Young Fredle

by Cynthia Voigt

Other authorsLouise Yates (Illustrator)
Hardcover, 2011

Call number



Knopf Books for Young Readers (2011), Edition: First Edition, 240 pages


Fredle, a young mouse cast out of his home, faces dangers and predators outside, makes some important discoveries and allies, and learns the meaning of freedom as he struggles to return home.

User reviews

LibraryThing member CatheOlson
Fredle is a house mouse, bound by specific rules designed by his community to keep them safe. But when he breaks the rules and ends up "outside," he discovers there is a lot more to life than just being safe. This is a sweet, enjoyable book that take you into the animal side of the farm . . . if
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you like Whittington by King-Smith, you'll like this one too. This would be a great read-aloud for kids 5 and up, and a great independent read for 3/4th graders.
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LibraryThing member ChristianR
Fredle is a kitchen mouse. Kitchen mice forage at night, sleep during the day, and follow well established rules, including pushing mice out of the shelter of the nest when they can't forage or are sick. Those mice always go "went" and are never seen again. After Fredle and his adventurous cousin
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gorge themselves on a peppermint patty they become sick from the chocolate are pushed out by the rest. But Fredle is lucky because when the woman of the house sees him she scoops him up and deposits him outside. There, he finds new dangers but also wonderful new sights, sounds and tastes that he never imagined existed. He does eventually make it back to his family and their kitchen nest, but finds that he no longer can believe in their unquestioned rules or live without the beauty of the outside world.
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LibraryThing member MaryKate2345
When he becomes ill after eating too much chocolate, Fredle, a young mouse, is pushed out of his family's cozy nest and thrust into a world he has never imagined. While fearful and sometimes terrified, Fredle is also drawn to the beauty of the larger world and the experiences to be had there.
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Cythia Voigt's Young Fredle, the first of her books that I've read, appealed to me much more than I expected it to and on a number of levels. The writing style feels fresh, different, new, the characters are likable and the story is not only insightful but is capable of prompting readers to look at their own lives with curious eyes.

While it is, first and foremost, an engaging read, Young Fredle is also one of those rare books that parents and teachers could use to launch discussions on a variety of issues with children. Topics could include the meaning of family and home or the reasons behind the formation of laws, rules and traditions. The possible pros and cons of curiosity could be explored as could the reasons that changes are made in the way we (as a family or a community or a country), live our lives.

For me, the most appealing aspect of Voigt's story was the manner in which Fredle challenged the status quo. Though he questioned it and wanted to move past it, he continued to understand the reasoning behind it and respected those defending it. In our increasingly diverse world, conveying the message that different values, different beliefs and different ways of life can be equally valid and equally valuable is vital. And I believe Voigt does that well here.

Young Fredle is a memorable and unique story, both interesting and satisfying. I highly recommend it for parents and children (or teachers and students) to read together with the hope that lots of good talks will accompany it.
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LibraryThing member RefPenny
Fredle is a kitchen mouse. He lives with his family in a nice warm nest in the pantry and takes care to obey all the rules. Until one day he finds something delicious in the pantry that makes him sick. Because of the rules he is pushed out of his home and ends up outside in the garden. The garden
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is a whole new world for Fredle and in his adventures he meets lots of other creatures and sees amazing things. But all the while he is trying to get back home.
This is a lovely story of a mouse learning about himself and about the world and how it works. The charming text is complemented by delightful drawings. This book would suit readers aged 9 and up but it would also make a great read-aloud for younger children.
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LibraryThing member AngelaCinVA
I had already read this book and I enjoyed it so much I couldn’t resist the opportunity to listen to the audiobook. I love Fredle’s curiousity, sense of adventure, and willingness to try new things. It’s not really a YA book. But it made a nice break for me.
LibraryThing member KimReadingLog
When Fredle eats too much chocolate (very bad for a mouse), he finds himself pushed out of the safety of the kitchen wall by his family, because one of the rules they live by is that when you’re sick, you must leave to “went,” never to be heard from again. Fredle finds himself outside, and
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very alone – at first. As he encounters different animals on the farm, he begins to determine for himself what is true and what should be questioned. He discovers the world is much larger than he ever could have imagined, falls in love with the moon and flowers, and realizes many of the rules his family of kitchen mice live by don’t make a lot of sense. When Fredle finally finds the way back inside and to his family, he must decide what’s truly important to him.
Reminds me of Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH

Listened to audiobook - slow moving
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LibraryThing member KHusser
Young Fredle (rhymes with “metal”) is a sweet story with ink drawings throughout about a naïve little house mouse who is sent outside (in the yard) when he falls ill from overindulging on sweets. Extensive characterization with poignant child-like themes throughout makes this a great read for
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boys and girls alike. I wanted to see how Fredle survives in the “wilderness,” and it was fun meeting the animals and learning along with Fredle in his adventures outside. (Recommended!)
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LibraryThing member agrudzien
Fredle is a kitchen mouse - all his life he has lived behind the pantry with his family, following the mouse rules. One day, Fredle is sick and is pushed out of his nest...instead of being "went" like he expected, he is carried out of the house by Mrs. Now he must figure out how to survive outside,
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where the outside mice live by very different rules than he had inside. On his adventure back home, Fredle outwits a cat, befriends one of the dogs, meets numerous mice and escapes from a band of raccoons. Unfortunately when Fredle returns home, he finds it different than when he left...or maybe it is him that has changed.

Good coming of age story, but too much mouse for seemed flat.
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LibraryThing member JenJ.
Listened to Listening Library audio edition narrated by Wendy Carter.

Carter's narration was excellent - different voices for each of the characters and good capturing of the emotions in any given situation. The story had me captivated throughout - the secret world of mice and the ways different
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tribes live were well thought out and interesting. Fredle was a believable well-rounded character with faults, weaknesses and strengths that rang true and influenced the sequence of events believably.

Grabbed a copy of the book to take a look at Louise Yates' spot illustrations. They're cute and add a little to the story, but I don't feel like I missed anything by listening instead of reading. The placement of the illustrations seemed carefully chosen and I particularly liked the illustration of the snake.
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LibraryThing member foggidawn
Fredle is a kitchen mouse. He lives in the nest behind the wall with his extended family, and together they forage in the kitchen and pantry for food every night. The mice live by rules and routines, and any mouse too old or too sick to forage is pushed out of the nest. Fredle expects to live his
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entire life in the nest, and so he would have, had it not been for an unfortunate encounter with a peppermint patty. The candy is the best thing Fredle has ever tasted, but the chocolate makes him sick -- not sick enough to die, but sick enough that the other mice push him out of the nest onto the pantry floor, where the lady of the house discovers him. Too tenderhearted to just put the cat in to deal with him, she puts Fredle outside -- and thus begins an adventure with field mice and raccoons, snakes and hawks, dogs and chickens, as Fredle tries to get back inside to his home and family. The journey is an eye-opening one for Fredle as he learns about different ways of living and discovers that some of the things he has always been taught are not true at all. Will Fredle find a way home again . . . or will he choose to make a new home for himself?

In reading (or rather, listening to) this story, I was struck by how Fredle's voyage resembles Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey in many ways. Though he doesn't precisely choose to leave the nest, Fredle does choose to follow the enticing scent of the candy that causes his eventual expulsion, and from there he does meet helpers and face challenges as he attempts to return home. The writing in the story is fairly strong, and Fredle's character, with its defining trait of curiosity, is well-developed. Many of the secondary characters are also strong and interesting in their own right. I listened to the audiobook narrated by Wendy Carter, who does a very nice job of voicing the wide variety of characters Fredle meets.

I'm always bemused at the number of juvenile chapter books that feature mice, but this is a worthy addition to their ranks, one that I will recommend to fans of Beverly Cleary's Ralph and Avi's Poppy.
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LibraryThing member Tina_Ervin
I really loved this book. Fredle is an engaging character who grows from a timid kitchen mouse to an adventurer and learns about "the outside", friendship, family, and beauty.
LibraryThing member mroque
Summary: Fredle is a young house mouse who has lived in the pantry his whole life. He is used to losing other mice in the house, but is taught that once they are gone, he must forget them right away. I think he fears this happening to himself. One day, Fredle breaks the rules and eats a very large
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amount of chocolate which gets him shunned by the mice community he lives in. A nice human finds him and instead of killing him, puts him in the new, large and scary world outside. He is scared and alone in a whole new world. He meets these field mice and learns that they are completely different than the mice he lived with his entire life. He learns to fend for himself and finds a new peace in his life. He creates new friendships with mice that he used to think were disgusting and realizes what life is really about.
Genre: Fantasy
Review: For the first Library Explore Assignment, I went to Powell's and this was one of the books I discovered that I had mentioned. I ended up buying this book for my little sister, but before I gave it to her, I read it. I have read her book, "Homecoming", and loved her writing so I couldn't resist reading another one of her books. This book would be great in the classroom because a lot of children go through similar things like switching schools or moving cities. It's one of those things that is hard to adapt to at first, but always turns out well in the end.
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LibraryThing member HeidiJones
When I see the genres "Science Fiction" and "Fantasy", I usually cringe. I will cringe a lot less after reading Young Fredle. Young Fredle is a story I'd like my fourth grade daughter to read. It is a sweet story about a young mouse who finds himself on the outside looking in for the first time. He
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finds the outdoors to be dangerous, adventurous, exciting and scary all at the same time! This is much like real life. Fredle learns about the very important, and sometimes complex, lessons of courage, believing in yourself, betrayal, and he learns about the real meaning of "home".
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LibraryThing member Salsabrarian
Narrated by Wendy Carter. Absolutely lovely book about experiencing life beyond one's boundaries and the familiar. Fredle is a kitchen mouse; his family and relatives live back of the pantry. They have a strict routine that involves foraging at night, sleeping during the day, and keeping the noise
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down. The worst thing to happen to a mouse is to "went," either by way of the cat or by being pushed out of the nest due to age, illness or inability to keep up. Fredle is forced out when he gets sick eating chocolate and he ends up outside where he meets the family dogs, woodshed mice, and racoons, and discovers the beauty of the moon, stars and color. When he finally makes it back to the pantry after many adventures, he finds you can't go home again; he's changed and has seen so much. He comes up with a very nice solution that makes for a satisfying ending. Narrator Carter does a superb job, endowing the animals with distinct and colorful personalities, and best of all, she fully expresses Fredle's aching wonder at all of life's possibilities. You can't help but feel how much Fredle has grown and just want to cheer for him.
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LibraryThing member wrightja2000
I do not like animal books. I don't like books about pets and I don't like books about kids with their faithful companion, be it a dog or a deer. I dislike talking woodland creatures and mice who wear clothes and live in houses with doors built in the between the roots of trees. I despise books
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where the animals act like people and I don't know why the author made the characters into animals when they very well could have been humans without changing a single element of the story. I hate stories where the animals act like animals, mostly, but not quite, with human motivations for their actions, or the predators are the bad guys. I can rant for hours on why I hate The Lion King and The Redwall series. I just barely tolerate Charlotte's Web and I barely choked down The Tale of Despareau. I say all this because I want you to understand that for me to enjoy this book makes it a pretty amazing book. I only read it because I think Cynthia Voigt is a great author and I was curious why she would write an obnoxious talking animal book.

"Young Fredle" is an amazing adventure story that could only have happened to a mouse. Yet there are some great questions, connections, and conversations that can be discussed about humans. And this is without making the animals into little animal people. What I enjoyed most was hearing thoughts that were realistic mousey thoughts and conversations that were just what you might expect to hear if different animal species could converse.

I enthusiastically give four stars. If I ever reread this book and enjoy it just as much the second time, I will give it five stars.
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LibraryThing member jguidry
4.5 stars rounded to 5. Voigt touched on many important topics in this children's novel. I can see why it was nominated for awards. The story was honest, at times brutal, and humorous. Fredle was different from other mice and learned to accept who he was even though his own family turned against
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him. He lived life on his own terms and a great message was revealed through his adventures. The main problem was, I don't think my students would have enjoyed it as much as I did. This would have to be a book I read to them and discussed with them as a class. I can't think of a student who would have read it from start to finish on their own. But, it's worth the discussion and much would be gained, so I will make them listen to it anyway. ;0)
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0375864571 / 9780375864575


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