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Letters About Literature National Winners 2009

Honorable Mentions, Level 1: Reigner Kane

Dear Mr. Brian Jacques,

Out of all the books that I have read recently, I find that your book Redwall is my favorite. I feel that although the hero, Mathias, and I share many differences (for example, he is a mouse), I also have many things in common with the unexpected hero.

In the beginning of the novel, Mathias is very clumsy. Likewise, I find myself falling and dropping things all the time. During my huge growth spurt this year, the frequency of these happenings probably doubled. However, this was not because my shoes were too big. In fact, many times they were getting too small.

Another weakness that I share with Mathias is forgetting how old I am. One teenage mouse with a knife tries to fend off an entire well-equipped army of sea rats and a feared warlord. The chances of victory are about 100,000,000,000,000,000 to 1. Sometimes, I do similar things, just not in such breath-taking and suspenseful situations.

In Redwall, Mathias often acts before he thinks. Instead of forming a plan with the shrews, he goes charging into Cavern Hole, headfirst, directly into an entire army led by Cluny the Scourge. I am part of a chess club. I charged into my first tournament, expecting to get a perfect score. Luckily, my opponents were normal kids, not a skull-carrying destructive warlord or an army of rats.

Another one of Mathias’ weaknesses is his stubbornness. Time after time, Father Abbot Mortimer reminds Mathias that Redwallers are peaceable creatures. Still, Mathias keeps in mind Martin the Warrior and continues wanting to be a warrior like him. I know that I am equally strong-headed. Whenever I get into an argument, I fight for my position until there is proof found against my point of view.

Overall, I feel I have many similarities to Mathias. Who knows, I may even become a hero like him one day. Thank you, Mr. Jacques, for your entertaining, humorous, and inspiring series. Thank you for creating a character so realistic that anyone that reads your book may find similarities between their lifestyle and his.

An enlightened reader,

Reigner Kane