International Spy Museum, Washington. Schoolboy and aspiring secret agent, Oz Levinson, befriends spy mouse Morning Glory and embarks on an undercover mission of the rodent kind.
Oz has just started at a new school and sees himself as a ‘fat loser with no friends’ destined as bait for a group of school bullies known as the sharks. Meanwhile, Morning Glory has received ‘the Black Paw’, a death warrant from Roquefort Dupont, the head of the rat underworld. The touching friendship between boy and mouse leads to an exciting race against time to foil the villainous rat’s master plan to rid the city of mice.
This is the first book in the Spymice series, and Vogel Frederick skilfully introduces an engaging cast of people and animals. With so many furry characters it would be easy to end up awash with paws and whiskers, but each animal is well characterised along with the book’s likeable young hero.
This fast-paced adventure story is written with humour and compassion. The book introduces the issue of bullying to its young readers in a sensitive way, and contains a valuable message that courage and self-belief can overcome the taunts of the school bullies. The proof copy arrived minus illustrations, so my rating is based on the strength of the narrative alone.