Library Mouse: A World To Explore

by Daniel Kirk
Abrams, 2010

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Library Mouse A World To Explore

Book Description
One night in the library, Sam meets fellow mouse Sarah. Sam learns that Sarah is quite the explorer. She loves to scurry to the tops of shelves and explore the darkest corners of the building. Sam never climbs far up-he’s too afraid! Sam thinks you can learn all you need to know about a subject by reading about it. Sarah doesn’t know much about writing or research, but Sam helps her learn more about the places she wishes to visit. Together this duo shows that anything is possible with a little teamwork.

Reviews of Library Mouse: A World to Explore 

Review from Barnes & Noble
In some ways, Sam is the perfect library mouse. This quiet homebody loves to read and research and write about his favorite subjects. But when he meets fellow mouse Sarah, he realizes that he’s missing something. Sarah doesn’t like to read, but she loves to sniff around, exploring the highest shelves and the darkest corners of the library building. Obviously, both these new rodent friends lack something. When they join forces, whole new worlds open. Editor’s Recommendation.

Review from Publishers Weekly
Sam the library mouse is content reading and writing about far-off places and events. When he meets Sarah, a daring mouse from the other side of the stacks, Sam is happy to pass on his book knowledge. But when Sarah tries to share her love of exploring the highest shelves, Sam struggles between his fears, Sarah’s encouragement, and his own desire to be brave. Sam’s realization that “readers and writers are explorers, too” is refreshing, but it’s Sarah’s response–“just think of the books you could write if you really got to see the world!”–that gives this story depth. Ages 6-9. (Aug.)

Daniel Kirk speaks about Library Mouse, A World to Explore
Since Library Mouse has become a school favorite, my editors at Abrams wanted me to write another Library Mouse book.
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I love Sam, so I agreed to come up with another story. I had many ideas for stories in which Sam might have various kinds of adventures, meets different characters and teach kids something about reading and writing.

The first new story I wrote was about how Sam taught the kids at the library how to do research on their favorite animals, and how to make books about them. But one of the editors suggested that in the next book, Sam ought to meet a girl mouse. The editor also suggested that this new girl mouse character ought to teach Sam a thing or two, and not just have Sam be the one who teaches all the lessons.

I went back to my writing desk and started over. I thought and thought about what kind of personality this new girl mouse might have, and it made me think about Sam’s personality, too. I decided that Sarah would be bold and fearless, and Sam, in comparison, might be a little bit shy and wary of new experiences. I also wanted to keep the idea of research in my story, because research is something all school kids have to learn to do. I wrote five or six variations on this new story idea, and finally I came up with a version that my editor and I both liked.

Ive been reading my new book to kids from kindergarten to third grade, and everybody seems to really like Sarah. I hope to find a way to put her in the fourth Library Mouse book![/expand]

Things to think about and do, once you have read A World to Explore
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  1. If you had to choose, would you say your personality is more like Sam, or more like Sarah? Which mouse would you rather be like? Why?
  2. Having a friend sometimes means wanting someone to change, and sometimes it means hoping your friend doesn’t change at all! Sometimes just being around a friend will make you want to try to be a little more like he or she is. Have you ever had a friend who brought out something new in you, or encouraged you to try something you never tried before? Have you ever had a friend whom you tried to change, or encouraged to try something new? How did it work out?
  3. Have you ever been on a research trip? What subject did you research? Sometimes we go somewhere, intending to learn one thing, and we end up learning a lot about something we never intended. That’s the fun of exploring, and makes research fun.
  4. Write a paragraph or two about a place you’ve gone to research. It could be the neighbor’s house, or your mother’s family history, or anywhere you’ve never been before. Try going to the library to research something, and ask the librarian for help. You’ll learn a lot!

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