The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo is a fairy tale about an unusual mouse named Despereaux, a beautiful princess, a poor girl desperate to become royalty, and a deceitful rat with a plan to get revenge.
Updated plot summary for the guide that's already live
The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo
EXPOSITION: Not Like Other Mice
RISING ACTION: Roscuro
I am in love with Princess Pea.
She is the reason I am here! I dispise her.
This is a story about a special mouse. It is a story about a mouse who loves deeply, follows where the music takes him, and is different from all of the rest.
CLIMAX: Princess Prisoner
Despereaux is not like other mice. He lives in a castle and falls madly in love with the Princess. However, loving a human is wrong, and Despereaux is banished to the dungeons to live with the rats. What will become of this special mouse?
FALLING ACTION: Miggory Sow Helps
Thank you for saving me!
When he arrives in the dungeon, Despereaux meets Roscuro. Roscuro was blamed for the Queen's death, and the Princess was the cause of his dimise. Roscuro dispises the very woman whom Despereaux loves, and plans revenge.
RESOLUTION: Happily Ever After
Despereaux manages to escape the dungeon. At the same time, Roscuro kidnaps the Princess with the help of a lonely servant named Miggory Sow. He promises Mig she will become the new princess, but of course this isn't a promise he will keep.
Miggory realizes that Rosucro has tricked her, and she and Despereaux team up to rescue Princess Pea. She is saved and returned to the castle.
Despereaux and Princess Pea are allowed to be friends, and Despereaux and Roscuro are allowed in the castle. Miggory discovers that her father was a prisoner in the dungeons and he is set free. He treats his daughter like a princess and they all live happily ever after.