The BBC reports this morning that Brian Jacques
, the author behind the Redwall
series of children's fantasy novels, died this weekend of a heart attack. He was 71.
books were the first chapter books that drew me into becoming a voracious young reader, a primary refuge in an elementary school environment where I only had a couple of friends. As mentioned elsewhere
, I'd read Mariel of Redwall
eleven times by the time I was eight. And I know I'm not the only one
who wished almost every day
that they lived in Brian Jacques' exquisitely described
The first book in the Redwall
series was written with no intent to publish: while working as a truck driver delivering milk, Jacques befriended the students at a school for the blind and wrote Redwall
in a exceptionally descriptive style precisely for them. Fortunately for the rest of us, a friend showed his manuscript to a publisher without telling him, and the company immediately agreed to publish it and signed the author for five more novels. Jacques' kindness towards his readers, especially children, didn't flag once he became a world famous author whose books have been published in twenty-eight languages, either.