detailed story. It was definitely more of a plot-based story than a character-driven story, but there’s room for more development in the rest of the series. The writing and ‘world-building’ were great. Would I read more by this author? Yep. Would I recommend this to others? Sure. Kids would really get into this.