Books by Geraldine McCaughrean

Released: May 17, 2011

"This one has a bit of a Huck Finn feel, and those readers who like their adventures with heavy doses of plot twists and tomfoolery will be smitten. (Historical fiction. 10-14)"
A companion to the achingly effervescent prairie epic Stop the Train! (2003). Read full book review >
Released: Jan. 1, 2010

Poor Pepper Roux (his nickname "le pauvre," or "pitiful one," was confused at school with "poivre," French for "pepper") has been waiting for death for as long as he can remember. Read full book review >
THE WHITE DARKNESS by Geraldine McCaughrean
Released: Jan. 1, 2007

A teenager's coming of age undergoes particularly harsh annealing in this intense, inwardly focused survival tale. Read full book review >
PETER PAN IN SCARLET by Geraldine McCaughrean
Released: Oct. 5, 2006

"Silhouette illustrations à la Arthur Rackham's for Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens (1906) not seen. (Q & A) (Fantasy. 11-13, adult)"
In the year's most hyped title for young readers, the much-honored McCaughrean delivers an "authorized" sequel that stays true to the original's style and spirit but speaks to modern sensibilities as well. Read full book review >
CYRANO by Geraldine McCaughrean
Released: Oct. 1, 2006

"While Rostand's play was written in rhyming verse, McCaughrean's exquisite prose gives readers a more in-depth look at the characters' thoughts and feelings, making Cyrano's panache more accessible to today's teens and even adults. (Fiction. 13+)"
Having revisited everyone from Gilgamesh to Hercules to Noah and even Peter Pan, McCaughrean turns her considerable talent to another fascinating figure: Cyrano de Bergerac. Read full book review >
FATHER AND SON by Geraldine McCaughrean
Released: Oct. 1, 2006

"The large format, excellent design values and Negrin's luminous paintings add to this unusual volume's appeal. (Picture book. 8-14)"
Joseph is often the forgotten figure of the Nativity scene: steadfast in his presence, but not able to fully claim the traditional paternal role. Read full book review >
SMILE! by Geraldine McCaughrean
Released: Sept. 26, 2006

"Exquisitely told; fascinatingly seductive. (Fiction. 8-11)"
A fast-paced opener finds Flash, photographer-pilot, plummeting to the earth, cushioned by trees and thrown out of the cockpit, while flames gobble up his plane upon final impact. Read full book review >
THESEUS by Geraldine McCaughrean
Released: Oct. 1, 2005

"Young readers of Robert Byrd's Hero and the Minotaur (p. 768) will enjoy the fuller story here, and those who wonder why the ancient heroes are worth knowing will be richly answered. (Mythology. 10-12)"
McCaughrean rounds off her four volume "Heroes" series with Hercules (ISBN: 0-8126-2737-7, $15.95) and this rendition of Theseus's larger-than-life feats and foibles. Read full book review >
NOT THE END OF THE WORLD by Geraldine McCaughrean
Released: July 1, 2005

"It will sweep readers away. (Fiction. 12+)"
A masterpiece from a gifted storyteller presents the tale of Noah and the Great Flood as anything but a joyride. Read full book review >
PERSEUS by Geraldine McCaughrean
Released: May 1, 2005

With customary flair, McCaughrean retells the tale of Perseus, from the liaison of his imprisoned mother Danaë with Zeus (as a golden shower) through his decapitation of Medusa, marriage to lovely Andromeda, all "white and gold and flashing lapis lazuli," and final inadvertent killing of his grandfather, King Acrisius. Read full book review >
ODYSSEUS by Geraldine McCaughrean
Released: Nov. 1, 2004

The much-honored McCaughrean opens a series featuring heroes of antiquity with a characteristically rousing retelling of The Odyssey. Read full book review >
GILGAMESH THE HERO by Geraldine McCaughrean
Released: Sept. 1, 2003

"The most riveting retelling yet of this ancient, ageless tale. (introductory note) (Folktale. 10-14)"
McCaughrean turns in a robust, exciting rendition of the world's oldest written epic. Read full book review >
STOP THE TRAIN! by Geraldine McCaughrean
Released: June 1, 2003

"Though Enid, Oklahoma, was the inspiration of this story, it's the story of many prairie towns, and a story that will engage young readers. (Fiction. 10-14)"
Florence, Oklahoma, didn't really exist. Read full book review >
Released: June 1, 2003

"The author's thoughtful consideration of belief systems in conflict adds depth to Tutmose's lively account of life in Pharaoh's entourage, and the development of his own religious convictions. (glossary, bibliography) (Fiction. 10-12)"
Much-honored storyteller McCaughrean views the court of Pharaoh Akhenaten through the eyes of an awed young artist. Read full book review >
ONE BRIGHT PENNY by Geraldine McCaughrean
Released: Oct. 1, 2002

"Here's the shiniest addition to the ranks of clever, capable girls since Diane Stanley's Sweetness. (Picture book. 7-9)"
The flavor and spirit of a traditional tale permeate this original story of a child who finds a way to outsmart her mean daddy without causing a family rift. Read full book review >
MY GRANDMOTHER’S CLOCK by Geraldine McCaughrean
Released: Sept. 23, 2002

"An eloquent, compelling invitation to children to think deep thoughts and not to take the over-scheduled life for granted. (Picture book. 5-8)"
Compulsive clock-watchers may come away from this poetic disquisition with some truer ways of telling time. Read full book review >
THE KITE RIDER by Geraldine McCaughrean
Released: June 1, 2002

"Fast-paced and densely plotted, absorbing, and at times even hilarious. (Fiction. 11-15)"
An ancient—and terrifying—maritime practice becomes the impetus for a cracking good adventure story set in 13th-century China, after the Mongol conquest. Read full book review >
ROMAN MYTHS by Geraldine McCaughrean
Released: June 1, 2001

"A cast list of those immortals, and notes on the stories' origins, close this eye-opening introduction to a mythology less politicized and derivative than generally billed. (introduction, notes) (Mythology. 9-13)"
In this companion to Greek Myths (1993), McCaughrean and Clark present 15 tales, some expropriated from the ancient Greeks, others, such as the origin of the Lares, and the rivalry of Romulus and Remus, distinctively Roman. Read full book review >
STARRY TALES by Geraldine McCaughrean
Released: March 1, 2001

"Still, this extends the scope of such Native American gatherings as Gretchen Mayo's Star Tales (1987), and readers will be captivated by the range of visions here. (Folktales. 9-12)"
McCaughrean maintains the dizzyingly high standards of The Golden Hoard (1996) and its sequels with this thematic collection of sky myths and legends. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 15, 2000

"A splendid holiday tale, at once grand and appealing—but not so much about how the reindeer were given their antlers, as how they came to be so proud of them. (Picture book. 7-9)"
A misleading title is the only stumble in this orotund, beguilingly illustrated original tale, a children's-book debut for Holland. Read full book review >
Released: July 11, 2000

Twelve chestnuts in standard versions, lightly massaged by McCaughrean (Grandma Chickenlegs, 1999, etc.) and illustrated with plenty of small, finely detailed vignettes. Read full book review >
THE STONES ARE HATCHING by Geraldine McCaughrean
Released: May 31, 2000

"Despite the distracting family subplot, not since William Mayne's Hob and the Goblins (1994) has the Old Magic risen in the modern world with such resounding menace. (Fiction. 11-13)"
McCaughrean (Pirate's Son, 1999, etc.) sends a lad through as fine an array of malign faeries, usteys, corn wives, soul-stealing merrows, skinless muckelavees, and other deadly bogles as ever lurked in Celtic folklore, in hopes of slaying a dragon literally "half the size of Wales." Read full book review >
GRANDMA CHICKENLEGS by Geraldine McCaughrean
Released: Oct. 15, 1999

"This is a rousing alternative to Nonny Hogrogian's subdued Vasilisa the Beautiful (1970) or Mariana Mayer's coldly elegant Baba Yaga and Vasilisa the Brave (1994). (Picture book/folklore. 7-10)"
The familiar tale of a child surviving a visit to Baba Yaga's chicken-legged abode has never been told with more gusto. Read full book review >
THE PIRATE'S SON by Geraldine McCaughrean
Released: Sept. 1, 1998

"The entire yarn is larger than life, and readers will be enthralled from the first line. (Fiction. 12-15)"
McCaughrean (The Bronze Cauldron, p. 661, etc.) swashes buckles with the best in this rousing tale of two British orphans stranded among Madagascar pirates with a pirate captain's troubled son. Read full book review >
Released: May 1, 1998

"The endnotes, this time, are perfunctory and too brief to contribute to readers' understanding of the tales' origins, but the stories—brief and lyrical—carry the wealth and wisdom of the human experience. (Folklore. 10-14)"
Continuing their collaboration on collections of stories (The Golden Hoard, 1996; The Silver Treasure, 1997), McCaughrean and Willey serve up 27 stories from around the world, focusing this time on individuals. Read full book review >
UNICORNS! UNICORNS! by Geraldine McCaughrean
Released: Sept. 15, 1997

"Windham's watercolors, with their eclectic imagery, are the book's one source of epic endeavor. (Picture book. 5-9)"
McCaughrean (Silver Treasure, p. 144, etc.) fashions a legend for the unicorns that gets hung up on idolatry: These creatures are too wonderful, too selfless for their own good. Read full book review >
MOBY DICK by Geraldine McCaughrean
Released: March 1, 1997

"For those disposed to retellings of the classics, this is a prime example of the way to do it. (Fiction. 8-12)"
From the team behind the adaptation of The Odyssey (1995), an audacious retelling that follows the main story line of Melville's monumental work—of Ishmael's tale of Captain Ahab's mad quest for revenge against the giant white whale that took his leg on a previous voyage. Read full book review >
THE GOLDEN HOARD by Geraldine McCaughrean
Released: April 1, 1996

"Brief, nonspecific source notes are appended. (Folklore. 10-13)"
McCaughrean (The Odyssey, 1995, etc.) makes good on the subtitle—``Myths and Legends of the World''—with 22 exploits by the likes of Coyote, the Polynesian trickster Maui, Robin Hood, and St. Read full book review >
THE ODYSSEY by Geraldine McCaughrean
Released: May 1, 1995

"A fitting companion to Rosemary Sutcliff's Black Ships Before Troy (1993). (Fiction/mythology. 11-14)"
A classic expertly retold, issued in a handsome, slightly oversize format with Ambrus's robust illustrations. Read full book review >
Released: May 3, 1993

"A useful multicultural contribution that's a joy to behold. (Picture book. 4-9)"
Akiko and Hiroshi are lonely on the island to which their parents' work has brought them, until they meet Pablo, who shows them the tropical world's entrancing secrets, teaches them to paddle an outrigger canoe, and shares the delights of a coral reef. Read full book review >
GREEK MYTHS by Geraldine McCaughrean
Released: April 30, 1993

"A splendid offering. (Mythology. 8+)"
The much-honored McCaughrean (A Pack of Lies, 1989, Carnegie Medal) slyly telegraphs the philosophy behind these grand renditions in describing how Athene turns Arachne into a spider to punish the matchless weaver for her arrogance—yet Arachne's gloriously beautiful fabric depicts the gods doing ``silly things...squabbling, lazing about, and bragging. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 1, 1992

"The reformation may be too easy, but the point is still valid; and no one should forgo Wildsmith's delectable art with its delicately glowing colors and wonderfully imaginative juxtapositions of harmonious images. (Picture book. 4-8)"
An unabashedly didactic story by the Japanese author of The Cherry Tree (p. 466), with a heavy-handed message made remarkably palatable by English adaptor Geraldine McCaughrean's lyrical text and Wildsmith's gorgeous illustrations. Read full book review >
THE CHERRY TREE by Daisaku Ikeda
Released: April 1, 1992

"Lovely. (Picture book. 4-8)"
Mourning their father, who died in a war that also left their home in ruins, Taichi and his sister Yumiko decide to help an old man who is wrapping a damaged cherry tree in straw mats as protection against the cold, in the hope that—for the first time since war began—the tree will bloom. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 1, 1991

"Wildsmith's familiar flamboyant art, his imaginatively observed creatures displayed against lovely impressionistic vistas, is handsomely showcased in this oversize volume. (Folklore/Picture book. 4-8)"
A gentle Japanese tale about two children who care for the birds, especially an injured swan, while their father is away for the winter fishing. Read full book review >