I AM ARACHNE by Elizabeth Spires


Fifteen Greek and Roman Myths
adapted by
Age Range: 9 - 12


Each of these episodes from Greek and Roman mythology is only a few pages long, each is told in the first person, and most of them have the whiny and dissatisfied voice of adolescence. Of course, many of the protagonists were adolescents: Arachne bemoans her vanity in challenging a goddess to a weaving contest and is changed to a spider for her pains; Pandora has to open that box; Narcissus falls in love with the beautiful boy who is his reflection. People get changed to sunflowers (Clytie) or reeds (Syrinx) or stars (Callisto). Ostensibly a new way of looking at these characters—from their own points of view—the result is a flippant tone and a diminishing of the luster of the well-known stories. A bit of verse appears here and there; the illustrations are winsome or melodramatic by turns. A cast of characters (not very much more enlightening than their chapters) and places complete this small volume. Hard to say who the audience is, but kids who have memorized all the Hercules and Xena episodes might enjoy this. (Nonfiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: March 26th, 2001
ISBN: 0-374-33525-7
Page count: 160pp
Publisher: Frances Foster/Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 2001


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