Happy Birthday, Brian Jacques!

RedwallIt’s Brian Jacques’ birthday today (June 15, 1939), and to celebrate, we’re making a special offer! The Arrow for his novel, Redwall, is:

HALF PRICE through Monday at Midnight! ($4.95) OFFER HAS EXPIRED

Redwall tells the epic tale of the animals of Redwall Abbey, who valiantly defend their home from the attacks of a one-eyed rat and his fearsome army. The story is a moving tale of the courage of the small and weak against the strong. Like the other 21 books in the series, Redwall contains wonderful descriptions of food, as well as delightful accents particular to each type of creature in the stories.

Although now acclaimed as one of the greatest children’s authors in the world, drawing comparisons to Kenneth Grahame’s Wind in the Willows and Richard Adams’s Watership Down, Brian Jacques’ first attempt at writing was not nearly so successful.

At ten years old, for an assignment at his school in Liverpool, England, Brian Jacques wrote a short story about a bird that cleaned a crocodile’s teeth. His teacher refused to believe that a ten-year-old could write so well and ordered Jacques to say that he had copied the story. When Jacques refused, he was caned. So it was that Brian Jacques first realized his talent for writing.

Before pursuing writing full-time, Brian Jacques worked as a merchant seaman, a fireman, a long-distance truck driver, a bus driver, a boxer, a bobby (British policeman), a postmaster, and a stand-up comic.

When Jacques began to write Redwall, his first audience was the children at the Royal Wavertree School for the Blind in Liverpool. Because he was writing to a blind audience, he attempted to make his writing as descriptive as possible so that the children could picture the events in their imagination.

In fact, Brian Jacques was only published when a former English teacher submitted Jacques’ story to a publisher without telling Jacques. The publishers loved the book and immediately drew up a contract for five more books. Ever since, the Redwall stories have been delighting children and adults all around the globe.

So, don’t miss out—celebrate Brian Jacques’ birthday and take advantage of this special Arrow offer!

Also, if you’d like to buy a copy of the novel, it’s available through Amazon: Redwall (affiliate link).

The Arrow is a monthly digital product that features copywork and dictation passages from a specific read aloud novel. It’s geared toward children ages 8-11 and is an indispensable tool for parents who want to teach language arts in a natural, literature-bathed context.

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