Dear Reader Who Searched

August 28, 2007 @ 2:14 pm | Filed under:

…for "what problems did the rabbits encounter in building a new warren in the book watership down"—I implore you to read the book yourself and find out!

Did a teacher assign it for summer reading? It’s too soon, surely, for you to have been assigned a paper for this semester’s classes.

Listen, even if you blow the back-to-school quiz, don’t hold that against the book. Give it a try.

You’ve never met anyone like Hazel and Fiver. Or Bigwig and Kehaar. You want them in your your life, trust me.

I guarantee you the "problems they encountered" aren’t the sort of challenges you might anticipate. They aren’t easily boiled down to quiz answers, either. Those rabbits’ experiences will make your heart pound, and they’ll heat up your brain, too, because what happens down in those warrens is, well, human history.

But wait, if I start spouting in that direction you’ll never pick up the book. Let’s just stick with the fact that it’s a tremendously gripping story. With characters who will burrow into your heart and live there forever.

I know I’m too late. You already landed on my site and Googled right back out again, not having found your pat answers here. (Or there.)

I hope that wherever you wound up, there was something in the information you cribbed that made you want to go back and read the book yourself. Not for a grade, not because you had to, but because some essay you skimmed about Hazel-rah, an average rabbit who was surprised by his own capabilities, whispered to you that you, too, might have latent strengths and gifts to call upon when life bares its pointed teeth at you.

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7 Reponses | Comments Feed
  1. Kris says:

    I’ve been trying to gently convince my kids that they should read Watership Down. It was one of my favorites as a kid, but they just don’t seem to be interested. I’m not usually one for forcing a book upon my kids, but I may have to resort to coercion!

  2. Kathy says:

    New reader here (I discovered your blog about a week ago, as part of my thinking-through process for deciding whether I will home educate my children). I felt I had to comment to absolutely agree with your take on Watership Down. It was one of the books (alongside the Hobbit, Susan Cooper’s Dark is Rising series, and the Anne of Green Gables books) that most affected me as a child and remains gripping as an adult. My eldest daughter is only just 4, so a little young yet for it (we’re up to the Wind in the Willows, Pooh Bear and Enid Blyton at the moment in terms of “chapter books”) but I am so looking forward to sharing this with her soon. She is a voracious story-absorber and pre-reader, and a very sensitive and intuitive child, and I just know in my bones she’s gonna love this one.

  3. Jennifer says:

    I’ve never read it! At what age should it be read to (or by) a child?

  4. Beth says:

    LOL Some of my google searches really make me wonder ….

  5. patience says:

    I love this post. I have the same question as Jennifer, although I have read the book, several times. My dd would read it herself, but I’m not sure whether it is appropriate for an 8 year old.

  6. aussieannie says:

    I’m so, so late in commenting but I love this quote:

    “With characters who will burrow into your heart and live there forever.”

    That is just so true, we thought and lived through rabbit minds and eyes for months and months after reading this book and when a book can do that to you, it is special.