Thursday, October 3, 2013

Staff Pick - Watership Down by Richard Adams

I recently read the novel Fauna (M) by Alissa York, which is the One Book Nova Scotia selection for 2013. One of the many intriguing parts of this wonderful novel was the role of classic literature in the story. Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book (M) is featured prominently, as is Watership Down (M) by Richard Adams.

Coincidentally, just as I finished reading Fauna, a brand new copy of Watership Down was put on display in the children's section at the Library. What the heck I thought, I'll give this a quick scan on my coffee break.

Within the first chapter I was hooked.  What a great reading experience. Although it is sometimes thought of as a children's book, it really is a book for all ages.

It is a story about a group of rabbits in search of a new home. The novel features fantastic characterization, tension filled story lines, great pacing and insightful writing about the lives of animals. And while the novel is anthropomorphic in nature, the rabbits are still rabbits. They don't wear clothes or ride bicycles.  Other than the ability to talk to each other, they are real rabbits. I am sure that this is part of the reason the novel resonated so much with me. I felt like I gained a whole new understanding of rabbits. And I'll never forget Fiver and Hazel.

In Fauna, the characters often gather together after supper to listen to The Jungle Book being read aloud. I think Watership Down would also make a great read-a-loud book.  Why not try it out on your friends and family?

Watership Down has won numerous awards, has been adapted as an animated film and recently was chosen by the British public as one of the best books of all time in The Big Read.

Highly recommended!

btw, Alissa York will be reading from Fauna at the Spring Garden Road Memorial Public Library on Sunday Oct 6th, 2:00 pm. I hope to see you there.

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