The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup, and a Spool of Thread

Interest LevelReading LevelReading A-ZATOSWord Count
Grades 4 - 8Grades 3 - 5U4.732375
A brave mouse, a covetous rat, a wishful serving girl, and a princess named Pea come together in Kate DiCamillo's Newbery Medal–winning tale.

Welcome to the story of Despereaux Tilling, a mouse who is in love with music, stories, and a princess named Pea. It is also the story of a rat called Roscuro, who lives in the darkness and covets a world filled with light. And it is the story of Miggery Sow, a slow-witted serving girl who harbors a simple, impossible wish. These three characters are about to embark on a journey that will lead them down into a horrible dungeon, up into a glittering castle, and, ultimately, into each other's lives. What happens then? As Kate DiCamillo would say: Reader, it is your destiny to find out.
With black-and-white illustrations and a refreshed cover by Timothy Basil Ering.
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published on August 25, 2003 by Candlewick
ISBN-10: 0763617229
ISBN-13: 9780763617226
124 Book Reviews
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  • bluedog51Thursday, February 16, 2017 at 9:17 pm
    Very exciting and amazing book!
    • gfsfvgfrrdrThursday, February 16, 2017 at 10:57 am
      i love this book
      • bright1234
        bright1234Tuesday, February 14, 2017 at 9:21 pm44 starsFeatured
        The Tale Of Despereaux is a very heart warming story of a mouse who is not liked by others and is different from a mouse in many ways. When Despereaux continues to not help his brothers and sisters find food and does not do what is is supposed to do, the mouse community decides to put him into the dungeon. When he is put into the dungeon, Despereaux does everything to get out of it. This is also the story of a Princess. I love this book!
        • happypug12
          happypug12Friday, October 14, 2016 at 12:43 pm44 stars
          Reader, there's a reason that classics are classics; don't let their names fool you into thinking that only the grey-haired and elderly will enjoy them. There is something enchanting about the Tale of Despereaux. The simplicity is charming, and there is not a single chapter wasted talking about nonsense. Ms. DiCamillo gets straight to the point and the story goes by pleasantly well-paced. This tale about the true love of a mouse, the broken heart of a rat, the beauty of soup, and the wish of a maid with ears like cauliflower was truly delicious to read and is perfect for ALL audiences, from the young to the grey-haired and elderly. And such a meaningful message is delivered as well, a message that typically only the classic, down-to-earth stories tell. The message is: Life isn't fair. I feel that the more modern books tend to blur, smudge, or just completely hide that message with the words "and they lived happily ever after." But this book definitely hit the mark with a heart-warming tale of the tiniest mouse who refused to give in to the hopelessness and unfairness of the dark and instead chose to be a light.
          • lolgirl1234
            lolgirl1234Monday, September 26, 2016 at 7:55 pm55 stars
            ok wow i have read this book its soooo cool guys
            • lolgirl1234
              lolgirl1234Monday, September 26, 2016 at 7:34 pm55 stars
              Ok guys, i read this book ITS SO GOOD So mainly it like Dark vs light this is suspenseful the author describes things so well omg u got to have this book so this is wat happens: There is a mouse named despareuax his name means despair his mom is a diva i guess and his siblings are just... umm mean I guess so He loves light and stories while other mice eat the story books lol :D he likes humans (of course other mice don't) He fall in love with princess pea It's illegal to show urself to human he has enormous ears he had to got to dungeon Becuz illegal stuff lol The dungeon is DARK and I mean VERY dark He goes to dungeon well nowl lets talk about rats They eat mice ok to read the rest of story Buy it or borrow it from library believe me gurl or boi u gonna like it dude srry for ma language imma tomboy gurl so read this book
              • YareliWednesday, May 4, 2016 at 1:53 pm
                In the book, The Tale of Despereaux, a tiny mouse is born in the gates of a castle. When he was born, he was born with his eyes opened. His mom was disappointed because he was the only one born alive from his litter. The mouse wants to live with the princess and listen to the music that the king played. But, since the queen had died because of a rat, the had had banished them. When the mouse goes to the dungeon he meets a few other rats that live in the dungeon. One of the rats is jealous of the princess, so he kidnaps her and puts her in the dungeon. When the mouse finds out, he tries to help the princess. Spoiler alert for the ending, he finds her, saves her, and they live happily ever after. I found this book very interesting because the mouse likes the princess. When I read the book, there was some words that were very interesting and they helped me learn new words. I would give this book a 5 star rating because it was full of twists and turns that always kept you wanting to read more. I would recommend this book for all readers, age 9 and above.
                • kiki18lyn
                  kiki18lynWednesday, May 4, 2016 at 11:32 am
                  i love the book and movie AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!
                  • :3Tuesday, May 3, 2016 at 12:13 pm
                    i love that movie and the book
                    • cheekymonkey
                      cheekymonkeySaturday, April 30, 2016 at 9:26 pm55 stars
                      What I liked about the book was all of the adventures and excitement that Despereaux experienced. He saves a princess , gets his tail chopped off and escapes from a dungeon... twice!