In this charming sequel to Mousenet (2011), mice who use tiny Thumbtop computers need some rescuing by the very few humans who know that mice have evolved.
Everything’s going fine at Planet Mouse, the mostly mouse-staffed factory that manufactures Thumbtops in Cleveland. Thumbtops are critical for Operation Cool It, Mouse Nation’s plan to stop climate change. These mice have no special powers —only sophisticated brains and regular 21st-century technology (if very small)—so when they hear of a threat to (literally) exterminate Mouse Nation headquarters in Silicon Valley, 11-year-old Megan and her uncle Fred rush to California. Carefully protecting the secrecy of the intelligent mice, they drive an RV holding 2,243 mice up through Oregon, pursued by a mysterious truck. One not-too-bright mouse offers sensitive information to climate-change deniers in exchange for an Amazon gift certificate to buy a sparkly pink dress. The text chides her girlieness and fondness for “chick flicks”; action films, conversely, are lauded, and action-movie stars help save the day. Credulity strains sometimes—the Rocky Mountain valley that’s home to mercenary climate-change deniers is, coincidentally, right next to Megan’s mom’s summer job, and the ending is too neat—but Mouse Nation’s efficient, rational society, from Mouse Sign Language to legal proceedings, remains enchantingly believable.
Closing the book, readers may wonder: Will these mice return, and can they really stop climate change? They will hope so. (Animal fantasy. 8-12)