by Lois Lowry

Harcourt Children’s Books, $15.99, 152 pages

Lois Lowry author of such award winning novels for young people as The Giver and Number the Stars (both of which are often required reading in school) has written a new novel about a more humble character, Hildegarde, a church mouse who embodies the namesake of Saint Hildegard.

Hildegarde, the mouse not the saint, is the Mouse Mistress of her clan of 252 mice that live in the church. As mouse mistress, she certainly has her hands full with keeping her clan well fed and hidden; not to mention planning and executing an exodus to Outdoors with the intention of saving them all from a Great X, and even rescuing the one mouse that has been out to get her from the very beginning from a most perilous mouse trap.

The story follows the mouse perspective, which may surprise readers with its insights into humanity and nature as a whole. Told with reverence and humor, this unique story is sure to tug at the heart-strings. For who would suspect a mouse of being more pious than some church parishioners? For Mistress Hildegarde takes her responsibilities very seriously and sets a good example on the whole of how to live by one’s own moral compass.

by Rachelle Barrett