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“Redwall” Author Passes Away

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Staff Writer

English author Brian Jacques passed away on Feb.  5, 2011 of a heart attack. He left behind a beloved family and a legacy of children’s stories.

Jacques began writing children’s books with the intentions of becoming a playwright. Writing had always been a passion of his from a young age. Jacques would write stories in elementary school which his teacher stated were so good that they did not seem to be written by a young child. His favorite teacher, Mr. Thomas, encouraged Jacques to write poetry and use his creativity. Several careers aided Jacques’ discovery in the profession that made him known including  bus driver, postmaster, and stand-up comedian in Liverpool, England.

While in Liverpool, Jacques’ occupation as a truck driver delivering milk for the young school children inspired him to develop the Redwall children’s series. Because the students at the school he delivered to were blind, he was encouraged to write all of his stories with a large amount of imagery. His use of description developed a writing style that spurred the imaginations of children who could not see visually.

Jacques used these vivid descriptions and his own paintings to express the moral of his stories. When he showed them to a high school English teacher, the teacher sent the stories to a publishing company without his knowledge. Not  long after, Jacques’ works were being published as children’s stories.

Many of his works were inspired by real life events like Jacques’ family, his dog “Teddy”, dreams he had, and everyday occurrences. Jacques’ children’s books include stories such as, Redwall (1986), Mossflower (1988) ,Mariel of Redwall (1991), and Martin the Warrior (1993). The themes of his stories include messages of bravery and good deeds.
Jaques’ stories have sold twenty million copies worldwide and have been published in twenty-eight languages.
Jaques has written other stories besides the Redwall series. He has also authored the Castaways of the  Flying Dutchman series, which consists of three books.

In one of Jacques’ stories he states, “A mouse is small and can go unnoticed: but there is no limit to what a brave heart and a fearless spirit can achieve.”

Jacques’ life is one to be honored and appreciated as he inspired the future generations of young children and stimulated their imaginations.