IRIS, MESSENGER by Sarah Deming


Age Range: 11 - 13
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Iris’s discovery that the Greek gods have moved to the Philadelphia area sparks an adventure even more marvelous than the best of her many daydreams. Thanks to clues written in the margins of a 12th-birthday gift copy of Bulfinch’s Mythology, Iris finds Poseidon running an oyster shack down on the Jersey Shore, Apollo playing jazz in a small club, Ares working as a lawyer and other deities, none of them what they once were, similarly keeping low profiles. Most are friendly sorts though, who offer her personal, chapter-length versions of familiar myths (including the story of Phaëthon as a bluesy ballad) and send her on to the next encounter in what becomes a journey of self-discovery. Iris, it seems, is a member of the Family, and by the end, not only has she learned that her father isn’t who she thought he was, but the sinking fortunes of her and her mother—an out-of-work soybean scientist—have undergone a literally miraculous reversal. Deming isn’t the first to use the “American gods” premise, but she develops it with uncommon verve, and her characters, mortal or otherwise, positively sparkle. (Fantasy. 11-13)

Pub Date: May 1st, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-15-205823-4
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Harcourt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 2007


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