Two MG Book Reviews Featuring Animal Narrators

I have recently had the pleasure of reading two enchanting and original middle grade novels featuring animal narrators. Here are my reviews for these delightful books:

duetDUET by Elise Broach is an enchanting musical mystery about a bird and a boy. Mirabelle – the goldfinch narrator of the story – loves to listen to Mr. Starek play the piano from her perch on a tree outside his window. But since Mr. Starek’s sister died, he stopped playing. Until one day a boy named Michael comes for lessons. Michael needs to prepare for a piano competition and Mr. Starek is the best tutor. When Michael begins to play Chopin compositions on a piano like the one Chopin used, the music is so beautiful, Mirabelle begins to sing along. Her singing inspires Michael as much as Michael’s playing inspires Mirabelle.

This is a beautiful story of discovery and connection through the language of music. Not only did I learn a lot about Chopin, I also learned to appreciate the music of birds and the joy they get from singing. Highly recommended.

CLARICE THE BRAVE by Lisa McMann     clarice bookcover

A heart-felt and harrowing adventure on the high-seas told from the POV of a mouse named Clarice. When a mutiny occurs on the ship – the only home Clarice has ever known – she gets separated from her brother Charles Sebastian and ends up on another boat with Special Lady – the cat who ate her sister. Desperate times force Clarice to do things she never imagined, including putting her trust in her sworn enemy.

A tender and emotional journey of love, friendship, and learning to trust yourself. Highly recommended.

Both of these books are lively and fast-paced and sure to capture the imagination of kids…especially animal – loving ones.