Waiting for Harry Potter?

Ever since he was a baby, I have read to my son as part of his bedtime routine. One of the great parts of his getting older has been being able to read longer chapter books, like The Hobbit, the Wind in the Willows, etc. Last year we read the entire Potter opus through the Half-Blood Prince. We are both eager awaiting the Deathly Hallows. If you, too, are waiting for your HP fix, you might be interested in Brian Jaques’ Redwall. If you’re not familiar with the book, or the series, Redwall is about a young mouse, Matthias, who is a novice at Redwall Abbey who is forced to undertake an epic quest for the sword of the Abbey’s ancient hero, Martin the Warrior, in defense of his Abbey and the creatures who live there against Cluny the Scourge, an evil rat warlord and his army, who have laid siege to it. The writing is very evocative and the characters most entertaining. In particular my son thought that a character named Basil Stag Hare—a loveable old British sergeant-major type (but a hare)—was hysterical. There is a fare amount of bloodshed and some characters that you come to love are killed off, so if you have sensitive children you might want to read it through yourself first. We enjoyed it so much that we’ve already begun the third book (the second, Mossflower, is a prequel to Redwall), which features Matthias’s son, Mattemeo.

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