James, Brian 1976-
JAMES, Brian 1976-
PERSONAL: Born January 7, 1976, in Portsmouth, VA; son of Nicholas Masino and Anita Uhl; married Sarah Vischer (a photographer), March 16, 2002. Education: New York University, B.A.
Pure Sunshine (young adult novel), Scholastic (New York, NY), 2002.
The Shark Who Was Afraid of Everything, illustrated by Bruce McNally, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2002.
The Spooky Hayride, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2003.
Tomorrow, Maybe (young adult novel), Scholastic (New York, NY), 2003.
The Supertwins: Bad Dogs from Space, illustrated by Chris L. Demarest, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2003.
The Supertwins: The Terrible Tooth Snatcher, illustrated by Chris L. Demarest, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2003.
The Supertwins: Meet the Dangerous Dinobots, illustrated by Chris L. Demarest, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2003.
The Supertwins: Meet the Sneaky, Slimy Bookworms, illustrated by Chris L. Demarest, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2004.
WORK IN PROGRESS: A beginning-reader series titled "Catkid," with illustrations by the author; a third young adult novel; an adult novel.
SIDELIGHTS: Budding novelist and children's book author Brian James made a mark for himself at the age of twenty-four with the publication of his first young-adult novel, Pure Sunshine. As James told CA, "There are stories that need to be told, characters that say 'Hi, how are you doing?' I make them say more, let them speak and tell their story. Hopefully that story will mean something special to those who read it. That's how I approach everything I write, from my novels to my children's books."
In Pure Sunshine, readers are introduced to a shy teenaged drug user named Brendon, as he realizes that his habit is beginning to take over his life. During the two days covered in James's novel, Brendon drifts through a day of school, the time in between spent tripping on LSD, going clubbing with his burnout friends Will and Kevin, and wandering the streets of Philadelphia. Noting that James's "language is raw and gritty," School Library Journal contributor Debbie Stewart maintained that Brendon's character rings true, adding: "the conclusion may not be grounded in reality, but sustains the mood and plot." Dubbing the novel a literary "acid trip," a Publishers Weekly reviewer cited James for his "airy, hallucinogenic imagery and nonjudgmental portraits of teen behavior," but cautioned that Pure Sunshine contains "no clear anti-drug message."
In addition to his novel, James has authored the 'Supertwins' series, a four-book beginning-reader set illustrated by Chris L. Demarest, and has also collaborated with illustrator Bruce McNally on a picture book titled The Shark Who Was Afraid of Everything.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Publishers Weekly, December 10, 2001, review of Pure Sunshine, p. 71.
School Library Journal, July, 2002, Debbie Stewart, review of Pure Sunshine, p. 120.