Best children’s books: Ragweed

Books for kids, children’s books, kids stories with pictures, reading for kids, recommended books for kids, recommended children’s books, best children's booksRagweed by Avi is one of the Reading Kingdom’s recommended best children’s books. Melissa Gaynor explains why:

What You Need to Know:

• A story of growing up and self-discovery told through the eyes of a young mouse.
• Talking animals with a variety of personalities – shy, brave, eccentric – are the theme here.
• The reader will find some serious concepts – there is somewhat of a “class war” between the cats and the mice and
one mouse is even calling for a revolution.
• Although the main characters are talking animals and there are illustrations throughout, the story is long and there is
a lot of descriptive language so this story will require a long attention span.
• There seem to be underlying meanings and philosophical thoughts running through much of the story.
• There is a bit of violence – cats wanting to kill mice, some fighting and anger.
• There is a lot to follow here in terms of events, characters, and feelings but it is interesting and suspenseful and
succeeds in holding the reader’s attention.
• You’ll find some harder words like dilapidated, obscure, philosophy, conspiracy and abandoned throughout the book.


Ragweed, written by Newbury Honor author, Avi, is a charming story of a mouse on a mission. Although Ragweed is a mouse, he feels human in almost every way. He thinks, reflects and in the end takes action. And he finds himself, just as many humans might find themselves, in search of adventure. He is four months old (I guess mice grow up quickly) and decides that he is ready to see the world…. There is excitement and drama, but there is also something to be learned. Some readers may walk away thinking about any of the following: We can sit around and let things happen, or we can do something about them. A mouse (or a person) has to do what a mouse has to do. Or even, we should sometimes just be satisfied with what we have. If not, they will at least enjoy Ragweed’s thrilling adventure.”

Have your children read Ragweed? What did they think of the book?

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