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
Gr 5 Up-Here's book 14 in the Redwall dynasty, and Jacques shows no sign of flagging. As in the last book, the story is framed as a recounting of deeds of derring-do and high adventure. A baby otter is kidnapped by the vermin horde, whose leader believes him to be the epic hero Taggerung. As the otter grows, he runs away from his evil foster clan and, with the help of many good friends, particularly the harvest mouse Nimbalo, he finally makes his way home to Redwall. Supporting this plot are the two pillars of Redwall literature-food and those amazing accents. The English Public School hares, with their "laddie bucks" and "wots?" are of course fabulous, as are the nearly unintelligible moles and hedgehogs. Who can resist a story that is constantly carrying on about deeper'n'ever beet and hotroot pie, hot scones, and watershrimp soup? The fact that fans will devour this book is doubtless. As with all the other titles in the series, no prior knowledge of Redwall and its denizens is needed to ensure enjoyment. However, having read this one, new fans will undoubtedly be back for seconds and thirds.-Patricia A. Dollisch, DeKalb County Public Library, Decatur, GA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Redwall lovers, rejoice! The epic continues with Taggerung, the 14th book in Brian Jacques's popular series. An otter born in Redwall Abbey is kidnapped by members of an opposing clan who believe he is destined to be a great Taggerung, or warrior hero; Tagg later rebels against his adoptive tribe and goes in search of his true home. (Sept.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Redwall lovers, rejoice! The epic continues! (Publishers Weekly)