Avi author writer
Poppy's Return Nothing But the Truth Crispin Cross of Lead True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle Catch You Later, Traitor Avi author writer
illus. by Brian Floca
HarperCollins, 2000
Teaching Guide for
all of the Poppy books
Listen to Avi read
from Ragweed
more adventure
more animal tales

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?

Behind the Book

Avi writes: The Poppy books were not written in order. First I wrote Poppy, the second book in the series, then Poppy and Rye, as the third. Only then did I write Ragweed—the first. I did so because although Ragweed, as a character, leaves the series quite early, his spirit, so to speak, is in all the books. I—and my readers—needed to know about him, and how and why he came to Dimwood Forest. That’s how the book came to be. And I—as a writer—love how what happens in this book has an impact on the last book in the series, Poppy and Ereth.


“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)

Awards and Honors

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

Website copyright 2003 - Avi. All rights reserved. Site designed by Winding Oak.
Materials on this website may be copied for classroom or library use but may not be reprinted or resold for commercial purposes.