Sunday, March 25, 2018

Master Blacke: Tales of the Great Wood by Pete Prown

Her parents went out and didn't come back.  Rue is a pocket mouse and she's an only child.  She goes out to look for them and finds it's easy to harvest food in the forest.  She doesn't know she's in trouble until she sees a fox sizing her up.  She only escapes the fox because a friendly skunk sprays him to make him go away.  Then she takes Rue home with her...

Book Publicity Services and the author shared a copy of this book with me.  It has been published and you can grab a copy now.

Master Blacke is a raven and he's their school teacher.  This kingdom of small animals has a council and everyone works together for the common good.  There is a conspiracy going on but no one knows it yet.  The area they are in is protected and big predators cannot enter to harm them.  They are fair game if they go beyond the established perimeters of the safe haven.  But things are changing...

This reminds me of Watership Down and the Redwall series.  The animals have their own language, they work hard, and they are willing to fight to keep their safe zone.  

When the mink and her band of predators tell them they are disbanding the safe zone, it doesn't go over well.  But when protestors get eaten and the predators bring them food, some decide it might not be all bad.  It's true that when they nap after eating, there a few less of them when they wake up but they decide it might be fair.  Especially since they'd die if they disagreed.  But not all of them are so weak and wishy washy.

When Rue and her Kestrel friend get kicked out the village, they decide to go for help.  It's dangerous and there are animals on the hunt for them so the story is exciting and busy.  Not everyone survives but this is a full bodied well thought out tale that is a real pleasure to read.  I loved it.  Your young adult reader probably will, too.  It'd make a great gift.

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