The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents, by Terry Pratchett

mauriceMaurice is not sure why he can think or talk, since he’s a cat and he’s never thought or talked before. And he’s not the only one. A whole hoard of rats have suddenly gotten smarter, and Maurice knows exactly what to do about this: he sets up a pied piper scam to get rich. Add one stupid-looking kid with a set of pipes, and they have it made. The troupe travels from town to town, the rats popping up to scare the townsfolk so that they’ll hire the stupid-looking kid to lead the rats away with his pipe. It’s the perfect scam, until they hit an unusual town that has an evil plaguing it that’s worse than humans…

There’s a lot stuffed into this little book. The rats have a lot of philosophical discussions: what is the soul, what happens when you die, the difference between being who you are meant to be and who you can be if you’re better than your animal instincts. The clan sticks together in the face of hungry terriers and rat traps. Even Maurice, who claims not to have a conscience, realizes how much he cares about these rats by the end of the book. I loved the stupid-looking kid, who at one point tells everyone, “I may be stupid-looking, but I’m not stupid.” And he’s not. He’s one of the smartest characters in the book, both in terms of brain and heart. I just loved him.

This was my first foray into Discworld, and I really enjoyed it. I didn’t expect to. I’m honestly not a huge fan of straight fantasy, especially when it comes to talking animals, but Pratchett sucked me into the story despite all my misgivings. I was very impressed. And because this is one of his younger books, I plan to let my son read it next.

About Amanda

Writing. Family. Books. Crochet. Fitness. Fashion. Fun. Not necessarily in that order. Note: agender (she/her).
This entry was posted in 2009, Children's, Prose and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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