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Reviewed by Melinda Hills for Readers' Favorite
An orphaned young mouse, Rue, is saved by a friendly skunk and brought to the delightful little village of Wattle’s Way in Master Blacke by Pete Prown. It doesn’t take long, though, for Rue and her new friend, Doily, to realize that something is not right when Doily overhears a plot for the larger animals to take over and force the smaller animals to do their bidding. While Minerva Silvercoat, the mink, leads the predators who call themselves The Vine, the children work together with their schoolmaster, the old Raven Master Blacke, to figure out some sort of defense.
Rue and another new friend, Jesper the Kestrel, are banished to the Great Wood where the wildlife lives by the law of survival of the fittest. Because of their kind hearts and friendship with Master Blacke, they are able to make some helpful connections with large animals who don’t agree with the plans of The Vine. When they return to the village, they are amazed to see just how bad the situation has become for the quiet, scared animals who had always felt safe. Will their efforts be enough to help prevent the predators from destroying the once peaceful town?
Exciting and full of intense emotions, Master Blacke by Pete Prown is an engaging story with plenty of wonderful lessons about teamwork, bravery and standing up for what you believe. The characters are deep and represent the range of personalities that make any community interesting, both the good and the bad. Unfortunately, some editing issues may create some confusion, but the story is solid, has good messages for children, and holds your interest as you anxiously follow Rue and Doily as they try to save their home.