Chenoweth Shadow Walkers

ISBN 13: 9780684194479

Shadow Walkers

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9780684194479: Shadow Walkers
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Three inquiring young rats set out from their highly civilized community on a journey across Cape Cod to explore their surroundings and learn more about humans and the world

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From School Library Journal:

Grade 5-7-- A leisurely tale of three rats who cross Cape Cod on a mission of mercy. Having risked their lives to run a radio antenna up St. Paul's steeple, Tom and Peter receive an urgent call from relatives on the North Cape, whose supply of rat insulin is depleted. The two, plus Peter's restless younger sister Sara, brave human and natural hazards to deliver the medicine, making new friends along the way and lending a helping paw to people in need. Chenoweth takes a gently sardonic view of human society, contrasting it to the collegiate, utopian civilization of the rats, in which books, good talk, baseball, and gourmet cooking are revered, while poverty and crime are unknown. His rodents wear their masks loosely, carrying backpacks; smoking cigars; studying calculus, French, and chemistry; reading and analyzing Moby Dick ; and speaking with the same wise, adult-sounding voice despite their differences in age and background. Plot takes second place to the play of ideas (the three don't even begin their journey until the book is half over), and younger readers will miss much of the humor, but the author does explore issues without trying to force-feed his point of view. While not exactly Kenneth Grahame's Wind in the Willows , this is a well-intentioned, cerebral, mildly satiric view of our foibles. --John Peters, New York Public Library
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews:

Life in the Cape Cod rat colony is peaceful; family and community are educated, cultured, comfortable, safe; favorite pastimes are reading, feasting, and conversation. But while young Sara and her brother Peter are aware of their good fortune, they're also restless with unspecified longings. During an emergency, the two and their friend Tom joyfully volunteer to transport insulin to North Cape cousins. Along the way they have several new experiences (some life-threatening); by the time they get home, they've come to terms with who they are and what to do with their lives. During this classic journey, youthful fantasies about staying out all night are fully realized while thoughtful serenity alternates with taut, palm-damping adventure. By way of these philosophical surrogates, the author examines human behavior and finds it wanting in contrast to the rats' utopian community. The setting is vividly depicted; logic falters only when three rats manage to move an unconscious man (though some revered classics are similarly flawed). Fans of Jacques's Redwall and the enduring Mrs. Frisby will enjoy this fine first novel. (Fiction. 10+) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Chenoweth
Published by Atheneum (1993)
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