Redwall (Redwall Series #1)

Redwall (Redwall Series #1)


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780142302378
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date: 09/28/2002
Series: Redwall Series , #1
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 98,351
Product dimensions: 5.13(w) x 7.75(h) x 0.85(d)
Lexile: 800L (what's this?)
Age Range: 10 - 14 Years

About the Author

"I sometimes think it ironic for an ex-seaman, longshoreman, truck driver, policeman, bus driver, etc., to find success writing children's novels," said Brian Jacques (pronounced "Jakes"). Yet it is all too true. With the publication of his first children's book in 1987, the award-winning Redwall, Jacques' fresh talent has received exceptional praise from reviewers in the United States and England. Newbery Award winner Lloyd Alexander called it "a fine work, literate, witty, filled with the excitement of genuine storytelling. Young people will surely be captivated. I hope they give their elders a chance to share the delights."

A well-known radio personality in his native Liverpool—as well as an actor, stand-up comic, and playwright—Brian Jacques was the host of "Jakestown" on BBC Radio Merseyside. Ever the performer, Jacques was well-known for applying his acting and entertainment background to his lively presentations to legions of young fans at schools across the United States and England.

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, County Cork to be exact.

He grew up in the area around the Liverpool docks. 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. As Mr. Jacques recalls:

"My favourite teacher was Mr. Austin Thomas. He looked like Lee Marvin. Big Man. A Captain in World War II. He came to school on a big bush bike with the haversack on back. He was a man's man. Always fair. I was fourteen at the time when Mr. Thomas introduced the class to poetry and Greek literature. (Because of him, I saved seven shillings and sixpence to buy The Iliad and The Odyssey at this dusty used book shop.)"

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

Date of Birth:

June 15, 1939

Date of Death:

February 5, 2011

Place of Birth:

Liverpool, England

Place of Death:

Liverpool, England


St. John¿s School, Liverpool, England

Customer Reviews

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Redwall 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 429 reviews.
Luke11 More than 1 year ago
Wow. People told me to read this book and I said, "Yeah, I'll get to it."
When I got to it I was amazed. It was AWESOME
Cougar_H More than 1 year ago
"Imagine a timeless world where any young reader could travel to whenever they wished. A place which exists beneath some blue forgotten sky. A land that does not have to rely on modern-day technology..." this is a quote from Brian Jacques, on the topic of his book,"Redwall". This is a definite must-read adventure story for young readers. It is about a young clumsy mouse named Matthias, who over the course of the story learns to conquer his fears. The thing that made this book so much more enjoyable was the author's way of personifying all of the many types of animals included in the book. The main plot of the story is that a group of evil rats commanded by Cluny, their terrible leader is trying to take over Redwall Abbey, the grand home of many peaceful creatures. Some of the characters include: Methuselah, a wise old scholar that helps Matthias throughout the story; Basil Stag Hare, a quite strange rabbit that gives the readers a good laugh; Constance, a giant badger that protects Redwall; and Martin, a warrior that helped establish Redwall and is also Matthias's idol. Brian Jacques is a very good writer; every detail of this book just flows together smoothly. While I was reading this book it almost always had me guessing what was going to happen next, and it usually is not what you expect will happen. Also, if you ever get bored at any time while you're reading, the author throws in a few hilarious comments every now and then. When I was in a bad mood right before I was going to sleep, I would just pick up this book and immerse myself into this wondrous fantasy story. Young readers can really connect to the characters thoughts and feeling, even though there supposed to be various animals, it is like they are children and adults from different aspects of every day life. I have had this book for awhile but I never really got into it, I was running out of books to read so I thought I would try out this one again. It was a little boring for me at the very start of the story, but after I got past that I just could not put it down, with its: unique characters, marvelous settings, plot twists, and its adventurous feeling. To the people who enjoyed Redwall I would recommend reading through the rest of the books in the Redwall Series. I hope you enjoyed the book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Imagine if you were watching the conquest of an evil rat warlord, named Cluny, who was attacking a castle. That¿s what happened in Redwall a great novel by Brian Jacques one of his first pieces of published literature. Redwall started the first of the Redwall Series. This story takes place in Mossflower wood which is right next to Redwall the abbey. Here the unlikely hero, Matthias, takes shelter, but all is not right in Mossflower because Cluny is coming to take Redwall. Matthias is a little mouse that is unraveling a web of riddles that will lead him to the sword of Martin, who is the dead warrior of Redwall. Redwall is a great read for young-adults to adults. This story is an awesome war story. This book is a great way to build vocabulary and a good book for people who liked the Harry Potter series. The Redwall Series is a series that I recommend for people who want to get into something new that is adventurous.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm on my 5th redwall book right now, and I loved them all. But so far nothing compared to this one. One of the reasons is the set of characters. Matthais, Jess, and Basil are the best Ideas Jaques as come up with yet. Read this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In 7th grade this was on our reading list, and after I read the summary, I thought it was interesting. When I started reading the book, I couldn't stop! It is by far one of the best books I've ever read, and is one of my favorite books today. It's interesting, funny, scary, shocking, and just absolutely awesome!
Reads_a_lot More than 1 year ago
I'll tell you why I read this: my brother is 25, and these books were his favorites when he was a teenager like me. So I bought it- expecting it to be great- and it was! I absolutely love this book and am greatly looking forward to the rest of them! Read them, they are great for all ages, boys and girls. :)
Guest More than 1 year ago
This review is simple. Redwall is the best book in the world. A must read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Redwall by Brian Jacques is an exciting, adventurous fantasy book. It is the first book in a long and rich series. It¿s incredibly easy to become attached to the memorable characters and vivid descriptive writing. This book takes place in Mossflower Wood, a massive forest where peaceful woodland animals take the place of humans. In the middle of Mossflower lies Redwall Abbey, a huge red sandstone abbey inhabited by the Order of Redwall Mice. These mice were sworn to help creatures in need and to uphold peace.
However, this peace would be shattered when an evil rat warlord, Cluny the Scourge, chances upon the abbey. Soon, the woodlanders would realize the danger and prepare for war. The battle for the abbey had begun. With no knowledge of battle, the Redwallers need help-and fast. A young mouse named Matthias volunteers to search for a legendary sword that was owned by the fearsome warrior, Martin, many years ago. On his journey, he must contend with deadly snakes, confront a fierce bird warrior king, and solve agonizing riddles.
Brian Jacques has used the omniscient point of view for many of his books. His clever use of specific dialects for each animal gives his books quite a bit of charm. Frequent mood swings keep readers interested, and riddles in the plot often make you want to solve it as much as the characters.
I would recommend this book to any fantasy, fiction, or adventure lover, or anyone who wants a break from human characters. I think anyone can get something out of this book, be it inspiration or a chuckle here and there.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful book, and you (especially your kids) will enjoy it. But this particular version (ISBN-13: 9780142409459) is not the one to order. It is NOT hardcover. It is a cardboard folder inside a cardboard sleeve, with the 3 "books" of the novel as separate badly-bound paperbacks. I was extremely disappointed when I ordered this "hardcover" version and got 3 shoddy paperbacks. Order the other "20th Anniversary" hardcover edition (ISBN-13: 9780399247941).
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am 20 years old and I really did enjoyed this book. I cant wait to read book number 2. This book was well written very action pack and joy filling.The saddest part of the whole book to me was when Methuselah died.This book is sorta like a story for the under dog in any situation. It also goes to show you, if you believe and have faith in your self. Its nothing you cant accomplish nor do.
06nwingert on LibraryThing 28 days ago
Redwall was the series. It came along before Harry Potter. I liked the idea: using mice and other animals in a fantasy series that parallels most generic fantasy series, however, I couldn't get into it.
k8lovesbooks on LibraryThing 28 days ago
I like how Mathias finds Martin the Warrior's sword and he fights off this rat named Cluny the Scourge. How he kills him is the bell falls on him and smushes him. Then they made two bells so that John Churchmouse's twins could ring them.
snapplechick on LibraryThing 28 days ago
The story of a brave young mouse who, besides everyones expectations, becomes the hero.I thought it was a great book. It was sort of like Lord of the Rings for kids, except with talking animals instead of hobbits and elves. This is the first book in a really long series, so if you liked this one there is way more to read.
virgo16 on LibraryThing 28 days ago
I loved this book. The first time I came asross it was when my fifth grade teacher read it to the class. By the time she finished reading the first few chapters it had me hooked. I came across it agian a few years later and decided to reread it. It still had me enchanted. All the characters have left huge impression on me. I don't think it really maters how old you are you'll find this book and all its other sequals an enjoyable read.
joririchardson on LibraryThing 28 days ago
Redwall is, I think, a great Children's Literature Classic. Brian Jacques just got a little carried away by its success... and continued in publishing over 30 (I have lost count) other books that ALL follow the same basic plot-line. Okay, maybe a few stand out, but you really only need to read 2 or 3 Redwall books and then you've read them all.However, the book Redwall alone is an excellent book. It is innocent and charming enough for younger readers to enjoy, but thick enough (about 300 pages) and filled with enough clever plot twists for adults to love as well.In short, Redwall is a classic adventure story that readers of all ages should experience.
Mtnpersei on LibraryThing 28 days ago
Cluny the Scourge, is mean, evil, vicious, a real rat and he has come to Redwall Abbey. Matthias knows if he can just find Martin the Warrior's sword, and a tiny bit of courage, he can rescue the abbey from the terrors of Cluny
harpua on LibraryThing 28 days ago
This was an enjoyable read. Typical fantasy fare with a twist. Most everyone probably already knows the premise of this one. World filled where animals are the main characters. Here we have an abbey filled with mice and other woodland characters that come under siege by a army of rats. Multiple standard fantasy themes all wrapped up into one novel. We have a coming of age story, finding the lost artifact story as well as plenty of battle scenes. It is interesting how Jacques picks his heroes and villains, they fit the stereotype that at least I have, of a lot of animals. While this isn't classic literature, it was a fun read and I think most adults and teens would enjoy, though there is quite a bit of death that I suspect that this may not have been targeted at the younger audience like it seems to typically be labeled. Good stuff, looking forward to further books in the series.
slarsoncollins on LibraryThing 28 days ago
I got this book, thinking it might be good for my 7 year old to read. Not quite yet. It's a little bit violent, I think, for him. Maybe in a year or so. Loved the story. Great character development, the plot was fantastic and the descriptions were marvelous. Though geared toward the younger crowd, this is certainly a book that the young at heart will enjoy as well. I look forward to continuing the series.
jayde1599 on LibraryThing 29 days ago
Redwall is the children's fantasy book following the mice of Redwall Abbey and the woodland creatures as they defend the abbey against Cluny the Scourge. I felt this book began slowly, but it quickly gained my interest as the plot moved along. Matthias mouse is an interesting hero. He shows quite the temper, yet can be quite understanding of those around him. I can see how this series has become a favorite in fantasy for early readers. If I come across other books in the series, I will give them a try.
JBD1 on LibraryThing 29 days ago
I've read this book at least twenty times, if not more. The first time must have been around 1990 or so; I remember getting it from the library and starting to read it each night with my mom, and then getting too impatient and reading it on my own. Naturally I got obsessed with the series, and read many of them (most multiple times).One of the scenes here was probably the first time a book ever made me cry (the death of my favorite character), and Jacques' characters here became just as real as anything to me as I read and reread his masterpieces. As I've gotten older, they've become a staple of my recommendations to parents looking for stories to read with their children. Simply brilliant.
bluesalamanders on LibraryThing 29 days ago
Matthias, a mouse who is a novice at Redwall Abbey, embarks on a quest to find the ancient sword of the Order's founder, Martin the Warrior, when Redwall is attacked by an evil army of rats, weasels, stoats, and other vermin.This is a childhood favorite. My parents gave it to me for Christmas, wow, over 15 years ago, and I was totally uninterested in it (what? I'd never even heard of it!) until they started reading it to me in the evenings before I went to sleep. Then I became slightly addicted for some time and bought every book in the series until recently. The most recent one I have is Triss, I believe, and all but the last two(ish) are in hardback.I haven't read Redwall in probably about 8 years. Now that I can look beyond the adventure and pay attention to other aspects of the book, there are many flaws - for instance, are the animals the size of animals, or are they the size of people? It seems to go back and forth, depending on the situation.Regardless of the flaws, I still enjoyed reading it, both for nostalgia and as a fun and exciting story.
EmScape on LibraryThing 29 days ago
I don't know why, but I just couldn't get into this book. The idea of anthropomorphic animals in a mythic battle with one another is interesting to me, and the series comes very highly recommended. However, I just didn't find it terribly entertaining. The quest for Martin the Warrior's sword was slightly more appealing, but I was merely skimming the long descriptions of rat vs. mouse skirmishes. Possibly I might have enjoyed it more had I read it as a younger person, but I do read a lot of YA fiction, and am not generally disappointed.
emilycsims on LibraryThing 29 days ago
This was the first fantasy novel I ever read, and I didn't expect to enjoy it as much as I did. It was so easy to accept animals as the main characters, I hardly noticed it. It's a traditional adventure tale, cloaked in fur. Redwall is a great read for middle schoolers or teens who think they don't like books!
Yehudit on LibraryThing 29 days ago
This wonderful tale of a bumbling youngmouse who throughout the book matures and becomes a hero is not only an excellent story but has heavenly descriptions of food. I get hungry every time I read this book...
LisaMaria_C on LibraryThing 3 months ago
I tried. Got as far as the end of "Book One" at page 97 before deciding this one wasn't for me. I think for two reasons. The first being the style seemed clunky to me and the dialogue cheesy. It's an omniscient narrative but without personality, humor or charm. Granted, this novel was written to be a children's book. But so was The Hobbit, Harry Potter, Watership Down, Narnia, The Last Unicorn and The Sword in the Stone and that doesn't keep them from being compelling reads for an adult. The other reason is this is one of those books where the characters are animals. The kind where animals wear clothing and pretty much act like people. The rabbits of Adams, the unicorn of Beagle and the dragons of McCaffrey, Lackey and Novik feel just alien enough to not strike me as humans in different clothing. The mice, badgers and otters of Redwall Abbey and their rat foes are a different matter. Moreover, in Redwall the scale isn't clear enough or the reader oriented well enough to know if the characters are animal-shaped people or talking animals in a human world. I found what I read of the book tedious, slow-moving, and lacking in striking lines, original ideas or memorable characters. I suspect I might have loved this book when I was ten years old. Problem is that was decades ago...