The amazing Maurice is a talking cat, and the educated rodents are a group of talking rodents. Maurice, the rodents, and a kid named Keith are working together to scam the towns of the Discworld (the fictional world of Terry Pratchett's Discworld series). When they get to a town, the rats make everyone think there's a plague of rats, and Keith acts as the Piper, who'll lead the rats out of town for a fee. Keith and the rats have a conscience, however, so Maurice agrees that the next town will be the last.
Unfortunately, strange things are happening in that town, and Maurice, Keith, and the rats may have stumbled on an ongoing scam that could be more than they can handle. Much of the book focuses on the rats, who are trying to come to terms with the fact that they are unlike other rats. In addition to avoiding rat poison, traps, and being stars in the sport of rat killing, they have to figure out how they can arrange things so that they can live peacefully with humans, who have a hard time dealing with talking rodents. Keith, Maurice, and a strange, story-telling girl named Malicia all help the rats work through these problems. Although this book is set in the Disworld, it really doesn't refer much to any characters, places, or events that were introduced in previous books, so a lack of familiarity with the Discworld shouldn't be a problem.
This report prepared by Melissa Cookson
This is the story of Maurice, a cunning 4-year-old talking cat, and his gang of intelligent rats. Together with Keith, a stupid-looking kid who plays the flute, they travel from town to town, doing the plague-of-rats-and-rat-piper trick to earn some pocket money.
It works perfectly well, until the rats develop a conscience. They agree to do it one last time and head for Überwald, or more acurately for the small village of Bad Blintz. There they soon realize that something is amiss. Food in the village is rationed, rat tails are rewarded 50p a piece and
strangely, there isn't a single "keekee" (regular rat) around. Teaming up with Malicia Grim, the mayor's silly daughter who thinks she's living in a fairy tale, they are determined to uncover the mystery.
The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents easily stands among my favourite Discworld novels. With a story that sometimes reminded me of Mrs Friby and the Rats of NIMH and a humour echoing that of the Bromeliad, where Pratchett observes our silly human world through the eyes of other
creatures, and where rats have names such as Hamnpork or Dangerous Beans because they liked the sound of it but didn't understand the meaning, it is as intelligent and sensible, sometimes scary, even sad at times, as it is hilarious. And David Wyatt's illustrations are just too cute!
This report prepared by Crooty