Martin the Warrior: A Tale from Redwall

Author: Brian Jacques
Illustrator: Brian Chalk
Publisher: New York: Philomel Books. 1994
pages: 376
Author's website

Classification: Young Adult Fiction
Genre: Fantasy
Media Type: Book

Grade level: 7th - 12th

Reader's annotation:
Young mouse slave Martin transforms into a warrior to release himself and other enslaved animals as they fight their way free from the tyrannical corsair stoat Badrang.

Summary: The story opens with Martin a prisoner slave in the fortress of Badrang, a greedy tyrant who has visions of ruling an empire of woodland animal creatures. Martin manages to escape with a small group who immediately get separated from each other. Martin teams up with Rose and her friends and family who gather together an army. Badrang is having his own problems when he is attacked by another evil character Captain Clogg. There is much sword fighting and swashbuckling in some very tense scenes that make for exciting reading. One that was particularly intense involved river otters, rats and mice. Other animals featured are weasels, foxes and ferrets (bad) and badgers, hedgehogs, and squirrels (good). Each of the animals has distinct character traits which make this fantasy so engaging. As the stories weave their way through triumphs and setbacks the characters gather together for a final climactic battle.

Evaluation: An action-packed book and series that really appeals to teen-age boys, both avid and reluctant readers. When I asked the high school boys what their favorite fun reading was I wasn’t surprised to hear the Redwall series as a top choice. It is a bit like an animal version of Lord of the Rings without the magic.

Redwall. This is how the story all begins, though this book was published 6th in the series. There are currently 20 books in the series with The Sable Queen scheduled for release in January of 2010. The series has spawned an animated TV series and graphic novel rendition of the first book Redwall. Only four of the books have not been made into audiobooks.

Redwall, Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. retrieved May 1, 2009 from:

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I grew up outside of Boston, went to college in western MA and lived in NYC dancing for several years before getting my teaching credentials and unintentionally moving to Santa Cruz CA. Married and divorced with two kids almost grown, a daughter in college and a son in high school, I am thrilled to be a librarian now, something that I should have done years ago. I love the applications of technology and realize that I have been interested in that since my first computer class back in 1986 - a new requirement for teaching degrees. Finally I can combine my love of curriculum, educational resources, working with adults and children, and technology applications.