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Four Greek Goddesses Speak

by Doris Orgel & illustrated by Peter Malone

Age Range: 10 - 14

Pub Date: April 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-7613-1693-0
Publisher: Roaring Brook

First-person narrative in the voices of four Greek goddesses: Leto, Artemis, Demeter, and Persephone. Robbed of their majesty and their role as religion, the mythological Greek pantheon tends to come across as heroic, but self-involved and mean-spirited: Xena: Warrior Princess crossed with soap opera. Leto begins these braided tales. She’s the mother of the twins Artemis and Apollo, born of Zeus in one of his many guises. Artemis chooses to remain a maiden and pursue the hunt, although she falls for Orion and he comes to a bad end. The stories of Demeter and Persephone are told first in mother, then daughter, then mother’s voices, so the lure of the King of the underworld, the changing of the seasons, and the bond between mother and daughter can be told from both points of view. Orgel (Lion and the Mouse, 2000, etc.) is clearly trying to revitalize the appeal of these goddesses, but the end result falls a bit flat—it’s hard to make descriptions of one’s own power and beauty convincing. Still, there’s a nice list of names and places, and a bibliography. Malone’s (Brother Sun, Sister Moon, 2001, etc.) black-and-white drawings have a fresh and lovely line: his goddesses face the viewer with bold insouciance. (Mythology. 10-14)