Books by James Riordan

BLOOD RUNNER by James Riordan
Released: May 1, 2012

"This potentially inspiring tale staggers along under the weight of a worthy agenda. (afterword) (Historical fiction. 12-14)"
A general indictment of apartheid is thinly wrapped in a tale about a young Zulu marathoner who runs for his country in the Olympics. Read full book review >
ADVENTURE
Released: May 1, 2009

"An overdose of mystery, the clipped ending and uneven writing undercut this title, but considering the high demand for kids' Christian fiction and the proportionally short supply, it's likely that The Elijah Project will find a devoted following nonetheless. (Thriller. 8-12)"
The first outing in the Christian-based supernatural-thriller series The Elijah Project features 16-year-old Zack, 13-year-old Piper and their six-year-old brother Elijah. Read full book review >
THE SNIPER by James Riordan
FICTION
Released: Jan. 1, 2009

"The well-designed cover in black and red, complete with sniper and bullet holes, and the fast-paced tale of war ensure that this fine volume will appeal to many readers. (author's note) (Historical fiction. 10-13)"
The Battle of Stalingrad changed the course of World War II—but at the cost of one million lives, more than any other battle in history. Read full book review >
THE SEVEN VOYAGES OF SINBAD THE SAILOR by James Riordan
ADVENTURE
Released: May 1, 2008

Here Riordan recasts the Sinbad chapter in his Tales from the Arabian Nights (1983) for a younger audience, and Fowles adds comic notes with small, jewel-toned watercolor illustrations done in an appealingly childlike style. Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 1, 1999

"This competent retelling, fully sourced, could be added to more extensive folklore collections. (Picture book/folklore. 5-8)"
When Aje, the daughter of the river goddess Yemoya, leaves her underwater home to marry, what she misses most is the night. Read full book review >
LITTLE BUNNY BOBKIN by James Riordan
ANIMALS
Released: Feb. 1, 1999

"Cartoonish line drawings capture action but not nuance in a tale that includes a warm fuzzy ending. (Picture book. 2-5)"
A young bunny and a hungry fox stick to their traditional roles in this formulaic bunny-finds-trouble tale, imported from Britain. Read full book review >
THE SONG MY PADDLE SINGS by James Riordan
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: March 1, 1998

"With a foreword by Shirley Little Dove Custalow McGowan of the Mattaponi. (glossary) (Folklore. 8-12)"
A collector of tales from around the world, Riordan (The Snowmaiden, 1992, etc.) now turns to stories from North America's first people. Read full book review >
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Dec. 1, 1995

"Riordan's biography has few such saving graces. (16 pages b&w photos, not seen)"
Despite its title, the aging enfant terrible of America takes few hits from the friendly fire of this overly authorized biography. Read full book review >
RUSSIAN GYPSY TALES by Yefim Druts
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: Dec. 20, 1992

"As a collection of gypsy folklore, this seems to be unique; for readers or storytellers, it's a treasure trove. (Folklore. 6+)"
In the well-regarded ``International Folk Tale Series,'' a grand collection of 36 tales, the fascinating result of the long interaction between the self-reliant gypsies and their reluctant Russian neighbors, as collected by two Moscow researchers. Read full book review >
GULLIVER'S TRAVELS by Jonathan Swift
ADVENTURE
Released: Oct. 10, 1992

"Swift's ax-grinding can be indigestible in large doses; like other abridged classics from this publisher and illustrator, a palatable, well-blended appetizer. (Fiction. 12-14)"
Swift's account of Gulliver's captivity in Lilliput and Brobdingnag is considerably shortened and rephrased here, but Riordan expertly preserves the flavor of the original: upon reaching the temple where he is to stay, the intrepid traveler shamefacedly relieves himself before the tiny multitudes (though the more famous scene where he similarly puts out a palace fire is absent); later, he survives plenty of harrowing adventures, admiringly describing the societies in which he's stranded while taking subtle pokes (and not-so-subtle—``Englishmen are the nastiest race of odious little vermin that Nature ever suffered to crawl upon the surface of the earth,'' says the king of Brobdingnag) at his own, and at fashion and politics in general. Read full book review >
THE SNOWMAIDEN by James Riordan
adapted by James Riordan, illustrated by Stephen Lambert
Released: May 15, 1992

"For large folklore collections. (Folklore/Picture book. 6-10)"
In this traditional Russian tale, Snowmaiden is the daughter of Spring and Frost, who agree to put her in the care of a peasant couple. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 13, 1991

"For more compact and worthy biographies of Morrison, see David Dalton's Mr. Mojo Risin' and Dylan Jones's Jim Morrison (p. 466). (Twenty-five b&w photographs—not seen.)"
Tortured visionary and bumbling drunk—two sides of ``The Lizard King'' that emerge from this lengthy but less-than-probing biography of the late rock star. Read full book review >
THUMBELINA by Hans Christian Andersen
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: March 28, 1991

"(Picture book. 5-10)"
A smooth, fairly complete retelling, bland in comparison to fine old translations like Keigwin's, but more accessible; in a luxurious editon with carefully structured stylized art in which the creatures are an imaginative blend of realistic, satirical, and fantastic and the dreamlike settings are intriguingly tactile. Read full book review >