Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Dead

Sadly, children's author Brian Jacques has died. He wrote the wonderful "Redwall" stories which I loved as a child. They concern the battles of tribes of mice, otters and badgers against the incursions of villainous weasels and rats and ARE SUPER BOOKS by the way! If you have a youngish child and would prefer to not fill their minds with pablum I cannot commend them enough.

More than likely, the reason they're so good is that he approached them correctly. He was dissatisfied with the crap he was reading to children and determined that he could produce something that wouldn't condescend:

Nearing midlife, Mr. Jacques (pronounced “Jakes”) took a job driving a milk truck in Liverpool, where he was born and lived to the end of his life. On his route was the Royal School for the Blind

Invited in for a nice cup of tea one day, he volunteered to read to the students. Over time, he grew dissatisfied with the books available — too much adolescent angst, he later said — and vowed to write his own. 

He wrote what he called “a proper story,” brimming with battle and gallantry. Titled “Redwall” and published in 1986, it became the first installment in what is now a best-selling 21-volume children’s fantasy series.

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