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Iris, Messenger Hardcover – May 1, 2007


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"The Griffin's Riddle"
The latest in The Imaginary Veterinary series includes bonus writing, art, and science activities that will help readers discover more about its featured mythological creatures. Activities are designed for the home and the classroom. Learn more about the author, Suzanne Selfors
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 730L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books; First Edition edition (May 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0152058230
  • ISBN-13: 978-0152058234
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 6.3 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #576,401 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Iris Greenwold is a dreamer; it's how she escapes her miserable existence. Her mother researches soybeans for an uncaring employer and her wacky father lives far away and pays almost no attention to her. Erebus Middle School is awful, with classmates who torment her and teachers who don't understand why she doesn't pay attention. And then, for her 12th birthday, Iris receives an incredible gift: Bulfinch's Mythology. Reading about the exploits of the Greek gods is right up her alley, but she is puzzled when mysterious messages start popping up in the book's pages and downright startled to discover that the gods are all living nearby at the New Jersey shore and in the Philadelphia area. Moreover, they desperately need her help. As she meets such figures as Poseidon (who runs a seaside oyster shack), Apollo (owner of a cool jazz club), and Aphrodite (stylist extraordinaire), she's also treated to firsthand accounts of Greek myths. This engaging story of an unhappy girl whose dreaming pays off in wonderful ways will be a hit with adolescents dealing with those difficult middle school years. Give it to readers who gobble up Rick Riordan's "Percy Jackson and the Olympians" series (Hyperion/Miramax) and other novels where teens interact with the Greek pantheon. -- School Library Journal, July 1, 2007

About the Author

SARAH DEMING was a Golden Gloves champion, a pastry chef, and a yoga instructor before becoming an author. Iris, Messenger is her first novel. Sarah lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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See all 11 customer reviews
It's kind of weird, and I just didn't like that aspect of the book very much.
Steph and Dani @ A Walk on Words
This book is a great tool for bringing the personalities of classical mythology to life for young readers.
UniversalWolf
I love Greek gods and goddesses and this book had them in a present day setting.
Nicole E. Toohey

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Sarah on September 15, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Yes, it's another Greek pantheon novel (no doubt attempting to capitalize on the success of Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson series). It's distinctive, though, because the voice is so good. Witty, light; this book moves fast. The plot is a little slight and episodic, but the told stories (several deities relate their back stories) are wonderful. And the dynamic between Iris and her soybean-ologist mom is terrific.

One thing that bothered me is the cover (and I know the author has no control over this; her publisher could have done better by her). The girl, Iris, is the protagonist, yet the cover features a character who, while somewhat important to the plot, is peripheral. And male. Iris protags, why not have her as the central actor on the cover? Even so, I'll definitely look for more from this author, with the hopes that she takes on something more substantial next time.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on January 29, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Filippa's son speaking! I found this book at the library almost as soon as it came out, and I fell in love with it. Since I was 9 then, and just beginning to dive into mythology, It was perfect. Though I know the entire book by heart, I think that Sarah Deming is absolutely, completely and totally brilliant. I'm almost expecting winged sandals to be delivered to my doorstep!! Very realistic. LOVE THIS BOOK!!!!!
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Lisa K on May 9, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In "Iris, Messenger" we meet wonderfully flawed gods and goddesses in suburban east coast America. This short novel is a wonderful vehicle to get reacquainted with Greek mythology. Sarah Deming's clever retelling of ancient stories enable me to recall the myths much more than I ever did in my 6th grade English class.

Iris suffers the Sturm and Drang of many modern preadolescents and adolescents. This book effectively weaves 21st century concerns of how we search for meaning in our lives with stories that have held up for eons. When I reached the end of the book I realized I had been hoping for redemption of these mythic characters. The book's conclusion reminded me that transformation occurs in quieter, individual ways.

This book is written for "10 and up" and this does not convey what a gem this novel is for all ages. Highly recommended for everyone you know who is attracted to mythology and great storytelling.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By B,F and C- W on January 19, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I found this an excellent read for both myself and my middle school-aged niece. The absurdity found in the supposed "mundane real life" portions of the book is reminiscent of Roald Dahl to me, and kept me engaged and entertained. I appreciated that Iris was not written as a dull blank slate (as the heroines of some popular teen books), but as a quirky girl with feelings and conundrums working to sort things out. The presentation of the Greek Gods was just plain fun.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By UniversalWolf on April 2, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is a great tool for bringing the personalities of classical mythology to life for young readers. It's an easy, fun, well-styled read, and I have the feeling some kids will revisit the book when they're older, at which point they'll discover elements of sophistication that may have been beyond their youth. That's a good thing. I agree that the cover art is strange; it's comic book feel is belied by the novel's rich content. Iris, Messenger is a winner.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My daughter is 9 and has devoured this book again and again and again. It's her favorite book of all of them. And she's read quite a few. Is it the awesome heroine? Hades as a school principal? The tofu loving vegan mom? All of it?
It's now our go-to birthday gift.
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