Heartwood Hotel: A True Home by Kallie George
This book is so sweet!
Mona the mouse has lost her home, again. Alone and with only a suitcase she makes her way through the dark forest trying to find a safe place to wait out the storm. Mona comes across a large tree with a heart carved in the bark. When she puts her hands on the heart to inspect it more closely, because it looks like the heart on her suitcase, a door swings open allowing Mona to enter the tree. Mona hasn't just found a refuge from the storm, she has found the Heartwood Hotel, a place where all animals are welcome to rent a room for the night.
Unfortunately for Mona, it's the annual Acorn Festival and all the rooms are taken. Luckily the owner, Mr. Heartwood the badger, agrees to let Mona stay the night with one of the maids in exchange for her help cleaning up after the festival. When Mona goes to leave the next day, Mr. Heartwood asks her to stay on through their busy season, much to the dismay of the current maid Tilly. Joy quickly turns to disappointment as Mona is bossed around and teased by Tilly.
When danger comes to the Heartwood Hotel, it's up to Mona to be brave and save all of her new found friends.
This is such a cute story of friendship and found families. Mona is so much smaller than everyone else at the hotel but her desire to fit in and prove herself makes her the bravest of them all. At 162 pages, at least for my edition, it would be great for young readers Grade 3 and up or an advanced Grade 2 reader. While there is a threat of bears and wolves, no animals are harmed in the story so you can reassure your sensitive readers. This is also the first book in the series so if your reader enjoys Mona's adventures, there are two more books available.
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