Saturday, March 20, 2010

Redwall by Brian Jacques ***

Redwall by Brian Jacques is a medieval fantasy/adventure for elementary school readers where the good mice defend the abbey from the evil rats - you get the idea. This book (over 20 years in print and still in Amazon's top 10,000 - the U.S. alone publishes over 250,000 new title a year) brings me back to my elementary school year.

As a dyslexic child in the 1950s I wasn't tested, I didn't have an IEP, there were no accommodations or modifications ... I was just shuffled into the back of the room with the other slow readers. Thus, I began my journey as a non-reader through the educational system. I never read any children's books beyond Dr. Seuss, so now I periodically read them both out of curiosity and to know what my students are reading in the classes where I sub.

Unfortunately I fear I'm past the prepubescent age-of-innocence and find these books too predictable and boring. I just can't get involved with quests for lost swords and battles between chivalrous mice and ill-mannered rats. This might not seem like much of a problem, except having missed what I believe is the critical age to acquire an interest in fantasy, I now find the adult fantasies such as LOTR similarly soporific.

I don't recommend this to people who missed the fantasy window during their childhood years, but from my visits to elementary schools I believe it is still an excellent choice for young readers with the added bonus that if this book is found tasty, there is a seemingless endless collection of sequels.

1 comment:

medieval swords said...

Redwall is a lovely book. Children will definitely appreciate this medieval/fantasy book that will help them have a special appreciation for this kind of genre. The added bonus is really something to entice anyone especially kids whose imagination are rich.