Young Fredle

Aug 18, 2012

Young Fredle by Cynthia Voigt (2011)
Length: 227 pages
Genre: Children's Books
Started: 16 August 2012
Finished: 16 August 2012
Where did it come from? The local library
Why do I have it? The idea of a mouse being enchanted by the moon thrilled me. (cover picture)
Reading Challenges: back-to-school readathon
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars 

{Image source: HERE}


Young Fredle is only a small mouse in a big family and his curiosity constantly irritates his elders. But one day a sweet, delicious experiment makes him sick, and his family turns its back on him, choosing to forget him instead of cure him. Suddenly he is discovered by the kind "Missus" of the farm, and is carried outside, instead of dumped in with the trash. Once outside, he experiences things he never could have imagined while indoors. He realizes that everyone is his nest on a pantry shelf has been wrongly taught to be afraid of the outdoors. One day, the baby of the farm is sick, and Fredle assumes that Mister and Missus will just forget about him. Not so! Instead, he comes home cured. Fredle is amazed, and decides to sneak back into the house. If only he could find a way....


  • I was sorely disappointed at Axle's change of character in the end. I think that it would have a better ending if the story had run longer for a bit: Fredle takes a group of mouslets out into the wild, they love it, one reports back to Axle, she is enthralled, sees it for herself, and everyone lives happily ever after.
  • It is not clear to me whether Fredle ever marries Linu. They must be somewhat related, or else some other kitchen mouse had babies with a cellar mouse, otherwise it would never have happened:
"Aunt Linu, is that our same Sadie?".... "What's a stove, Uncle Fredle?"
  • The definition of "went" was not very clear to me in the beginning, because I assumed it that it was a verb. But instead it was a noun ("a went mouse"):
Went, they all thought, but nobody said it out loud. Right away they started to forget Axle. Fredle, though he knew it was against the rules, silently recalled everything he could about his cousin......"Why--" he started to ask, because now he was wondering why they had to forget, as if a went mouse had never lived with them....
  • I understand that the Missus was doing him-- and herself-- a favor by letting Fredle go out into the wild, instead of killing him or keeping him, but what did she use to carry him?
He was forced to step onto the sliding floor. It was cool under his feet and as hard as glass, but wasn't glass. It was metal but like glass it was too smooth for his nails to grip, so he slid forward along it until his nose bumped against the opposite wall.
  •  I am confused as to whether Captain Rilf, the leader of the raccoon gang, took a liking to Fredle or not. Otherwise, why would he let him stay? Plus, he said that he would have taken back an egg, but it would just be a waste as it was too fragile.
  • As Fredle is merely a small kitchen-mouse, it is a bit confusing to be told the story through his point of view. For example, once when he was with the raccoons Rec told him that there was a huge apple tree beyond "the wall." It is possible that the wall was a fence between two neighbors (in this case, two farms) but I doubt it. I also don't understand the placing of the stream where Fredle nearly drowned.

That said, there still are good qualities about this book. But it just didn't cut it for me.