Today I want spotlight an author from my childhood.
Why he matters to me…
Brian Jacques’ Redwall world was my place of imaginary residence as a kid! What child wouldn’t love a medieval-setting world populated entirely by awesome, sword-wielding animals? High fantasy with a twist! I devoured all his books one-after-the other: inside class, outside of class, at home, at church (yeah, I read at church – the preacher would be up there talking and I’d be in my seat, reading a book, not paying any attention, ha!), in the car; wherever I was, chances are I had a Redwall book clutched in my hand.
But why I love Jacques’ writing even more – why it’s stayed with me all these years – is because his Redwall books made me want to be a writer, I mean, a serious, successful, published author. I read his books, I loved them, and I thought, “This is what I want to write!” So I did…a little too literally, haha. My first “books” were practically spinoffs of Redwall – hey, I was 9 years old, I was imitating! They all had animals casts, too, and I had about 5 spirals going at once.
Jacques’ books are a perfect blend of fantasy, action, suspense, romance, and excitement! He gives readers incredible stories filled with memorable characters (Cluny the Scourge!) and excellent writing. Check him out sometime!
Okay, so everybody who’s read his incredibly awesome series will hopefully agree: when it comes to a lovable, inspiring, and downright hysterical main character…you can’t get any better than Percy Awesomesauce Jackson! What I find incredible about Riordan as an author is how effortlessly he makes writing seem: his characters are so relatable, you could swear they were real (and I’m sorry, but Mrs. Dodds IS real! I know so because she was my math teacher!), and reading the books, you really do feel like a pre-teen/teen boy is telling you all about the crazy things about being a modern demigod!
I admire him also because he was a teacher for 15+ years, so he definitely knows his PJ target audience. I love authors who love kids! And I love how he took a familiar subject (Greek mythology) and made it not only applicable to modern times but also fun, enjoyable, and educational! I had to read Edith Hamilton’s Mythology in HS, and also Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, and those were not good experiences! Reading the PJ series has given me a newfound appreciation for mythology, so thank you Mr. Riordan!
I appreciate Rick for giving us not only an incredible story, but also an awesome and inspirational cast of characters. Percy is perfect for kids (and grownups, too!) because he embodies the Ordinary Hero: having a main character who is ADHD/dyslexic sends an incredible message to kids and grownups like – no matter who you are, or what you have going on in your life, you have amazing capabilities to (in the series’ case, literally) change the world! So as a future educator and author, thank you so much, Mr. Riordan, for your incredible series! And thank you for loving kids so much—the book industry is a better place because of authors like Rick Riordan :)