Brian Jacques was born in Liverpool, England on June 15th, 1939. Along with forty percent of the population of Liverpool, his ancestral roots are in Ireland. A well-known radio personality in his native Liverpool--as well as an actor, stand-up comic, and playwright--Brian was the host of "Jakestown" on BBC Radio Merseyside. Ever the performer, Jacques applied his acting and entertainment background to his lively presentations to legions of young fans at schools across the United States and England.His interest in adventure stories began at an early age with reading the books of: Daniel Defoe, Sir Henry Rider Haggard, Arthur Conan Doyle, Sir Thomas Malory, Robert Michael Ballantyne, Robert Louis Stevenson, Edgar Rice Burroughs, and Kenneth Grahame. He attended St. John's School, an inner city school that had its playground on the roof. On his first day at St. John's, at the age of ten, he had an experience that marked his potential as a writer. When given an assignment of writing a story about animals, he wrote about the bird that cleaned a crocodile's teeth. The teacher could not, and would not, believe that a ten year old could write that well. When young Brian refused to falsely say that he had copied the story, he was caned as "a liar". He had always loved to write, but it was only then, that he realized that he had a talent for writing.Some teachers at St. John's proved to be good role models. This interest in poetry extended to Wordsworth, Tennyson, and Goldsmith. It was also at St. John's that Brian met a teacher, Alan Durband (who also taught two Beatles, Paul McCartney and George Harrison), who, more than thirty years later would bring about a major change in his life.After Brian finished school at fifteen, he set out to find adventure as a merchant seaman. He travelled to many far away ports, including New York, Valparaiso, San Francisco, and Yokohama. Tiring of the lonely life of a sailor, he returned to Liverpool where he worked as a railway fireman, a longshoreman, a long-distance truck driver, a bus driver, a boxer, a bobby (Police Constable 216D), a postmaster, and a stand-up comic. Penguin mourns the passing of celebrated children's book author Brian Jacques
The Redwall series marches on with Rakkety Tam by Brian Jacques. Gulo the Savage-a cannibalistic wolverine with an army of foxes and ermines-invades, searching for the "Walking Stone" his brother Askor stole. King Araltum and Igda Drayqueen turn to the surly, squirrelly warriors Rakkety Tam MacBurl and Wild Doogy Plumm to find Gulo and repossess their kingdom's banner, as Gulo advances on Redwall. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Gr 5-9-Jacques once again delivers a heroic tale of friendship, valor, and a battle between good and evil. Gulo the Savage and his army of vermin invade Mossflower Country to murder his brother and capture the coveted Walking Stone. Rakkety Tam MacBurl, a highland warrior, and his companion Wild Doogy Plumm, join forces with the hares of the Long Patrol Regiment and the occupants and friends of Redwall Abbey to defeat the villains. Numerous battles occur across Mossflower Country and eventually end at the doorstep of Redwall Abbey. This fast-paced adventure will keep readers on their toes until the final battle. Elliot's ink sketches appear at the head of each chapter, giving readers a glimpse of what is to come. Some characters' accents may pose a slight challenge for those not familiar with the previous books. The colorful writing style, the strong cast of characters, and twisting plot will continue to delight fans of the series.-Christine McGinty, Albany Public Library, NY Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.