At nine, Alex has now decided he has hit the age of Scouting. I’m not sure where he found out about it (probably from a book!), because I don’t think anyone in his class is involved in Scouts. One day he announced to us that he simply had to do it.
My husband and I waited a little while to see if this was one of those ideas that would just as quickly fade or if Alex truly wanted to do it. Alex kept asking, so this fall we signed him up for Cub Scouts.
Coincidentally, I recently picked up Sarah Dillard’s Mouse Scouts, which came out early this year. What a great find! Six mice just starting out in a Mouse Scout troop—while reading this book, I felt like parts of it echoed life in my own house. Just like the Mouse Scouts, we have enthusiastically memorized pledges and sewed on badges during the past month.
In Mouse Scouts, Violet and Tigerlily, along with four other mice, have just become Acorn Scouts. They have to learn the Mouse Scout pledge, they wear uniforms (complete with little acorn hats), and they have a special summer project.
The summer project is to grow and tend a garden. Guided by sections of the Mouse Scout Handbook, the Mouse Scouts work together as a team to figure out how to plant and care for their garden.
But they discover it’s not as simple as it seems. They have to figure out how to weed and water the garden. And even when things seem to be going right, insect pests and scavenging animals come to make gardening even more challenging. The Mouse Scouts have to pull together and work as a team to overcome these tests.
Ms. Dillard has written a charming tale that is sure to attract a large following. She already has two more Mouse Scouts books out: Mouse Scouts #2: Make A Difference, and Mouse Scouts #3: Camp Out (the latter just released on October 11, 2016). And if the list of badges found at the back of book #1 is any indication, it appears Ms. Dillard has at least 13 more books planned.
Both Alex and his younger sister loved hearing about the Mouse Scouts. I had barely finished reading the book to Alex when Abby came in and asked me to start all over again with her. While I read about the garden again, Alex was happy to disappear to his room with book #2! I have heard about Violet and Tigerlily, Petunia and Miss Poppy, all week long.
The Mouse Scouts do, of course, have their own website: www.mousescouts.com. There, readers can find out more about each of the Mouse Scouts and their books. Readers can also download a free Mouse Scout Activity Kit on the website. Ms. Dillard can be found at www.sarahdillard.com.
Mouse Scouts is perfect for readers just breaking into the chapter book world. It is just over 100 pages long and has many illustrations throughout the book. Readers can elect to skip the Mouse Scout Handbook sections located at the end of each chapter to read later to make reading the book easier.
If you are looking for a great new chapter book series for a boy or girl, I highly recommend the Mouse Scouts series!
Have you read any great books lately?