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The Legacy of Brian Jacques

Redwall by Brian Jacques
Redwall by Brian Jacques

Monday morning, I was very sad to hear on the radio that author Brian Jacques had passed away at the age of 71.  I remember fondly, discovering the Redwall series when I was a child, following the adventures of Muriel, Martin and others.  Although they were mice, their struggles and challenges felt so personal to me, each one became a friend.  Jacques made the animals of his books come alive to the reader.  He changed the way that children looked at animals and the world around them.

Jacques’ final Redwall book, The Rogue Crew, will be released May 3, 2011 but a legacy of other writers follow in his stead.  Authors who use the same anthropomorphic storytelling will continue to dazzle readers:

Erin Hunter: A pseudonym for three authors and an editor who work together to create works of fiction, this name was made famous by the Warriors series about the adventures of four clans of wild cats.  The group has also created another series of books, Seekers, following four bear cubs looking for their own place in the world.  The authors were heavily influenced by Jacques and even chose the name “Hunter” to be closer to him on the shelf.

David Clement-Davies: Clement-Davies’ first book Fire Bringer, is the story of Rannoch, a red deer, born of a prophesy in ancient Scotland who tries to unite the forest.  His second two books (The Sight, Fell) follow a pack of wolves in Transylvania, trying to survive the harsh winters and the fear surrounding their new neighbors, humans.

Clare Bell: Bell began writing around the same time as Jacques and is best known for her series, The Named, whose main characters are large prehistoric cats.  She continues to write and even shared a novellette in the series through Twitter posts in 2009.

Although Jacques will be sorely missed, readers can look forward to more great anthropomorphic fiction from these authors.

Kate Pickett – currently reading Stolen by Lucy Christopher

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Kate McNair

Kate is the Young Adult Librarian for the Johnson County Library in the Kansas City metro area. She loves, playing roller derby, crafting and being surprised!

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2 Comments

  1. Maria Kramer Maria Kramer

    I sympathize, Kate. These books were a *huge* part of my childhood introduction to reading. Huge! I read and re-read ‘Mossflower’ until it literally fell apart in my little kid hands. Wherever the spirit of Brian Jaques now resides, he can be happy knowing that his books inspired generations of children to love reading.

    For the slightly more mature Redwall fan, I would recommend the ‘Mouse Guard’ graphic novel series by David Petersen.

  2. Adam Adam

    I cried when Steve Irwin died. But this, this just crushes my heart. Redwall was one book that I absolutely loved. Heck, I read it in Church. It’s funny, Redwall mentions Satan quite frequently, and the banned book club have never gone crazy over it. With this post, I resolve to read all his books, as well as the warrior series and the other two authors the op mentioned as well as what maria said.
    I play wow, and if anyone else does you’ll know what this means.
    /target Brian Jacques
    /salute

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