Books by Paul Shipton

ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 1, 2007

Gryllus, former human/current pig, returns with young prophetess Sybil and teen epic poet Homer for another romp through the pantheon of ancient Greece. This time, while searching for Circe in hopes of returning Gryllus to his true form, they discover evil King Sisyphus has escaped the underworld and imprisoned the gods. According to Sybil's prophecy, "Nobody can defeat the beast in the dark." At that, Gryllus is ready to pack it in. However, after another run in with Polyphemus and discovering the still-living head of Orpheus, there are multiple candidates for "nobody." None of them is less willing than Gryllus. Fans of The Pig Scrolls (2005) will be in hog heaven. Gryllus's lazy, dim and yet somehow still sarcastic narration is better than ever. Teens in Junior Classical League will be slapping their knees. Complete with footnotes, glossary for barbarians and a priceless further reading list, this one's not to be missed. (Fiction. 10-14)Read full book review >
THE PIG SCROLLS by Paul Shipton
ANIMALS
Released: Oct. 1, 2005

Gryllus, formerly a cook during the Trojan War, is now a pig—a talking pig. He was among Odysseus's band of wayward home-seekers who ended up on the wrong end of Circe's wand. When the rest returned to human form, Gryllus (pronounced GRILL-us) intentionally stayed a pig . . . because it was easier! Now, Junior Assistant Assistant Pythia-in-Training Sybil has pignapped him and informed him that due to her own prophecy, he must now help her save the cosmos. The two of them set off first to find a specific goatherd, who seems to give imbeciles a bad name—which couldn't be worse than his own (Bumscruff). With the help of a young poet (Homer, yes that one) they must save man and Gods from Thanatos, spirit-thingie-god of death. Gryllus's main contribution tends to be sarcastic commentary and an insistence on running away whenever possible. Playing fast and loose with all things Greek (especially the mythology) and piling on the anachronistic phrases and references, Shipton delivers a hilarious whiz-bang tour through the pantheon of Greece; it even includes a handy glossary for barbarians. (Fiction. 10-14)Read full book review >
THE MIGHTY SKINK by Paul Shipton
ANIMALS
Released: May 31, 2000

After a brief fling in the outside world, a captive rhesus monkey concludes that there's no place like home. Kaz's settled life in a wildlife park's monkey compound is set on its ear when Skink, a daredevil new monkey, arrives to challenge the well-defined social order, and to offer heterodox versions of the Tales that explain why monkeys should be subservient to humans. Having always wondered what was "Out There," Kaz is eager to come along when Skink announces his intent to escape. Thanks to quick thinking and Skink's knowledge of the world—gained, as it turns out, in the circus and before that in the space program!—the expedition survives lions, rats, and other hazards, repeatedly makes monkeys of pursuing keepers and other humans, and even takes a joy ride in a stolen car. Ultimately, the fugitives break into a library and learn that there are still places where a monkey can roam free. Off goes Skink to find them, while Kaz returns to the zoo with new plans for social reform once he becomes top monkey. Pranks and narrow squeaks propel the plot at breakneck speed, but since Kaz is an orphan with few friends, readers may find his decision to go back puzzling, and Skink's virulent hatred for humans casts a pall over all the monkeyshines. Still, in his satirical fiction debut, Shipton makes telling points about our lordly attitudes toward animals and nature in general. (Fiction. 10-13)Read full book review >