Read The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents by Terry Pratchett years ago, the day it first came out in Canada. I went to the bookstore, bought it, went to the food court and finished it before I got home.
A couple years ago I got the audiobook, which is good but it was a couple ipods ago and I lost my place, so I figured for my challenge it would do perfectly (Book 63, I am now working on book 67).
It's technically set in the Discworld, but except for a mention of some wizards and it taking place in Uberwald, it's not a big detail.
The plot is Maurice, a talking cat, a bunch of talking mice, and a stupid looking kid are running a Pied Piper scheme and end up in a town where something really creepy is afoot. And there's a girl named Malicia who likes to make up stories. In the audiobook she's got this great sort of Transylvanian accent, which isn't actually in the book beyond where she comes from, so I had to mentally put it there as I read.
Maurice is great narrator. He's very much a cat, with cat priorities. And the rats are forming their own civilization bit by bit, and learning what it really means to think. It's a pretty solid piece of kid's fiction, and again if you're worried about needing to know about the Discworld series, it's not even relevant.
I also read Only Human by Tom Holt which was aggressively mediocre mixed with casual racism.