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Goddess of Yesterday (Bank Street College of Education Josette Frank Award) Hardcover – June 11, 2002


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 730L (What's this?)
  • Series: Bank Street College of Education Josette Frank Award
  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers; First Edition edition (June 11, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385729456
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385729451
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.7 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,079,250 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The dramatic and bloody siege of Troy is one of the oldest and best of human stories, and in Goddess of Yesterday Caroline Cooney tells it afresh through the eyes of Anaxander, the daughter of the king of a tiny Greek island. As a child she is taken as a hostage to the island of King Nicander. When she is 13, marauding pirates sack the palace, killing everyone but her. Anaxander frightens them off by pretending to be the goddess Medusa, with the help of an octopus as a hairdo. When she is rescued by the ships of King Menalaus, she assumes the identity of a princess, Nicander's daughter, and becomes a royal guest. When Menalaus's cold and vain wife, Helen, runs off to Troy with her lover, Paris, Anaxander goes along to protect Helen's baby son. Within the walls of Troy, she is torn with conflicting loyalties as the bronze-clad warriors of Menalaus land their ships on the plains below the city and war is imminent.

The characters of the Iliad come vividly alive in this action-filled novel: the shallow and amoral Paris, the wailing prophetess Cassandra in her tower prison, and especially Hector, a big, straight-talking sweetheart. Fans of Cooney's contemporary novels like The Face on the Milk Carton will find this story of ancient Greece every bit as irresistible. (Ages 12 and older) --Patty Campbell

From Publishers Weekly

Cooney (The Ransom of Mercy Carter; The Face on the Milk Carton) turns her considerable talent to a classical subject the prelude to the Trojan War. The cherished daughter of the chief of a tiny, nameless island in the Aegean, Anaxandra is taken as hostage by King Nicander, and brought to his home as companion to his daughter Callisto. When pirates attack Nicander's island, Anaxandra the lone survivor is taken in by King Menelaus of Sparta, who believes she is the Princess Callisto. In the court of Menelaus and his gorgeous but cruel wife, Helen, Anaxandra has a heart-poundingly immediate view of the shocking events set in motion when Paris, a handsome prince of Troy, comes to pay a visit. Spirited off to Troy itself in place of Helen's daughter Hermione, Anaxandra plays a small but crucial role in the first few days of an epic war and makes peace, at last, with her stolen identity. Cooney's trademark staccato narrative style gives the proceedings a breathless urgency, and if her telling lacks the grandeur of AdŠle Geras's Troy, for example, her gift for adopting the voices of adolescent girls results in a compulsively readable story and may well lead readers to other Greek myths. Ages 12-up.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

I really hope Caroline B. Cooney continues the story of such a great heroine.
Carrie Elizabeth
I absolutely loved this book, and I highly recommend it book to young adult readers with an interest in the Trojan War, or Greek mythology in general.
Rebecca Herman
The villain is Helen of Troy, who I hated ( I mean that in a good way), but one of my favorite charaters was Paris, who was equally as mean as Helen.
Amelia M

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Amelia M on August 21, 2002
Format: Library Binding
I usually find at least one thing wrong with each of the author's books, but Goddess of Yesterday was perfect. It tells the story of a young girl named Anaxandra, taken as a hostage to the island of Siphnos where she is a companion to the Princess Callisto. When war comes, she must pertend to be Callisto in order to save herself. Before the books is over, she has to pretend to be even more people. The villain is Helen of Troy, who I hated ( I mean that in a good way), but one of my favorite charaters was Paris, who was equally as mean as Helen. And the main character, Anaxandra, was so real.
Goddess of Yesterday was easy to undersaynd, good Historical fiction, detailed Greek Mythology, and very exciting. I couldn't put the book down, and I wish it had gone on longer. And, unlike a lot of Caroline B. Cooney's other books, the ending to Goddess of Yesterday was complete.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By R. M. Fisher TOP 1000 REVIEWER on May 11, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
There is a huge range of novels out there concerning the Trojan War and the men and women whose lives were changed by the great event - so many books in fact, that it is difficult to find one that doesn't feel stale and predictable (after all, no author can really make shocking twists and turns in a war whose outcome is already known). Like books concerning the King Arthur legends, the Trojan War as a subject for a book is rapidly becoming dull.
So it is refreshing to find now and again a book that deals with this subject, and is actually *interesting*, suspenseful and surprisingly good. Such is Caroline B. Cooney's "Goddess of Yesterday". Although all of the mythological details and events of the War are correct (at least as far as I could see), the author brings new personalities to well-known characters, thoughtful insights on blasphemy and the nature of gods, and a likeable young heroine that blends so easily into the events leading up to the War that one might be surprised not to find her mentioned in ancient sources!
Anaxandra is the beloved daughter of a chieftain father in a small rocky isle, taken away from her home and family as a tribute/hostage of King Nicander, who places her in his own household as a companion to his own crippled daughter Princess Callisto. Despite homesickness, Anaxandra adjust to her new life, only to have it shattered once more by pirates who plunder Siphnos. Thanks to an ingenious disguise, Anaxandra is the sole survivor, and when the ship bearing King Menelaus pulls in to investigate, she lies to ensure her future: telling the King of Sparta that she is the Princess Callisto.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca Herman HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on August 22, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Anaxandra is the only daughter of the chieftain of a small, unnamed island in the Aegean Sea. When she is just six years old, she is taken as a hostage by Nicander, king of Siphnos. She ends up being companion and friend to his crippled daughter Callisto. Six years later, Siphnos is raided by pirates, and Anaxandra is the only survivor. When Menelaus, king of Sparta, stops his fleet of ships at Siphnos to investigate, Anaxandra lies to save herself. She takes on the identity of the dead princess Callisto. Menelaus takes her home with him to his palace, where she befriends his children, in particular his daughter Hermoine and his baby son Pleis. But she is also terrified by his wife Helen, who knows the truth, that Anaxandra is not Callisto. When Helen runs off with her lover, Prince Paris of Troy, and determines to bring her two younger children along, Anaxandra disguises herself and goes in Hermoine's place, to save her friend, and protect Pleis. She manages to get herself and the baby safely to Troy -- where a great war is about to begin, and they are in more danger then ever before.

I absolutely loved this book, and I highly recommend it book to young adult readers with an interest in the Trojan War, or Greek mythology in general. Anaxandra is a wonderful character, and her narrative brings the world of Ancient Greece and Troy to life.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on July 15, 2002
Format: Library Binding
I am an avid reader of Greek Mythology and I really enjoyed this book for its different perspective about Helen of Troy.
Anaxandra is six years old when she is taken from her small island home by King Nicander to be a friend to Callisto, King Nicander's sickly daughter on the island of Siphnos. There Anaxandra dwells for six years. When she is tweleve her island is raided by pirates and every one on the island besides her is killed or taken captive.
When King Menelaus of Sparta comes to the island to investigate, Anaxandra assumes the identity of Callisto (who is presumed dead) so that the King will take her to Sparta with him.
But Queen Helen, Menelaus's dangerously beautiful but cruel and self-absorbed wife, does not believe that red haired Anaxandra is dark haired Callisto and seeks to be rid of Anaxandra.
When handsome Paris comes to carry Helen off, Anaxandra poses as Helen's daughter so she will be able to go to Troy with them and take care of Helen's only son. She must use all her wits to survive in Troy with Helen and Paris seeking to rid themselves of the only heir to the throne of Sparta and the young Anaxandra taking care of him.
I really enjoyed this book because it is such a great retelling of the "kidnapping" of Helen from a young girl's perspective.
Caroline B. Cooney does a great job of rendering the personalities of both Helen and Paris and it makes a great read.
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