Fergus and Zeke (Fergus and Zeke)

by Kate Messner (Author) Heather Ross (Illustrator)

Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade
Series: Fergus and Zeke

Meet Fergus and Zeke -- a lovable classroom mouse and his streetwise buddy -- in a brand-new series perfect for early readers.

Fergus loves being the class pet in Miss Maxwell's classroom. He does everything the students do, until the teacher plans a field trip to the museum -- without Fergus! He doesn't want to miss the fun, so he stows away in a backpack and sets off for an adventure. When he arrives at the museum, Fergus finds it a little overwhelming -- huge and full of exciting things to see. Luckily, he meets a new friend, Zeke, who knows the ropes, and together they explore everything from moon rocks to butterflies to a giant dinosaur skeleton ("A playground!" says Zeke). But when the time comes for the bus to leave, Fergus is worried that he'll be left behind.

Will he make it back to school to take his place as class pet once more?

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Publishers Weekly

Classroom pet Fergus the mouse can't resist sneaking along for a trip to the natural history museum, where he befriends another mouse named Zeke. In a high-spirited series opener set over four chapters, Messner (the Ranger in Time books) lets readers live out their Night at the Museum fantasies through Fergus and Zeke's explorations, as they clamber over lion and dinosaur exhibits and generally disregard any "no touching" rules ("Those are people rules!" crows Zeke). Ross's (Grimelda: The Very Messy Witch) energetic full-color cartoons run wild with the museum-as-playground theme, and Zeke's decision to join Fergus in the classroom neatly sets up their next adventure. Ages 5-8. Author's agent: Jennifer Laughran, Andrea Brown Literary. Illustrator's agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (June)

Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

School Library Journal

K-Gr 2--Fergus, a class pet mouse, does everything with Miss Maxwell's students: listening to stories, solving math problems, and always following the rules. So when the class goes to the museum, Fergus stows away in Emma's backpack. Fergus meets Zeke, a mouse who lives at the museum. At first they stick with the class, checking out the rocks, minerals, and butterflies. But Zeke convinces Fergus that Miss Maxwell's museum rules are for people, not for mice, and the pair find themselves climbing through lions' manes and checking out the view from the mouth of a T. rex skeleton. When the bus arrives to take the students home, Fergus considers staying but chooses Miss Maxwell's classroom (and her rules) instead--and invites Zeke along. This is a charming tale that will evoke memories of museum visits in some children and give a taste of such a visit to others. The vocabulary is accessible to readers moving beyond the simplest texts and ready for a more complex narrative. Ross's cheery digital line drawings mirror the text and enhance readers' understanding. VERDICT An enjoyable addition to chapter book collections, especially where heavily illustrated works at this level are needed.--Mary Kuehner, Arapahoe Library District, CO

Copyright 2017 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

The four chapters of this easy reader zip right along with a straightforward, breezy plot and two charming, mischievous mice leading the way...The art's peppy lines and occasional plays on perspective support but never overwhelm the text. Short sentences, some stealthy repetition, and a host of sight words give plenty of scaffolding to young readers, and this might also make a diverting readaloud before a class trip.
—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

Messner's first in a new early-reader series (Fergus and Zeke will visit the school science fair next) is divided into four chapters and meant for those who are confident enough in their reading abilities to begin to make the transition to chapter books. Ross' digital illustrations add interest and break up the text, giving readers a mouse's-eye view of the museum and its fascinating exhibits...Here's to more adventures for Fergus and Zeke!
—Kirkus Reviews

Messner (the Ranger in Time books) lets readers live out their Night at the Museum fantasies through Fergus and Zeke's explorations...Ross's (Grimelda: The Very Messy Witch) energetic full-color cartoons run wild with the museum-as-playground theme, and Zeke's decision to join Fergus in the classroom neatly sets up their next adventure.
—Publishers Weekly

Messner's text is approachable and creative, and builds suspense that will keep readers excited until the end. Ross' illustrations expand the text and breathe life into two adorable mice and the museum experience. This first book in a new series is sure to be a hit.
—Booklist

Small children of a compliant nature will find a kindred spirit in the mouse-hero of Kate Messner's entertaining easy-reader 'Fergus and Zeke' (Candlewick, 52 pages, $14.99)...Cheery illustrations by Heather Ross add zip to this educational excursion for 5- to 8-year-olds.
—The Wall Street Journal

The vocabulary is accessible to readers moving beyond the simplest texts and ready for a more complex narrative. Ross's cheery digital line drawings mirror the text and enhance readers' understanding. An enjoyable addition to chapter book collections, especially where heavily illustrated works at this level are needed.
—School Library Journal

Kate Messner has written a great story about friendship and how to solve problems that beginning readers will want to read and enjoy frequently. This is an excellent book for all libraries—classroom and school.
—School Library Connection
Kate Messner

Kate Messner is passionately curious and writes books for kids who wonder, too. Her award-winning titles include picture books like Once Upon a Book, Over and Under the Snow, and The Scariest Kitten in the World; middle-grade novels like All the Answers and Breakout; the Fergus and Zeke easy reader series; the Ranger in Time chapter book adventures; and the History Smashers illustrated nonfiction series. A former middle-school Language Arts teacher, she splits her time between New York's Champlain Valley and Florida's Gulf Coast. Visit her online at katemessner.com and find her on social media at @katemessner.

Classification
Fiction
ISBN-13
9780763678463
Lexile Measure
580
Guided Reading Level
-
Publisher
Candlewick Press (MA)
Publication date
June 20, 2017
Series
Fergus and Zeke
BISAC categories
JUV039060 - Juvenile Fiction | Social Themes | Friendship
JUV002180 - Juvenile Fiction | Animals | Mice, Hamsters, Guinea Pigs, etc.
JUV035000 - Juvenile Fiction | School & Education
Library of Congress categories
Fiction
Friendship
Mice
Museums
Juvenile works
Readers (Primary)
Readers (Publications)

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