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Brian Jacques, Author Of The 'Redwall' Books, Has Died

British author Brian Jacques, author of the popular Redwall series of adventure books for kids, has died. He was 71.

NPR's Lynn Neary reports that:

"The 21-book fantasy series Redwall is filled with the heroics of anthropomorphic animals. Foxes, squirrels and mice feast and fight their way through numerous adventures and in the process have won the hearts of millions of young readers.

"Since they were first published in 1986, the books have been translated into more than 20 langauages and have sold more than 20 million copies. Jacques wrote the first book to entertain children at a school for the blind where he was a patron.

"Originally, he didn't plan to publish the stories. But he eventually won a five-book contract.

"Born and raised in Liverpool, Jacques left school at the age of 15 and traveled the world as a merchant marine. Once back in England, he formed a folk singing group with his brothers before becoming a writer.

"Jacques had a heart attack last weekend and died in Liverpool."

The BBC adds that Jacques weekly show, Jakestown, "ran on BBC Radio Merseyside for more than 20 years."