Rick Riordan biography, plus links to book reviews and book excerpts from books by Rick Riordan.

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Rick Riordan

Rick Riordan

Rick Riordan: RYE-r-don (first syllable is pronounced like rye bread)

Rick Riordan Biography

Rick Riordan is the multi-award-winning author of the Tres Navarre mystery series for adults and the #1 New York Times bestselling Percy Jackson and the Olympians series for children.

For fifteen years, Rick taught English and history at public and private middle schools in the San Francisco Bay Area and in Texas. In 2002, Saint Mary’s Hall honored him with the school’s first Master Teacher Award.

His adult fiction has won the top three national awards in the mystery genre – the Edgar, the Anthony and the Shamus. He has presented workshops for such organizations as the International Reading Association, the California Association of Independent Schools, the National Council for Teachers of English, the Colonial Williamsburg Teacher Institute and the Texas Library Association. His short fiction has appeared in Mary Higgins Clark Mystery Magazine and Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine. In 2003, he was inducted into the Texas Institute of Letters.

His Percy Jackson series features a twelve-year-old dyslexic boy who discovers he is the modern-day son of a Greek god. The novels draw on Riordan’s experience teaching Greek mythology and his interaction with students who have learning differences. The Lightning Thief was a New York Times Notable Book for 2005. Film rights have been purchased by Twentieth Century Fox and a feature film is in development. The Sea of Monsters was a Child Magazine Best Book for Children for 2006 and a Publishers Weekly and BookSense national bestseller, and The Titan's Curse was a #1 New York Times children's series bestseller.  The fourth volume, The Battle of the Labyrinth, published in May 2008.

In September 2008, Scholastic published the first in a new series, "The 39 Clues", for 8-12 year olds.  Calling on his years in the classroom, Riordan has filled the books with details that are both educational and entertaining. 

"My goal in the classroom was always to make sure they were having so much fun that they didn't realize they were learning," he said. "I saw 'The 39 Clues' as a potential vehicle for doing some education in a fun way — to take some of these amazing stories from history, dust them off and make them alive."

Each volume of the 10-book mystery series will feature a different historical figure.  Scholastic plan to publish one volume every 2-3 months.  Riordan has written the first volume and outlined the plots for the remainder of the series, which will be written by other authors. 

The story, devised in part by Scholastic's editors, follows the exploits of Amy and Dan Cahill, two orphans, 14 and 11, who are competing against other branches of the sprawling Cahill family to discover the first of 39 clues - which when revealed will provide the key to a secret that will lead to ultimate power.  The books are designed to compliment the Internet game, www.the39clues.com.  Each book reveals one clue, leaving gamers to find the remaining 29 online. 

In a recent interview with the New York Times, Riordan explains that writing a book with a committee was not selling out, but was in some ways "liberating." 

Despite the fact that he is writing full time, he says he still feels like a teacher because he meets so many children on book tours. "I see hundreds of kids at a time rather than knowing one classroom very well," he said.

"My modus operandi hasn't really changed that much from when I was an English teacher.  I wanted my students to leave my classroom loving reading and wanting to read more, and if they left my classroom thinking that reading is boring, then I haven't done my job."

Rick Riordan lives in San Antonio with his wife and two sons.

Link to Rick's website

This biography was last updated on 09/01/2008.

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