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Rescuers, The Paperback – December 15, 1973

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Paperback, December 15, 1973
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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Yearling (December 15, 1973)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440473780
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440473787
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.2 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,928,287 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Margery Sharp's mouse-centric 1959 adventure, The Rescuers, has only been out of print for a decade, but it is well worth revisiting. For one thing, it has just been reissued in handsome hardback as part of the New York Review Children's Collection, with drawings by Garth Williams. For another, this new incarnation provides an excuse to rescue the story for a generation of children who might otherwise know only the animated 1977 Disney movie of the same name. As with most children's classics, Ms. Sharp's original work is much funnier and more interestingly textured than the high-fructose movie version." -- Megan Cox Gurdon, The Wall Street Journal

“Miss Sharp’s delicate and sophisticated humor is good fun for wise children from age 10 to 100.” —Jerome Cushman, Los Angeles Times --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Margery Sharp (1905–1991) published fifteen novels for adults before writing The Rescuers (1959), her first book for children. Born Clara Margery Melita Sharp in Salisbury, England, she spent part of her childhood in Malta before returning to England for high school. By the time she graduated with honors in French from the University of London, she had already begun publishing short stories; her work would later become a fixture in such American and British magazines as Harper’s Bazaar, Ladies’ Home Journal, Good Housekeeping, and Punch. Several of Sharp’s novels were serialized and a number became successful films, including Cluny Brown (screenplay by Ernst Lubitsch) and Britannia Mews (written by Ring Lardner, Jr.); the Rescuers series eventually numbered nine volumes and inspired two animated feature films from Disney.

Garth Williams (1912–1996) illustrated nearly one hundred books for children, including Stuart Little and Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White, A Cricket in Times Square by George Selden, and the Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Born in New York City to English artist parents, Williams lived in New Jersey, France, and Canada before moving to England in 1922. He had plans to be an architect but ultimately studied painting, design, and sculpture at the Westminster Art School and the Royal College of Art. Having returned to the United States after World War II, Williams found work at The New Yorker, where he met E. B. White just as the latter was finishing Stuart Little. Williams also wrote and illustrated several books of his own, including The Chicken Book: A Traditional Rhyme, The Adventures of Benjamin Pink, Baby Animals, and The Rabbits’ Wedding. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Fewer still have read that series today.
E. R. Bird
A wonderful book as beloved by my ten year old daughter as it was by me as child.
The tales are exciting, funny, preposterous.
Ellie Lief

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Alissa Mower Clough on March 15, 2002
Format: Paperback
The Prisoner's Aid Society is a network of mice with a mission similar to that of Amnesty International, that is to cheer prisoners and work for their release. To this end, they have selected to rescue a Norwegian poet, held on unspecified charges in a citadel called the Black Castle in an unspecified European country that may or may not be behind the Iron Curtain. To do so, they must enlist the aid of a mouse who knows a) local Mouse, b) International Mouse, and c)Norwegian. To find such a mouse, Bernard, a pantry mouse with the Tybalt Star (for bravery in the face of cats) sets out to engage the services of the premier diplomatic mind of mousedom, the fabulous Miss Bianca, who lives with the Ambassador's Boy in a Porcelain Pagoda and travels by diplomatic pouch.
Miss Bianca is, in a word, a piece of work: ravishingly beautiful, with a small silver chain about her neck, she embodies Fifties ladylike femininity to a degree not seen outside of Tennessee Williams. Charming, adroitly diplomatic, but I'm afraid, a bit of a ditz, who, with a sigh, owns that she "knows nothing about machinery", frets and has a headache at the least provocation, is a fanatic for interior decoration, and is too dumb to know that most cats just want to eat her. Nonetheless, she finds Nils, a Norwegian seafaring mouse (somehow the joke would work better with a *rat*, I think), and the three go off to rescue Mr. Poet.
In the Black Castle, they face Mameluke, "the Head's" (of the prison) black Persian, subject of several of Garth William's most startling drawings. For an illustrator who's been a cornerstone of cute, Mameluke, done with all the round furriness of his work with Golden Books, is truly shocking, with a malevolent glare and alarming teeth, setting off Miss Bianca's Madame Pompidor fragility.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on May 13, 2005
Format: Paperback
Disney has much to answer for. Through the years it's co-opted, retold, and twisted a whole range of interesting children's books and stories out there. No one denies this. However, Disney sometimes (without realizing it itself) does the world a boon. Take, for example, the case of "The Rescuers". Best known today as a cartoon movie in which Eva Gabor and Bob Newhart lend their voices to two adorable mouse rescuers of a little girl, few remember that the film originally began as a book series. Fewer still have read that series today. Yet for all its faults, Disney's movie still leads children to read Margery Sharp's impeccable little treasure. It is debatable whether or not people would still remember the book were it not for the film. What is not debatable is the fact that the book, for all its dated concepts and affectations, remains a wonderful classic.

The Prisoners' Aid Society is a noble institution. Run entirely by mice, the society strives to help cheer and aid a variety of prisoners held around the world. This they do for the good of the world around them, and their selflessness is to be commended. When it comes to the attention of the society that a Norwegian poet has been wrongly imprisoned in the legendary (and much feared) Black Castle, the mice waste no time in formulating a plan for the man's release. The first thing to do, however, is to locate a brave Norwegian mouse to speak to the prisoner. This would normally be a long and tedious process, but luck is with the society. Bernard, a solid sturdy brown mouse, is dispatched to enlist the aid of Miss Bianca. Miss Bianca is the white pet mouse of the ambassador's son and she has always lived in the lap of luxury.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 11, 2000
Format: Paperback
The Rescuers is a book about how the brave mice Bernard, Miss Bianca and Nils a brave Norwiegan mouse, rescue and imprisoned Norwiegan poet from the horrible prison the Black House.This is a wonderful book and has many aspects that the Disney films do not cover. I would reccomend this book to anyone.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Denise Patterson VINE VOICE on October 18, 2003
Format: Paperback
The nine Miss Bianca books ARE old-fashioned in their views, yes, and not a THING like the Disney movie (thank goodness). You can say the same thing about a number of fairy and folk tales and that does not diminish their capacity to charm and delight. These books are filled with adventures where kindness and good hearts triumph over evil, but not in a sappy, maudlin way. What a terrible shame that these are out of print.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Ellie Lief on August 2, 2004
Format: Paperback
Not many things in life can live up to the fond image your memory creates after many years of absence. Margery Sharp's Miss Bianca series can, I'm happy to learn. I recently bought the first three books of the series (The Rescuers, Miss Bianca, The Turret) to read with my kids. I'd read them when I was a kid and remembered -- more than remembered, I could even *feel* -- the carried-away-by-my-imagination thrill that I got when I'd first read them. Do you remember that from certain childhood books or games?

It was great; all three of us (my two daughters and I) were transported by these tales. Ms. Sharp's prose is luscious, wicked, rich. The tales are exciting, funny, preposterous. The stories are old-fashioned...there isn't a very firm commitment to reality. These are mice who rescue prisoners; reality would be inappropriate. But letting go of Facts can be asking too much of modern-day readers who are bound (by TV and movies?) to only visualize what Dreamworks would screen or Pixar would pixelate. Don't stop there! Let your imagination carry you beyond the Facts...well, anyway, have fun with some wonderful books.
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