"The Tale of Despereaux" is a 2003 fantasy book written by Kate DiCamillo. The main plot follows the adventures of a mouse named Despereaux Tilling, as he sets out on his quest to rescue a beautiful human princess from the rats. The novel is divided into four "books" and ends with a coda. Each "book" tells the story from a different character's or group of characters' perspective, and finally, all of them combined. The book won the 2004 Newbery Medal award.

In 2007 the U.S. National Education Association named the book as one of its "Teachers' Top 100 Books for Children", based on an online poll. Teachers also made it a summer reading project. In 2012 it was ranked number 51 among all-time children's novels in a survey published by 'School Library Journal' – the second of three books by DiCamillo in the Top 100.

In 2008, the book was adapted as an animated film of the same name. On December 2, 2008, a video game for the Nintendo DS, PlayStation 2 and PC, called "The Tale of Despereaux", was released. In 2018, the book was adapted into a musical by the PigPen Theatre Co.

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