Even though mice are considered to be vermin, Esmeralda meets Irina, a human nine-year-old who wants to help them. Irina is the daughter of the custodian and may be the only one who can help save their lives and the ballet. Esmeralda doesn't want to be seen as the enemy.
I do think that some names and words are complicated considering it's a middle grade novel, like Lyudmila and Balalaika for example. I absolutely loved the pictures. I feel like they brought the story to life and my daughter enjoyed them as well. I do appreciate how the author sticks to the history of it, but younger readers may not realize it.
Final Verdict: I would recommend this to fans of animals like mice, The Nutcracker, and ballet. It's a prefect story to share around Christmas when the traditional play is on tour.