It’s such a treat for me to read books meant for this age group (ages 7-10). The stories are an easy read for me without being as romance driven (and unenjoyable for me) as many young-adult books are. This book especially was a treat to read.
The story follows the life of Millhouse, a hairless Guinea Pig, who lives in a pet store and loves the theatre (especially Shakespeare). He is misunderstood and disliked by just about everyone in the pet shop and struggles with loneliness. The story follows his expeditions throughout the pet store as he recites Shakespeare and is ridiculed by others. Yeah, Millhouse leads a pretty depressing life.
This story is really pretty dark. When the new Guinea Pig in town tells Millhouse that Millhouse was just created as a genetic experiment and basically doesn’t even count as a Guinea Pig, I honestly felt the emotion of Millhouse and found myself upset. I can’t imagine what a young child would feel when reading that. The overall mood of this book is really depressing, Millhouse is lonely and disliked and the emotion really shines through; this would be an intense book for a young child to read, especially one who has dealt with bullying.
The writing in this book is really good. The author writes in a simplistic style, but uses decent language, enough to challenge any child (7-10) who is reading the book (or maybe having it read to them). I found the style of the writing to be delicious, something you can almost taste on your tongue as you’re reading. (The writing styles/tones of the books for this age range are part of the reason I love them so much…)
The illustrations within this book are adorable. While they don’t add much to the story exactly, they do a really nice job of breaking up the dark story with some cute and chipper images.
Overall, regardless of the dark matter within this book I think it’s a fantastic read. The story will cause a child to think about how their actions impact others and will evoke sympathy for all types of people; definitely good things for children to learn. I would highly recommend reading this book to your child (or at least reading it after they’re done) because it’s such an enjoyable book for all ages.
I received this book for review purposes via NetGalley.