Ridley Pearson

Recommended reading from the author of The Risk Agent and Peter and the Starcatchers.

Whether writing gripping thrillers for adults or soaring adventures for younger audiences, Ridley Pearson brings startling plot twists and vivid characters to the page. In his new novel The Risk Agent, a forensic accountant and a private investigator search for two hostages in Shanghai before time runs out. But who’s behind the brazen crime. This week, Pearson points us to three favorites, including an American classic and a dynamic new voice in YA fiction.

Books by Ridley Pearson

To Kill a Mockingbird

By Harper Lee

“Before you groan, hear me out. This is a book I recently used to teach creative writing in China, an experience that inspired my writing my own thriller, The Risk Agent. In To Kill a Mockingbird you have: children at risk, a crime and a trial, enormous social issues of poverty and injustice that remain a part of any society today, mystery/suspense, heartwarming family drama, and some memorable characters. All in a package that is so superbly written I routinely reread this book at least once a year. It never, ever, grows old.”

A World Lit Only by Fire

By William Manchester

“This nonfiction book about the Middle Ages began (as I understand it) with the author’s desire to write about Magellan. It ended up that Magellan only occupies about the final 80 pages. Instead, we enter the forest in the Dark Ages and shiver and starve and wander into a township where the Catholic Church is arriving to sell a “free pass” into heaven. It is compelling from start to finish.”


By Marie Lu

“I was asked to review this first novel for a major publication and came away a fan. Ms. Lu’s YA entry is in the crowded post-apocalyptic genre. But she serves up rapid fire action, rich and unusual characters, and all in a setting of a nearly destroyed Los Angeles. Marie Lu is someone to keep your eye on.”