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Original Essays | September 15, 2014

Lois Leveen: IMG Forsooth Me Not: Shakespeare, Juliet, Her Nurse, and a Novel



There's this writer, William Shakespeare. Perhaps you've heard of him. He wrote this play, Romeo and Juliet. Maybe you've heard of it as well. It's... Continue »

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1 Burnside Children's Young Adult- General

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Greek gods and mortals spring to life in this riveting retelling of the myth of Atalanta, the fleet-footed girl warrior who could outrun any man in ancient Greece.

Cast off and abandoned at birth, Atalanta- saved by a she-bear and raised by hunters-proves herself to be a superior archer and the fastest runner in the land. But her skills and independence anger many, including her father, the Arcadian King, who suddenly reclaims her and demands that she produce an heir to the throne. Atalanta has pledged herself to Artemis, goddess of the hunt, who has forbidden her to marry. Unwilling to break her promise, Atalanta suggests a grim compromise: she will marry the first man to beat her in a race, but everyone she defeats must die. All the while, Artemis, Apollo, Aphrodite, Eros, and Zeus himself watch-and interfere-from on high.

From the Hardcover edition.

Review:

"Spinner (Aliens for Breakfast) competently retells the classical legend of Atalanta, abandoned in the woods as a baby because of her gender. Saved by the goddess Artemis the Huntress, Atalanta grows up to become a talented archer and the 'swiftest of mortals'; grateful, she swears her loyalty to the goddess and vows to stay chaste. As the book opens, she is the only female hunting for the Calydonian boar, and the first to draw its blood (though, again due to gender, this feat earns her more trouble than honor). Spinner's pacing is somewhat awkward (the story takes too long to unfold, and the conclusion seems rushed), and the large cast is hard to keep straight, but Atalanta has depth as a strong, female protagonist who not only defeats men but who also trusts herself. Shortly after the hunt, Atalanta learns that she is the daughter of King Iasus; he is dying, lacking an heir, and demands that she marry and produce one. To adhere to her vows of chastity, she offers the king a compromise: she agrees to marry a suitor who beats her in a race; otherwise, he must be killed. Of course she wasn't counting on Aphrodite's meddling, or being shot in the heart by Eros's love arrow. The narrative may be difficult to enter, but there is enough death, surprise, prophecy and direct intervention from the gods — including interludes of their whimsical dialogue-to keep readers engaged. Ages 12-up." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

About the Author

Stephanie Spinner is the bestselling author of many books for young readers, including Aliens for Breakfast (with Jonathan Etra) and Expiration Date: Never (with Terry Bisson).

From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780440238195
Author:
Spinner, Stephanie
Publisher:
Laurel Leaf Library
Subject:
Children's 12-Up - Literature - Classics
Subject:
Legends, Myths, & Fables - Greek & Roman
Subject:
Sex role
Subject:
Running races
Subject:
Mythology, Greek
Subject:
Children s-Fables
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Mass market paperback
Publication Date:
20050431
Binding:
MASS MARKET
Grade Level:
from 7
Language:
English
Pages:
192
Dimensions:
6.88x4.36x.51 in. .21 lbs.
Age Level:
from 12

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Related Subjects

Children's » Fables
Children's » Featured Titles
Young Adult » General

Quiver Used Mass Market
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Product details 192 pages Laurel-Leaf Books - English 9780440238195 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Spinner (Aliens for Breakfast) competently retells the classical legend of Atalanta, abandoned in the woods as a baby because of her gender. Saved by the goddess Artemis the Huntress, Atalanta grows up to become a talented archer and the 'swiftest of mortals'; grateful, she swears her loyalty to the goddess and vows to stay chaste. As the book opens, she is the only female hunting for the Calydonian boar, and the first to draw its blood (though, again due to gender, this feat earns her more trouble than honor). Spinner's pacing is somewhat awkward (the story takes too long to unfold, and the conclusion seems rushed), and the large cast is hard to keep straight, but Atalanta has depth as a strong, female protagonist who not only defeats men but who also trusts herself. Shortly after the hunt, Atalanta learns that she is the daughter of King Iasus; he is dying, lacking an heir, and demands that she marry and produce one. To adhere to her vows of chastity, she offers the king a compromise: she agrees to marry a suitor who beats her in a race; otherwise, he must be killed. Of course she wasn't counting on Aphrodite's meddling, or being shot in the heart by Eros's love arrow. The narrative may be difficult to enter, but there is enough death, surprise, prophecy and direct intervention from the gods — including interludes of their whimsical dialogue-to keep readers engaged. Ages 12-up." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
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