Always, Clementine by Carlie Sorosiak

Published by Walker Books US

Summary:  Clementine is a super intelligent mouse who has spent her whole life in the lab that bred her and several other mice.  Her closest friend is a chimpanzee named Rosie who also lives in the lab, and whom Clementine sneaks out to visit at night.  Told in a series of letters to Rosie, the story opens with a researcher named Felix stealing/rescuing Clementine and another identical mouse (he just wants Clementine but can’t tell the two apart) and leaving them in a mailbox.  This turns out to belong to a boy named Gus and his grandfather, Pop, who soon discover the mice.  As they get to know Clementine, they realize she is no ordinary mouse, and the APB alert from the lab that they see on TV helps them to understand more about her.  They also learn from the TV that the scientists plan to kill Clementine so that they can study her brain, and they begin to hatch a plan to rescue her, a plan that involves Pop’s background as a chess champion.  Freed from the lab, Clementine learns more about who she really is and how she can use her gifts to help herself and other animals.  Includes an author’s note with additional information about lab animals.  304 pages; grades 3-7.

Pros:  Starting with the adorable cover, this is a book that is sure to appeal to animal lovers and may turn some of them into activists.

Cons:  I felt like I never really got to know Rosie.

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