word craft




Harper­Collins, 2000
illus­trat­ed by Bri­an Flo­ca
Book 1 of 7

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audio book nar­rat­ed by 
John McDonough

The Poppy Books
Ragweed & Poppy
Book 2 of 7
Book 3 of 7
Poppy & Rye
Book 4 of 7
Ereth's Birthday
Book 5 of 7
Poppy's Return
Book 6 of 7
Poppy & Ereth
Book 7 of 7
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What’s this book about?

A mouse has to do what a mouse has to do.

Rag­weed is deter­mined to see the world. He leaves his fam­i­ly and cozy coun­try home and sets off by train for the big city. What won­ders await him: music, excite­ment, new friends … and cun­ning, car­niv­o­rous cats! Sil­ver­sides is the purring pres­i­dent of F.E.A.R. (Felines Enraged About Rodents), a group ded­i­cat­ed to keep­ing cats on top, peo­ple in the mid­dle, and mice on the bot­tom. Can Rag­weed and his mot­ley yet musi­cal crew of city nice—Clutch, Dip­stick, Lugnut, and Blinker—band togeth­er to fight their feline foe?


Story Behind the Story

Hard­ly a week goes that doesn’t have one of my read­ers writ­ing to me and ask­ing, “Why did you let Rag­weed die?”

The sto­ry of Rag­weed, char­ac­ter and book, is a case his­to­ry of how a char­ac­ter takes over a book, and indeed, a series (The Pop­py books) not because the author (me), wished it so, but because the sto­ry insisted.

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Awards and Recognition

  • Pub­lish­ers Week­ly, starred review
  • Book­list Top Ten Fan­ta­sy Books of 1999
  • Chil­dren’s Choice nom­i­nee, North Carolina


“Con­sum­mate sto­ry­teller Avi out­does him­self in this pre­quel to Pop­py and Pop­py and Rye, cut­ting loose with a crack­er­jack tale that’s pure delight from start to fin­ish… . Fueled with a mix­ture of out­ra­geous puns and sly wit­ti­cisms, this is, as Clutch would say, one total­ly awe­some tale. High four!” (Pub­lish­ers Week­ly, starred review)

buy the book 
The Poppy Books
if you liked this book, try: