The Tale of Despereaux

by Kate DiCamillo

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Book Information

Publication Date: September 8, 2009


Reading Level: Lexile Measure 670L, Scholastic Guided Reading Level U


Interest Level: Grades 3-5


Major Awards: 2004 Newbery Medal


Number of Pages: 273 pages


Approximate Word Count: 82,960 words


Audible Book Length: 3 hrs and 30 mins


Book Themes: Compassion and Forgiveness, Family, Isolation, Loyalty, Revenge, Lies and Deceit, Courage, Principles


Genre: fantasy, quest


Setting: Fictional Setting - The Kingdom of Dor


Important Quote: Stories are light. Light is precious in a world so dark.

“Once upon a time,” he said out loud to the darkness. He said these words because they were the best, the most powerful words that he knew and just the saying of them comforted him.


First Line: The story begins within the walls of a castle, with the birth of a mouse.


Point of View: First Person (Peripheral Narrator - told from the perspective of a narrator who isn't directly involved with the story)

Links to Resources and Teaching Ideas