Terry Pratchett returns to children's stories and to his infamous Discworld with Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents
, a clever spin on the Pied Piper fairytale with a lavish sprinkling of the Practchett magic.
Maurice is a talking cat who leads a band of rather special rats from town to town to fake invasions of vermin. Keith, in cahoots with Maurice, turns up with his flute and leads the rats out of town--a hefty reward in tow. It's a scam that works perfectly... until they arrive in the town of Bad Blintz and their ruse is sussed by the young girl Malicia. Maurice and his mice realise they are about to be caught in the middle of something rather bad.
This is a fresh and funny adventure story that allows Pratchett to make free use of his immense comic talents (the talking rats are easily some of his most hilarious creations). It's also full of cute little ideas: the mice take their names from cans and packets lying in rubbish dumps, so we have heroes called "Big Savings" and "Best Before".
Terry Pratchett has created a wonderful, old-fashioned tale where the subtle morals and lessons never hinder the action. Younger children may initially struggle with Mr Pratchett's unusual style, but once they get to grips with the humour, this will be a laugh-a-minute for both kids and their parents. (Ages 8 and over) --Jon Weir
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
For this outrageously cheeky tale, British writer Pratchett pairs a dynamite plot with memorable characters a group of intelligent rats sporting such monikers as Hamnpork, Big Savings and Darktan (they've been foraging in the University of Wizards' garbage dump and come up with "the kind of name you gave yourself if you learned to read before you understood what all the words actually meant"), plus a "stupid-looking kid" with a flute and a criminal kitty mastermind named Maurice. The motley con artists' pied piper scam is highly successful until the rats develop a conscience. Reluctantly, they agree to one final heist, but in the town of Bad Blintz things go horribly, hilariously wrong. First, they're twigged by Malicia Grim (granddaughter and grand-niece of the Sisters Grim), then they encounter a pair of conniving rat-catchers, a real pied piper and an evil something lurking in the town's cellars. They triumph, of course, and there's even a glimmer of redemption for the deliciously self-centered Maurice, who tackles the "Grim Squeaker" and bargains for the life of his rat comrade Dangerous Beans. In the end, while the others settle down, Maurice hits the road and is last seen approaching another "stupid-looking kid" with a money-making proposition. Could this mean more tales to come? Readers will eagerly hope so. Ages 12-up.
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