Washington State Champion Letter - Level II
Dear Mr. Richard Adams,
Like a lot of kids, I was basically forced to read your book, Watership Down. She had read it and thought it was very good and told me to read it after she was done. For a while I said, “I will. Just be patient…” But as if! It was left untouched on my desk. Soon weeks passed and the book was forever lost in my black hole of junk. My mother, of course, got very angry. She told me to clean my room and I couldn’t touch Harry Potter until I found your book and read it. I was devastated. I was going to be left out in my friends’ conversations and I’ll hear spoilers and I…! I NEEDED to read Harry Potter. So, I went through shelves of other things, lost homework, food, drawings, etc. I’m not a very neat person. I finally found your book. It said “classic” on it. I felt sick. It was going to be another long, hard book packed with vocabulary and concepts I didn’t get. AND it had a bunny on the cover. A BUNNY. I mean, come on! Little did I know, I was about to step into another world.
It starts off with these bunnies, okay, got that down. What? A bunny that foretells fields of blood? I’m not the morbid kind of child, but once you have bunnies that predict death, you’ve got to be interested. As Hazel leads his band of bunnies to a “new place”, I felt like I was one of them. With their own curious language and habits. I was them. I was so absorbed into the book. It must have taken me only a few hours to finish it, but it felt like I must have read it at least a hundred times.
Now for Fiver. Fiver was an interesting little dude. Number one, he can predict the future. Number two, he can’t swim. Hey, now doesn’t that sound familiar? Okay, so I can’t predict the future. But I can’t swim either. So it fits. I guess people would think I was somewhat quiet. I could only express my thoughts when I was with people I was close with. I was afraid my ideas would get scoffed at. I was often pushed to be the “leader” and “smart”. After reading about Fiver, I saw that it really kind of was Fiver that as the “leader”. I mean, if he had never convinced Hazel to leave, this story would have been kind of plot-less. I had a little bit more self-esteem. I am brilliant. I am a leader. I’m just behind the scenes, that’s all. Fiver really helped me to see me, in a weird way. I also started to take swim lessons. I am now a very successful, “Flying Fish”.
This is my 7th grade year. My Advance Language Arts teacher asked the class who had read Watership Down? I was the only one. I was really surprised. I felt like Fiver at first. Not wanting to admit that I had read your book. Maybe I could just say I read it a long time ago, once. But I couldn’t. I told her that your book was really awesome. She let me join the Advance Big Scary 8th grade group. It’s all because of Fiver. I’m now enjoying “the Advance Big Scary 8th grade” book, I probably couldn’t have if I had said “no”. I’m glad I’ve read your book. I’ve read Harry Potter too, but whenever I just want to snuggle up with a good book, I grab Watership Down. I’ve read it so many times that now the book is all frail and the cover is ripped into shreds. Inside it, I can just barely make out the note my mom wrote, “Hope you enjoy this! I love you!” And I did enjoy it. I loved it. With vehement, I’d like to say:
“...All the world shall be your enemy, Prince with
a Thousand Enemies, and whenever they catch you, they will
kill you. But first they must catch you, digger, listener,
runner, prince with the swift warning. Be cunning and full
of tricks and your people shall never be destroyed.”
I may not be a digger, listener, runner, or a prince with a swift warning, but I AM a girl. A unique person. And nothing can destroy that.
Jessica Jang, a reader inspired.