Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Winner and Brian Jacques

The winner of this week's double header freebie is:

Helen R-S

Please send your mailing instructions to gerb (@) lindagerber (.) com and we'll get those books sent out to you.

In lieu of the regular What's up post today, I want to take a moment to remember a great story teller, Brian Jacques. Mr. Jacques passed on Saturday from a heart attack, and the world of children's literature lost a special spark of light.

I first started reading the REDWALL series with my oldest son when he was in elementary school. It was the first series my son devoured, and I believe was a sure contributor to him becoming the avid reader and creative writer he is today.

The story of how Mr. Jacques began writing is even more inspiring. He labored the first half of his life in a series of not-s0-easy blue collar jobs (a longshoreman, a long-haul trucker, a merchant mariner, a railway fireman, a boxer, a bus driver and a British bobby.) Then he began a stint as a milkman. On his route, Mr. Jacques delivered milk to the Liverpool Royal Wavetree School for the Blind. Not long after, he began volunteering his time at the school to read aloud to the children. He became frustrated with some of the books, and decided to create a "proper story" of his own - a regular good-triumphs-over-evil tale filled with battles and hardship, gallantry and chivalry. The first REDWALL book was the result.

Mr. Jacques leaves behind a great legacy. His books have touched the lives of countless children - including my son. They have inspired imagination and creativity. They have created readers and future writers. Brian Jacques was truly one of literature's Greats. He will be missed.

The 22nd Redwall book, “The Rogue Crew,” is scheduled to be published in May.