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Redwall ()

In the Summer of the Late Rose, when vicious invaders threaten the peaceful life around Redwall Abbey, a brave youngster named Matthias rises to the challenge.  Inspired by the legend of the great warrior Martin, he sets out to find a legendary sword with which to defend his people.  Meanwhile, the marauders, led by the chillingly evil Cluny the Scourge, besiege the Abbey.  Before it's all over, Matthias will have to fight a dread serpent and, of course, Cluny himself.   It all sounds familiar enough I suppose, except for one thing : Matthias is a mouse, Cluny is a rat, and the serpent isn't a dragon, it's actually a snake.

Brian Jacques, whose Redwall series has become a well deserved bestseller, had the ingenious idea of combining classic fantasy elements, like those found in Tolkien, with animal characters, a la Watership Down, to create a story which is uniquely accessible to kids.  After all, this isn't just good vs. evil, it's also little vs. big.  Of course, I'm forty and the rats scared the beejezus out of me, so you might not want to try these with really little kids.  But preteens who are anxiously awaiting the next installment of Harry Potter can fill their empty hours with these books which are every bit as good.  And if you taking your kids on a long car ride, I particularly recommend the unabridged audio version, narrated by Jacques, but with additional voices--it's terrific.


Grade: (A)


See also:

Children's Books
Book-related and General Links:
    -Redwall Abbey: The Official Redwall Web Site
    -BOOK SITE : Redwall (Random House uk)
    -EXCERPT : from Castaways of the Flying Dutchman
    -WEBCASTS : face to Face with Brian Jacques (Penguin Putnam)
    -INTERVIEW : with Brian Jacques (Book Browse)
    -Interview with Brian Jacques  (BookPage, 1992)
    -CHAT : Authors Online Transcript: Brian Jacques (Scholastic)
    -PROFILE :  A British Author Finds Refuge With Feisty Woodland Critters (DOREEN CARVAJAL, April 2, 2001 , NY Times)
    -PROFILE : Good yarns : Brian Jacques writes for the child in us all (Alex Saville, Princeton Packet, Jan. 11, 2000)
    -PROFILE :  Brian Jacques' life on the 'Redwall' : A storyteller for the ages (Michele Dula Baum,   March 16, 2001, CNN)
    -ARTICLE :  Author Brian Jacques brings  'Redwall' aura to Puget Sound (Lisa L. Diaz, February 9, 2000,  Seattle Times)
    -Complete Redwall Site : The Gatehouse
    -Redwall Encyclopaedia
    -The Tales of Redwall by Brian Jacques (AlexLibris)
    -The SF Site Reader's Guide to Fantasy: Brian Jacques : The Redwall Novels of Brian Jacques (John O'Neill)
    -TEACHER'S GUIDE : Redwall (Carol Hurst's Children's Literature Site)
    -TEACHER'S GUIDE :  Redwall  (Carol Otis Hurst, Teacher Vision)
    -WEBRING : The Redwall Ring
    -REVIEW : of Redwall  (K. Burtt, 11th Hour)
    -REVIEW : Redwall Series (Don Hoover, SFF World)
    -REVIEWS : of The Redwall series (Iestyn Evans)
    -REVIEW : of Castaways of the Flying Dutchman (Karen MacPherson, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

    -Redwall Home (Nelvana)