A Boy Called Mouse
'Once upon a time there was a boy, and they called him Mouse . . . ' That is how the story began when I told it to myself in the long darkness. Of course, it wasn't the whole story, but back then I knew nothing, almost nothing at all . . .
Mouse is unaware of his privileged background: of Epton Towers, the luxurious home in which he was born, and its magnificent surrounding grounds. He barely recalls his loving parents, who are lost at sea. He certainly does not remember the threat posed by his Uncle Scrope, who, deeply in debt, is driven to threaten Mouse's very life. But Mouse does remember Hanny, the loyal and loving nursemaid who saw the threat and whisked him away to safety. Mouse lives a happy and carefree life with her until the evil Mr Button darkens their door, threatens Hanny and takes Mouse away.
Mr Button takes Mouse to grim Murkstone Hall, a school that lives and breathes terror and fear. Can Mouse escape and find his way to his true family again?
A brilliantly evoked tale full of memorable characters, including Nick Tick, the tiny but clever clockmaker, Aunt Indigo and Aunt Violet, two strong-minded seamstresses and washerwomen, and Charlie Punch and his amazing dog Toby. These warm-hearted and generous characters see the plight of Mouse and each in their own way help him towards his destiny. But will they be enough to upset the continual scheming of the villainous Mr Button?
Penny Dolan is well known for a host of books for younger readers. A Boy Called M.O.U.S.E, published by Bloomsbury in October 2010, is her first novel for older readers.
Penny grew up in North London, where her favourite things included a Pollock's Toy Theatre, a ragged makeup bag full of used greasepaint, a small stuffed alligator and a wooden box of old paints. School taught her she was too tall to act, too awkward to be a dancer, to dim to learn the Reform Laws and not quite good enough an artist. Penny loved writing, having been saved from expulsion by school writing competition prizes, but she was losing confidence fast.
So she became a primary school teacher, where the things she most enjoyed teaching were drama, art, history and English. Luckily, she attended a writing course for teachers where, encouraged by authors Dennis Hamley and Jan Mark, she rediscovered her own writing. Eventually Penny gave up her enormous school painting table and left teaching to follow her "author" dream.
Penny now works happily as children's writer and storyteller, dreaming up all sorts of characters in her head, acting them out within the words of her writing, as well as sharing stories with children and young people on her many school visits. Her writing includes picture book texts, early readers and novels for older children. She enjoys djembe drumming, books, map-reading and art.
Penny lives in North Yorkshire and has one cat, two grown up children and three untidy desks.
A Boy Called Mouse
Author: Penny Dolan