- By Fleur Hitchcock
- Published by Nosy Crow
Every children’s book that Fleur Hitchcock has written I have fallen in love with, and this month celebrates the publication of her latest incredible adventure for readers aged 8+ to enjoy, Mouse Heart, which is no exception, captivating me from the offset. I loved being transported back in time to the world of Mouse and her theatre company cohorts, and trying to uncover a murder mystery that sees one of Mouse’s closest friends, Walter – the lead male in their productions, wrongly accused for the crime, and imprisoned as a consequence.
Mouse is such a strong willed, and determined young girl, and she is extremely loyal to her theatre family, who took her in as one of their own since discovering her abandoned as a baby. Like all families their are those that Mouse is less fond of, but that is minor compared with the love and support she has for, and gets from, the majority. One person in particular that Mouse looks up to is Valentina, who at first glance fits the role of big sister/mother to Mouse, but then starts to arouse suspicion with her dismissive attitude, and often ulterior motives.
Readers will be awestruck by Mouse’s determination to uncover the truth as to who murdered a close friend to the queen, and see her friend freed from prison as a consequence. There is plenty of suspenseful moments as we follow the trail of clues alongside Mouse, who is incredibly brave in the face of often dangerous situations, including a trip out of town to collect some poison for Valentina, which concludes with a pursuit, as well as scenes involving Mouse walking the streets at night alone with some unsavoury characters loitering around.
The storytelling in Mouse Heart is tantalisingly atmospheric, making it an unforgettable immersive experience that will captivate readers from the beginning, with dramatic scenes unfolding from the offset, and inspiring imaginations long after this book has been put down. I would love it if Fleur was to write a sequel to this book to allow readers to return to this incredibly entertaining historical murder mystery, and I wont be alone in hoping that happens because you connect with Mouse on a personal level as you accompany her through her journey of uncovering the truth, and learning who she can and cannot trust.
I highly recommend Mouse Heart to those chapter book readers that enjoy a good murder mystery, and of course those that are looking to escape into an adventure with a fabulous array of characters to keep the story’s momentum going from the get go. I plan to revisit Mouse Heart again in the future because I thoroughly enjoyed losing myself in this book, and I plan to purchase several copies to gift to friends that are teachers to enjoy as a class read.
Mouse Heart is published by Nosy Crow, and is available to purchase from all good booksellers now.