Ragweed (Poppy Stories Series)

Ragweed (Poppy Stories Series)


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The first book in the beloved Poppy series by Newbery Medal–winning author Avi, with illustrations from Caldecott Medal–winning artist Brian Floca

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?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780380801671
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 08/15/2006
Series: Poppy Stories Series , #1
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 75,392
Product dimensions: 7.56(w) x 7.14(h) x 0.47(d)
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About the Author

Avi is the award-winning author of more than seventy-five books for young readers, ranging from animal fantasy to gripping historical fiction, picture books to young adult novels. Crispin: The Cross of Lead won the Newbery Medal, and The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle and Nothing But the Truth were awarded Newbery Honors. He is also the author of the popular Poppy series. Avi lives outside Denver, Colorado. You can visit him online at www.avi-writer.com.

Brian Floca's illustrations have appeared in several books by Avi, including the six volumes of the Poppy stories and the graphic novel City of Light, City of Dark. For younger readers, he is the author and illustrator of Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo II as well as the highly praised books Lightship, a Robert F. Sibert Honor Book and ALA Notable Book; The Racecar Alphabet, also an ALA Notable Book; and Five Trucks.

Date of Birth:

December 23, 1937

Place of Birth:

New York, New York


University of Wisconsin; M.A. in Library Science from Columbia University, 1964

Read an Excerpt

Ragweed Chapter OneRagweed

"Ma, a mouse has to do what a mouse has to do."

Ragweed, a golden mouse with dark orange fur, round ears and a not very long tail, was saying goodbye to his mother and, father as well as to I fifty of his brothers and sisters. They were all gathered by the family nest, which was situated just above-the banks of the Brook.

"Is it...something about us that's making you leave home?" his mother, whose name was Clover, asked tearfully. She was. small and round, with silky black eyes.

"Aw, Ma, that's not fair," Ragweed replied, wishing he could leave without so much fins. "I just want to see things.I am almost four months old, you know. I mean,The Brook is wonderful, but...well, it's not the, whole world."

Ragweed's father, Valerian, drew himself up. He was long-faced and lanky, and his scruffy whiskers were touched with gray. "Now, son," he said, "no need to poke fun at us stay-at-homes."

"I'm sorry, Dad. I didn't mean to joke. All I'm doing is going off to explore what else there is. You know, before settling down. I won't be gone long."

"Will you absolutely promise to come back?" Clover asked. Though Ragweed had carefully slicked down his fur so that it was quite neat and proper, she found a small strand around his ear that required careful adjusting. But then, Ragweed was very special to her.

"Of course I will," Ragweed assured her, trying to duck his mother's fussy fixing.

"And...and if you meet a young female mouse, Clover added gently, "one for whom you develop a...a fondness, just make sure she...she really cares for you."

Ragweed blushed. "Hey, Ma, I'm too young for that stuff.Anyway, if I'm going to get someplace today, I better start moving."

This notice of his imminent departure caused Clover to fling her paws around Ragweed's neck and give him a nuzzle about his right ear. "Please, please be cautious!" she whispered. "Promise me that you will."

"I promise," Ragweed returned,

A reluctant Clover released her, son.

Valerian held out his paw. "Ragweed, he said, YOU pre a clear-thiniting, straight-talking, hard-working young mouse. proud of YOU."

Ragweed shook his father's paw. "Dad," he replied, "if I can be anything like you, that'll be good enough for me.

"Thank you, son" Valerian said, his voice husky.

Embarrassed by so much emotion, Ragweed looked sheepishly at his brothers and sisters. Of those still at home, he was the eldest. Even among the older ones who had returned from nearby homes to say goodbye Ragweed was the first to leave the *are a of the Brook.Hardly a wonder that they were gazing at him with affectionate awe. But it was to Rye, his younger brother by a few weeks, that Ragweed went.

Rye looked very much like Ragweed, save for a notch in his right ear, the result of an accident.

"Okay, Rye," Ragweed said, giving hit brother a mock punch on the shoulder. "You're the big kid in, the nest now. Make sure you take care of things. If you don't, hey, you're. going to answer to me when I come back. Get it?"

"I know," Rye replied with a. grin- masking his annoyance that his older-brother was telling him what to do.

Next, Ragweed tipped 'a wink to his favorite younger sister, Thistle. "See you around, kiddo," he called.

"Oh, Ragweed, I'm going to miss you so much! she cried. Rushing forward, she gave Ragweed a big nuzzle.

Ragweed, determined to be lighthearted, stepped back, gave a carefree wave, and set off up the hill, striding boldly toward the ridge. that overlooked the little valley. Halfway up he came to a large boulder embedded in am outcropping Of earth. There he paused and looked down at his family, who were, stil observing his departure. Though he wanted to move on, Ragweed found himself lingering.

The spring air was brimming with a delicate sweetness; the vaulting blue sky seemed endless, the sun warm and embracing. Amid moss, and grass, flowers had burst forth with youthful, daring, in. contrast to the shallow old Brook, which wound lazily between low, le* banks, bearing pink and white water lilies on its wide surface. As for the tall trees that stood all around, they were veiled in a downy green mist of just-born leaves.

What lay below Ragweed was not merely beautiful, it was home. His home. And there was his family, whom he loved as much as he knew they loved him.

Hope I'm doing what's right, he thought with a sigh. Then, reminding himself out loud that "A mouse has to do what a mouse has to do," he -gave a final wave, to his family and continued up the ridge.

Ragweed had no notion where he was heading. He had consulted no, one, planned little, "I'll just go where whim takes me," he'd told Rye.

As Ragweed went along he now and again broke into snatches of an old -song. His voice was good-if rather low for a mouse-and he enjoyed singing. The song he trilled was one he and his family often sang on hikes and picnics.

"A mouse will a roving go, Along wooded paths and pebbled ways To places high and places low, Where birds do sing neath sunny rays, For the world is full of mice, oh! For the world is full of mice, oh!"

The song carried him to the crest of yet another hill. There he paused again. The trail seemed to extend from his toes straight out to the horizon. just to see it gave him the wonderful sensation that anything might happen. He took a deep breath. How delicious was the sense of freedom he felt. How fine that he and he alone was responsible for himself He had not-he now realized — grasped how exciting it would be to grow up and strike out on one's own.

Ragweed. Copyright (c) by Avi . Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Table of Contents

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Ragweed 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
riofriotex on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In Avi's prequel to Poppy (1995) and Poppy and Rye (1998), Ragweed the mouse leaves his family in the country and hops a train, winding up in the town of Amperville. There he meets mice that live in broken-down vehicles and are named for car parts: Clutch, Lugnut, Dipstick, Blinker, Windshield, and Foglight. They are being threatened by F.E.A.R., Felines Enraged About Rodents, a two-cat termination team consisting of cranky Silversides and her subordinate Graybar. Ragweed urges the musical mice to band together to replace their F.E.A.R.-destroyed dance club, and sets up a combat plan for the expected attack by F.E.A.R. The characters are not one-dimensional, the heroes aren't always laudable and you feel a little pity for the villains. The plot, while not gripping, is exciting and entertaining. Brian Floca's detailed black-and-white drawings add to the atmosphere of the story. I have not read the other books in the series and I feel this book stands alone well. However, I found the constant use of the trendy language in the conversation of the mice to be a turn-off. That's not how I want my children and students to speak and write, and I think it will date the book. Recommended for intermediate level readers (grades 3-6).
read-a-lots on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Ragweed is a fun book you'll enjoy
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just read this to my grandson who is 7 years old. He loved it, and would not let me put it down. As we were reading the last chapter, he picked up Poppy, the next book in the series and started reading the first chapter to himself! I was a school teacher for 32 years, and when I taught 3rd grade, I read all of this series, that was available at the time, to my students. We loved them so much, my students wrote to AVI on his website, and encouraged him to write more on Ereth. Since then he has added Ereth and Poppy, along with Poppy's Return. I can't wait to read this whole series to my grandson. Everyone must read all of AVI's books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ragweed By Avi This is a book about a mouse who gains confidence in himself. He takes a train to town and meets a mouse named Clutch. This cat named Silversides hates all the mice in the town. She made a club called F.E.A.R. to get rid of the mice. There is another cat named Graybar. He lives in a sewer. The mice are trying to stop Silversides. Will they stop Silversides? Read the book to find out. I recommend 3rd grade-6th grade. If you like animals this would be a good book for you. This author uses good words. Some similar books are Poppy or Poppy and Rye. This is a great book.
dameagatha More than 1 year ago
who knew a mouse's life could be so adventurous. ragweed is not content to be an ordinary mouse, but must explore the world, taking him to exciting (and dangerous) new places. he must learn to adapt--probably the best lesson of the story, and he must make new friends with mice who are different than he has ever known--another great lesson. ragweed must also depend on others, but soon settles in, even facing a mouse's worst fear--the dreaded cat. enjoy!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I bought this book for my ten year old. It is hard to get him to find something he likes to read. He is loving this book and he loves that it is a series so that he can read more.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
AndyMo More than 1 year ago
The book Ragweed is about a country mouse named Ragweed who goes to a city. The characters of this book are Ragweed and Clutch(who you will see later in the book). I like this book because it is funny and adventurous. I recommend this book for 3rd graders and up. If you like the book Mrs.Frisby and The Rats Of Nimh you'll like this book. Avi is a great author!
Bigbangtaeyanggogosssing More than 1 year ago
The adventurous book "Ragweed" by Brian Floca. If you could go to another land that you don't know very well about, would you go? Ragweed, a small little mouse but one courageous mouse goes to a place he never saw before. He went out of his cozy and peaceful home to a much busier place called Amperville. From there he meets new friends and goes to all sorts of places. He goes to clubs, cheese land, cheese squeeze club and more. But that very fun moment, Silversides, the president of the group F.E.A.R (Felines Enraged About Rodents) comes in and tries to make cats on top, humans' middle, and mouse at the very bottom. Ragweed goes to another adventure of a band and tries to defeat their feline foe. When he meets them, he finally says, "The only good cat is a dead cat!" The action begins and makes decisions of where to attack. Making battle ships, racing cars, and paper airplanes. The cats and the mouse fight and have a whole lot of trouble. As trouble comes near, Ragweed tries to make a new club called the New club. The new club is made from an old bookstore when Blinker, a new mouse, makes an idea to clean it with a hose. After they clean it, Blinker is disappointed when Ragweed never told to the crowds that it was Blinkers idea but never actually told anyone. As soon as Blinker gets out of the bookstore, Silversides catches him and commands him to go search where Silversides could get in. Blinker tells everything about what Silversides commanded him to do and tries to make a trap. They get the hose and aim it at the stairs. Blinker goes out and tells Silversides about the stairs which she can go through. Silversides gets in but is shot and ragweed wins Silversides but in the other hand, the whole F.E.A.R. is coming from the roof. The mouse knew about this so ragweed makes another plan to fight them. Graybar, a black cat is the vice-president of the F.E.A.R. commands them. Ragweed and Graybar meets and fights while the other mouse and cats fight as well. Fascinating chaos and fighting actions of how mouse could win or cats could win. Strategy solving questions and brain busters that could make you go crazy. I really liked this book because it had extraordinary adventures and gave me pictures in the head of what was happening. I recommend this book to people who like a lot of adventure and people who like suspense. Don't miss the fun.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was hilarious from what i read. This is the 2 Avi book i read, I love the Secret School. And I'd thought i'd like to read books about Poppy. First i'd have to read Ragweed. I was disapointed until Ireched ch. 2 of Ragweed it intoduced Silversides a cat. I love Silversides tricks, I also fell bad for Ragweed though. It's a normal book. It's pretty good.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ragweed. Hmm... where do I start? Oh yes, let me just tell you right now - Ragweed is an amazing story of love, courage, betrayal, and determination. Oh yeah, all of the main characters in the story are mice and cats. You heard me! Ragweed is a 'crackerjack tale' about a mouse named - you guessed it - Ragweed. He wants to see the world, what is beyond his small brook home. Ragweed hops aboard a train and enters Amperville, a city. The rest is history. What really dragged me into the book was the storyline. Soon into his entry to Amperville, he is ambushed by Silversides, a female cat with a dangerous attitude. She does not want the rodent problem in Amperville to get any higher than it already is, so she chases Ragweed. He escapes due to the quick save by a female mouse named Clutch. From here, the story picks up a nice pace and doesn't stop. This is what makes you hang on; the story doesn't slow down that much, making it a nice, and not bumpy, ride. And also, the author puts important sentences at the end of chapters, making you want to read more. Gets me everytime. Not to tread on spoilers, but Ragweed does something amazing near the end of the story. What the author does is make Ragweed shine with glory in some situations. Ragweed is just full of determination. A certain event in the story has the mice shocked and scared, because they lose an important building of the mice community. This makes Ragweed think about what he got himself into. But then he thought it over, he wanted to see the world, and he isn't going to let some random cats stand in the way. Ragweed doesn't run away from F.E.A.R, again I won't go into detail to avoid spoilers. He tells the other mice to stand up to the cats. Are they going to keep hiding and running in fear their whole lives? He rebuilds and recollects the mice, and recreate their own sanctuary again. Ragweed wants to make sure that F.E.A.R gets the message: No matter what they do, no matter how hard they try, they aren't putting down these mice. I highly recommend this book to anyone. It is enjoyable for anyone of any age, and it is a nice short snack for those hardcore readers. It won't take long to read, yet it has a good, deep storyline.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is a great book by Avi. She really descrives the pain and turmoil that the mice have to live caused by cats. The mice have their thoughts that the cats messed up their world and the cats think that the mice messed up theirs, creating a war. A great book, with amazing twists and turns, humor, angst, and a little pinch of the supernatural, Ragweed is by far the best mouse book! The characters come to live, along with the savvy cats and other characters. This truely has become the stuff of legends!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ragweed is an outstanding book that any animal lover will adore! Avi's captivating plot and vivid details make this book a must read for any child looking for a fun book! I have gone on to read the whole series and am not dissapointed by any means.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ragweed is a really great book and when I first saw it, I knew it would be interesting. I looked at the cover and it had a picture of a mouseon a skateboard and somewhat of a guitarso that meant that it would be about mice and their life in their way. This book was what I expected it to be and it was also extremeley interesting. I still feel the same about the book because when I first saw it I was really excited about reading it. Ragweed is a fiction book by Avi about mice, tons of mice, that live in a city called Amperville. The main characters are Ragweed and his friends Clutch and Blinker, and also his enemies Silversides and Graybar. Silversides and Graybar start an organization called F.E.A.R.(Felines Enraged About Rodents) to kill all mice and keep cats on top. Silversides and Graybar decide to go kill mice whenever they see them, but Ragweedtries to stop them. I liked Ragweed because it was an interesting book about mice and it gave the view of life through a mouse's point of view. I also liked it because it was about cats and mice. The story even made me want to buy a mouse because I already have a cat. Ragweed was an interesting book that I enjoyed reading because of the way it expressed a mouse's point of view of life. I would recommend this book to people because it is a great book that gives you a few laughs and makes you curious to know about a mouse's view of life. I think this book is appropiate for nine-year olds and above. This book deserves five stars because it is easy to understand. For example, a mouse's name for something might be different from a human's , but this book describes it to get a better idea. Also, Ragweed even has a map of the town they live in, Amperville, in the beginning of the book. Ragweed is a great, interesting book for nine-year olds and above that is about mice and their view of life about cats, cars, buildings, and humans.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a great book! Ragweed is a very unique mouse with very interesting friends. You have to read this!
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you have read Poppy by Avi, this is a great sequel. If you like books that are adventurous, this is your book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ragweed makes creative plans and makes new friends. This great adventure around the world was a great idea. Ragweed makes new friends, who helped him take on F.E.A.R. (Felines Enraged About Rodents). Clutch's band should make it rock and roll!!! And remember, a mouse has to do what a mouse has to do.