Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Newbery Medal Winner, XXX Category

Last week we were in the local used book store (not a used bookstore, like a now-empty Borders), and I saw this book in the kids section.

I was drawn to it because I'm trying to make my daughter be interested in Greek mythology. So far it's been an uphill-road: she has really enjoyed reading the first three books of Carolyn Hennesy's Pandora series, but she is not as excited about Paul Shipton's Pig Scrolls,* and she refuses to read the second book in Mary Pope Osborne's Odyssey series, no matter how many times I renew it from the library.

Hoping to inflict even more classical antiquity on my daughter, I opened the book and read the first press blurb.

My cell phone camera doesn't focus well. It reads, "A sexy, sweeping tale, filled with drama, sassy humor, and vividly imagined domestic details."

Sexy? This book must be stocked in the wrong section (which happens a lot at our used book store).

Not so much. It's a "notable book for children" and a "best children's book of the year." Evidently what kids really need these days are sexy tales.

I understand that, when it comes to Greek mythology, modern authors are somewhat hamstrung by the source material. I mean, how do you tell a grade-school version of the tale of Europa (she did what with a bull?!)? But Paris can abduct Helen without having to get his sexy on, right? Portray her as more of an Audrey Hepburn type than a Megan Fox type. There's no need for the story of Troy to get any sexier than the author wants it to be. I think we'll be staying away from sexy versions of Greek myths for right now (unless that pig from Odysseus' boat** likes to get down).


* = When a work's title begins with either a definite or indefinite article, the article is dropped when the title is presented as a possession. Hence, A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, and Dickens's Christmas Carol are the same work. The book by Paul Shipton is entitled The Pig Scrolls.

** = Classical names ending in S don't receive a possessive S after the apostrophe. All other names do. Hence, the Jesus of antiquity owns Jesus' shoes, while a modern-day Hispanic named Jesus would own Jesus's shoes.

1 comment:

Erin said...

Has she tried the Percy Jackson series? Lydia liked them but they were too intense for Ethan.